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12 Ways To Minimize Downtime In Web Development

Gabriela Crothers  /  November 23, 2021  /  ,
12 Ways To Minimize Downtime In Web Development

Software problems, service maintenance, hardware failures, DDoS attacks, and DNS issues are just some of the issues that can cause website downtime. While you would like your site to avoid downtime altogether, it is virtually impossible. What is possible, however, is minimizing that downtime.

We brought in the experts to advise you on the ways you can do just that;

1. Increasing the Effectiveness of Software Deployments

Additionally, your software deployment approach can have an effect on downtime. If your deployment process needs numerous manual stages or is overly difficult in any way, your production environment is likely to lag significantly behind your development environment. This can result in more dangerous software releases since each deployment becomes a considerably larger collection of changes with a greater possibility for failure. 

This results in bugs that hinder development and may result in the unintended deployment of degraded or unavailable services. While smoothing out your deployments will require some upfront time and planning, developing a strategy that automates the workflow of code integration, testing, and deployment will ultimately result in a production environment that more closely matches development — with more frequent deployments and fewer complications between releases. 

Sudhir Khatwani, Founder and Editor of The Money Mongers

2. Continuous Monitoring And Evaluation

Continuously monitor the infrastructure's actions to avoid any downtime. Keep an eye out for any impending issues that you can address before calamity strikes. Close monitoring and evaluation can also help pinpoint the source of any previous downtime. Record and combine all statistics of system resource use metrics from your applications for proper monitoring. 

Any changes in these statistics can alert you to possible issues to help you figure out how to avoid downtime. All metrics and information are collected in a report on a central server and made available for alerting, graphing, and finding solutions. 

Graphite and Prometheus are two monitoring software tools that can be used for this. When attempting to reduce downtime, the most important metrics to track are traffic, latency, saturation, and errors.

Darshan Somashekar, Founder & CEO at Freecell Challenge

3. Creating a High Availability Environment

One final technique for avoiding downtime is to implement the high availability idea throughout your infrastructure. The term high availability encompasses several design ideas for redundant and resilient systems. Typically, these systems must: 

4. Single Points of Failure Must Be Eliminated

This is typically accomplished through the use of numerous redundant servers or redundant containerized services. Additionally, the concept of extending infrastructure across numerous data centers in multiple regions is being considered. The extent to which you eliminate these bottlenecks will rely on your tolerance for expense and complexity, as well as the organization's and users' needs. Not all services, for example, will require multiple load balancers and automatic failover between regions. 

5. Redirect Traffic Without Effort

To minimize downtime, traffic between servers must be terminated quickly and without affecting service.

6. Detect the Redundant Systems' Health

To assist in determining when to reroute traffic, the system must be capable of determining when a service is down.

Gerrid Smith, CEO & Founder of Property Tax Loan Pros

7. Web Performance Monitoring

Performance monitors do more than send and receive requests since they send and receive responses using real browsers like Chrome and Internet Explorer. The checkpoints do more than just looking for problem messages in the response; they also load it into a browser. Following that, the page's scripts and contents load into the browser, allowing subsequent requests to fire. Each page element's performance is checked by the monitor. 

For easy scrutiny, a monitoring service offers a visual report in the form of a waterfall chart. Waterfall reports simplify root-cause analysis by identifying ineffective content (third-party or native) and reporting on front- and back-end performance for each element. 

Darshan Somashekar, Founder & CEO at Spider Solitaire Challenge

8. Keep An Eye On Bandwidth

It's a good idea to keep track of how much bandwidth your visitors use. It could be legal traffic, but it could also be traffic from bad bots if an unusually large amount of bandwidth is being used. Comment spam bots are a common problem, and while they can be avoided by disabling or requiring comment moderation if they manage to post successfully, they can inundate a site, slowing it down. 

Even after comments have been disabled, they frequently continue to bombard a site. DDoS assaults have become more common and sophisticated in recent years, with enormous botnets being utilized to flood sites with traffic, bringing down some high-profile sites. When it comes to DDoS and spambots, prevention is better than cure. A content delivery network (CDN) is a tried and tested solution to both concerns if it is a suitable fit for your site and is affordable.

David Wurst, Owner and CEO at Webcitz

9. Uptime Monitoring

Uptime monitoring, also known as availability monitoring or website monitoring, is a sort of synthetic monitoring that sends requests, pings, and connects to websites and servers over a network of computers (checkpoints). The response codes and response times are checked by these basic monitors, which then transmit the results to the monitoring service.

The monitoring service may provide an alert if an error occurs or if the answer takes longer than expected, or it may validate the error from another checkpoint before sounding the alarms. 

Sarah Jameson, Marketing Director of Green Building Elements

10. Maintenance Strategy That Has Been Planned

A failsafe planned maintenance strategy is one of the finest methods for any business to prepare for downtime. This requires a strong foundation of maintenance standards and suggestions for resolving maintenance issues. Every business should have sufficient equipment to develop long-term strategies for the enterprise and to allow for routine maintenance. Additionally, it is critical to establish a complete maintenance organization design and plan, as well as the necessary systems control documentation.

Here are a few strategies to guarantee your organization has an effective maintenance policy. 

To reduce machine failures, we eliminate redundant servers and containerized services. Distribute your infrastructure across multiple geographies and data centers while you're at it. Reduce or eliminate traffic between servers, ensuring minimal service interruption. 

Conduct regular reviews to identify any redundant systems and determine whether they are still capable of providing adequate service. If not, redirect traffic away from these services until you can ascertain why they are underperforming.

Expand your infrastructure by upgrading your servers from a single webserver to several web servers. If a load balancer is used, the update will not divert traffic to failing web servers, as the load balancer performs regular checks to detect which web servers are healthy and which are failing.

Adam Fard, Founder & Head Of Design Adam Fard' UX Agency 

11. Update CMSs with Care

It's essential to keep your content management system up to date if your website employs one; keeping your CMS up to date with the newest version is one of the most crucial things you can take to avoid leaving your site open to exploits. Automated CMS upgrades, on the other hand, are a common source of website downtime — incompatibilities of new versions with plugins and themes are known to be an issue and can knock a website down.

As a result, it's ideal to plan upgrades for off-peak times and be present when they occur, and always be prepared to roll back to the previous working version if problems arise.

Steve Pogson, Founder & E-commerce Strategy Lead at FirstPier

12. Avoid Poor Hosting

Poor hosting is the most common cause of downtime; it's easy to fix by changing to a better host, and while moving a website might be a hassle, it's worth it if your site is experiencing regular downtime. Traditional shared servers, despite their low cost, are vulnerable to downtime, whereas private servers and cloud servers with self-healing technology can maintain uptime 24 hours a day, seven days a week if properly managed. 

An SLA should be used by a good web host to guarantee uptime (service level agreement). However, percentages can be deceiving; a guarantee of 99 percent uptime may appear to be a good deal at first, but it actually allows for nearly 7 hours of downtime per month! Aim for a 99.99 percent uptime guarantee at the very least, and find out what happens if the guarantee isn't met. 

Jason McMahon, Digital Strategist of Bambrick

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