September 11, 2012
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2. Notify customers.
If you have a general email list, take the time to carefully craft a simple and brief notice to inform customers, vendors and necessary third-parties of the outage. Let key stakeholders know that your website is down and share a link to a reputable news source for details. No access to email? Develop a secondary company email (i.e. email@example.com) in the interim.
3. Take to social media.
Social media presents a great opportunity to mitigate risk when your website (and world) comes crashing down. Utilize a social media management tool, such as HootSuite to send and schedule messages to inform customers of your website outage. Also provide a customer service email or toll-free phone number for users to contact your offices regarding immediate issues and concerns.
4. Contact your web hosting provider.
Contact your sales representative immediately and ask for an ETA (i.e. When can you expect your site to be back up and running?). You’ll receive a time estimate, but keep in mind that it is exactly that — an estimate. You should expect the best and plan for the worst. What is often quoted as “2 hours” can easily turn into “24 hours.”
5. Pause ad campaigns, when possible.
If you utilize online advertising to drive traffic to your site (i.e. display advertising, pay-per-click advertising, etc.) pause the campaign as soon as possible. There’s nothing worse than paying for a campaign that is guaranteed “not to deliver” results when users are directed to a blank page.
Also, take precautionary steps to prepare for unexpected website downtime in the future and purchase a backup DNS service.
David Rusenko, the co-founder of Weebly suggests that, “It’s so cheap it’s a no-brainer. For about $15/year you can get a service that will constantly grab your DNS data and act as a backup if they happen to go down. Otherwise, when your DNS servers go haywire (it’s happened to me and I’ve seen it happen to many others), you’ll be stuck helpless for a few hours as people are unable to get to your site. I’ve used No-IP Squared Backup, and Chris has used Nettica.”
Was your small business website affected by the recent GoDaddy outage? If so, how did you handle it? Let me know in the comments section below.
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Photo Credit: Essentiel Antwerp
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