When you purchase any WordPress host, they usually promise 99.9% uptime. But is this number correct? Are you sure that your website is online and running 99.9% of the time?
I have hosted websites with many companies before, and I can tell you that this 99.9% claim is not real for many companies. So, please don’t take their word for it.
You must know your website’s uptime and downtime for yourself to act based on your situation.
In this article, I’ll explain what WordPress uptime and downtime are and how to monitor them.
Let’s dive right in.
Uptime is the time your website is online and operating well. Your visitors can explore the website and purchase your products without any issues.
Downtime is when your website goes offline, and your visitors can’t access it.
What can cause WordPress downtime?
There are many reasons that can make your website goes offline, for example:
A sudden increase in the website traffic.
Each hosting plan has specific server limits, and it can handle a certain amount of visitors. If the traffic reaches the limit, the website will be down for some time.
Some hosting companies offer auto-scaling functionality to handle increased traffic at extra cost.
Bad hosting server
Maybe the issue is not with the traffic, but it is because of your server. Some hosting companies use old hardware or outdated software, and your website will be the victim.
Bad plugins or themes
The server may be ok, and the traffic is at its regular rate, but one PHP error in a plugin or a theme can make your website inaccessible.
Why you need to monitor your WordPress uptime
You see, getting good traffic to your WordPress website is not easy these days. SEO is getting hard day after day, and social media websites like Facebook and Twitter do not want you to promote your website for free.
So, you spend precious time marketing your website and improving it for search engines to gain visitors. And of course, you need to keep your visitors loyal to you. If your website is unavailable often, you will lose your valuable visitors.
Losing visitors means losing everything for an online business.
To put it in simple words: during downtime, you get zero visitors, zero ad revenue, zero sales, and a bad reputation.
Downtime is your website’s enemy; this is why fixing these outages is critical to your business.
How to monitor WordPress uptime
There are many services and plugins – free and premium – that you can use to monitor your website’s uptime. I will not list all of these options here. Instead, I’ll list some of the most well-known services that can monitor your WordPress website uptime for FREE.
Uptime Robot is a freemium service. It has a free plan that checks your website every 5 minutes. It also gives you the ability to track 50 websites.
And the good news is, this is not a plugin, so you don’t have to install anything on your website.
All you have to do is to sign up for a free account and add your website as a monitor.
Uptime Robot will send you an email when your website is offline.
Premium plans start at $15 per month and have SMS and voice call notifications.
DownNotifier is also a freemium tool that can monitor your website uptime. The free plan allows you to monitor five websites and checks the website every 10 minutes.
It will send you an email if the website is down.
If you need more websites, SSL monitoring, and more frequency, they have plans starting at $14.95 per year. The lowest plan will monitor your website every 1 minute.
Like Uptime Robot, this is a cloud service; no plugins are needed.
Almost everybody who uses WordPress knows JetPack. It is a multi-module plugin by Automattic, the company behind wordpress.com and WooCommerce.
This plugin does a lot of different things. Its free version offers Downtime monitoring. It will email you if the website is down and send you another email if the website is back online.
JetPack is a huge plugin. If you use it already, then you can make use of its downtime monitoring feature. You can find it under the security tab -> Downtime monitoring.
If you don’t use JetPack, don’t install it just for this feature. It is a heavy plugin. You can use one of the other services above.
Orbit Fox by ThemeIsle
Orbit Fox is another multi-module plugin for WordPress. It has a social sharing module, Gutenberg blocks, Google Analytics integration, Menu icons, and uptime monitor. The plugin is entirely free.
The uptime monitor feature will send you an email when your website is down.
What to do if your WordPress website is down
You need to know exactly what to do if your WordPress website goes down. Here are some steps to follow:
1. Make sure the website is down for everyone!
You need to make sure that the website is actually down for everyone, not just you! You can do that using this free tool, add your website’s URL and click “Analyze Website.”
If it shows that the website is down, move to the next step.
If it shows that the website is up and running, then it is from your end!
First, clear your browser cache or try another browser then, clear your DNS cache. If the issue remains, try to access your website using a VPN.
If you can access the website using VPN, this means one of two things:
Your hosting company or your security plugin blocked your IP address.
Or, your ISP blocked your website!
You will need to reach out to both to verify and fix this issue.
2. Restore a recent backup
If the website went down immediately after installing or updating plugins or themes, this could be why.
So, access the files of your website via FTP and remove these faulty plugins or themes.
If this doesn’t work, restore a recent backup and check again.
3. Contact your hosting provider
If the website remains down no matter what, contact your hosting company immediately without wasting any time. They should be able to help if the issue is server related.
If you have reached the traffic limit set by your company, you may consider upgrading the plan.
4. Move to a new hosting provider
If the issue keeps happening, again and again, it’s time to change your hosting provider. There are many good WordPress hosting companies out there. If I recommend any, I will recommend SiteGround, Kinsta & WpEngine.
Monitoring your website’s uptime is a critical part of securing your brand. Downtimes will make you lose visitors and money, and you must take it seriously.
Now, let me know in the comments below, have you experienced downtimes before? What did you do about it?