The Most Common Reasons Behind a Website Crash
In order to properly run your site, it’s essential to know what can go wrong with it. Therefore, we’ve compiled a guide on the most common reasons behind a website crash to make this possible.
A problem with your hosting service
One of the most common reasons behind a website crash is problems with your host. Unfortunately, hosting issues can have several different causes behind them:
- It might be that your hosting provider is just not that great. A lot of businesses go for cheaper hosts without properly vetting them. This results in a ton of downtime due to errors, unscheduled maintenance, and many other issues.
- You might have simply outgrown your website host. Some or all of their services might have been great when you were running a small website. But now that your site is more significant and successful, they might struggle to host you.
- You may have outgrown your specified website size allotment by mistake.
The maximum size of your site is specified in your contract, so keep an eye on it! Going over it results in errors and website crashes.
Errors caused by plugins and extensions
Plugins and extensions can cause a whole host of issues and are one of the most common reasons behind a website crash. One reason why this is the case is simply poorly made software. If the plugin or extension you feel tempted to use is by a small, unknown developer, it may be best to pass on it unless it has many comments and reviews. Similarly, it’s always best to drop it if they stop getting updated. Failing to generate new updates will eventually make the software incompatible with the more recent software of your site, which will not just cause crashes but also present a security risk. Of course, since extensions and plugins are so important, such as when looking to integrate social media into your website, it’s impossible not to use them. Just make extra sure they are reliable!
Too much traffic too quickly
It’s an annoying problem to have, but sometimes getting too much attention is a bad thing. If enough people try to access your site simultaneously, it will crash. This often happens to small or newly made sites that suddenly make it big. In order to get ahead of this, it’s best to plan for your future growth and change to new hosting providers who can help your site withstand the traffic as needed. Or you can just partner with a major hosting provider from the start, but this is a much more expensive option! Finally, remember that if you are looking for signs that it’s time for a website redesign, this is a surefire way to know it might be time for an update!
Malicious attempts to tear down your site
Another common reason behind a website crash is outside interference – or, in other words, hackers. If your site does not employ strong encryption and security measures, it’s very easy for it to be crashed this way. Some of the most common ways to attack sites are DDoS, bot spam, malware, and viruses. All of these can either immensely slow down or entirely crash your website. Especially DDoS and bot spam, in which WordPress websites are very weak. Both methods rely on taking up most, if not all, of the site’s resources by pretending that too many people are trying to use them. So, if you run a WordPress site, ensure you are protected from this! If you’re unsure how to do this, hire a maintenance expert for your site!
Problems with your domain name
Your domain name is essentially one of the most critical aspects of your website. After all, it lets people properly look it up and access it. If you put links with a badly spelled domain name on your social media or other listings, anyone accessing them will get an immediate error code. In other words, your website might not have crashed, but people will not be able to access it anyway. Another common reason behind a website crash caused by your domain name is if it’s expired. Your domain name, much like your hosting services, has a lifespan. If you don’t remember to extend them, then your site will go down.
Basic code errors
One of the most frustrating problems to encounter is coding errors. Simply because they can be challenging to pin down, it can range from a single page refusing to open properly to your website ‘randomly’ crashing. The problem can be present from day one of your website running, or it can pop up because you or your employees accidentally break a section of code when editing or adding pages. Since every type of digital marketing optimization relies entirely on your website, you can’t afford such issues. This is why hiring an expert to make and maintain your website is better. Of course, this only applies if you have no knowledge or experience in the field.
Being labeled a security risk
Here’s a ‘fun’ problem to encounter: if Google or enough people label your website as a security risk, Google will eventually flag it and make access to your site nearly impossible. While your website won’t crash in a traditional sense, anyone looking to open one of your pages will get an error code and a warning. Only after clicking through the warning and, depending on their browser, disabling several security features will they be able to access your site properly. Most people will not feel compelled to work through that, so never allow your website’s security to degrade! Continually update it, use reliable and trusted plugins, and make sure your coding and other website design elements are up to standard.
Dealing with the common reasons behind a website crash
Even if you are familiar with the most common reasons behind a website crash, they can be frustrating to deal with. It is very easy to panic and make matters worse or take forever to fix the problem. This is why it’s always best to test your site before adding new updates or pages. Every hosting provider lets you run a test version of your site, which people other than you don’t have access to. So, try to use your site, open every link, and check every feature before making it publicly available. It’s much easier to deal with errors that way!
Photo Credits in the order as the image appears in this article: