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What’s your IT department’s strategy for website downtime?

Sarah K. White | Sept. 9, 2016
Downtime doesn't just affect ecommerce sites. It can bring any business to a halt as IT workers scramble to find a fix.

Website disruptions are more than a mere annoyance. They can quickly add up, leading to declines in productivity and revenue. These website errors not only affect your end-users, they also pull key players away from other projects to help put out the fire to avoid major profit losses.

"Latencies and inconsistent website behaviors doesn't only damage the customer experience and deter consumers away from your site; it can also lead to drastic revenue loss. In fact, Amazon calculated that a one-second delay costs up to $1.6 billion per year in sales," says Mike Kane, senior product marketing manager at Dyn, an internet performance management company.

A problem for everyone

The fact is that website downtime has become a concern for every business across industries and is not limited to ecommerce sites. For example, Kane points out how in June the Library of Congress experienced a DNS DDoS attack that caused major disruptions for a full day before the website had to go completely offline -- all taking place over the course of three days.

For a government site like the Library of Congress, that's certainly a major concern, even if they aren't necessarily losing direct revenue the way an ecommerce site might from the same downtime. But business was interrupted, the public lost access to numerous resources during the downtime, and incoming and outgoing emails were affected.

In the end, events like this affect every aspect of the business and each employee in the company. It's not just stressful for end users; it also becomes a stressful distraction from day-to-day internal operations.

Impatient users

Your end-users and customers have grown accustomed to speedy internet connections and fast-loading websites. So much so that a survey from Akamai Technologies and found that one of the biggest reasons people abandon a website is because it takes too long to load. In fact, the study found that 47 percent of consumers expect a load time of two seconds or less for any webpage they visit, no matter the content. And if it takes longer than three seconds to load, 40 percent say they'll abandon the site.

That's a big deal, especially for ecommerce sites that make the bulk of their money from online sales. And for other sites, it might mean that a potential customer grows frustrated and turns to your competition instead.

The survey found that an overwhelming amount of respondents -- 79 percent to be exact -- said they would go as far as to avoid buying from a website a second time if they encountered poor website performance on their first visit.

Hard to track

Website downtime can be caused by a myriad of factors, including cyberattacks, network outages, human error and traffic overload, says Kane. That can make it even more difficult to help track and prevent website downtime since it isn't coming from just once source.


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