GoDaddy’s recent technical glitch regarding their Domain Name Servers (DNS) was estimated to have taken down the websites of millions of small, medium, and even some large businesses for a full day. In the past, only large businesses would have seen a financial impact from a website outage, but fast forward to today, and even the least technical small companies depend on the internet for at least a portion of their business.
How can you protect your business from extended website outage? We talked with the experts at HostingHQ to find some options. After a thorough discussion, we were able to vet out the best of their field-tested tips:
- Spread Your Risk – In outages like the GoDaddy one cited in the intro, some customers were able to continue working despite GoDaddy’s outage. How? Well, GoDaddy’s hosting wasn’t really down. The problem was with their DNS servers. Smart customers had spread their risk by hosting their websites with GoDaddy, but keeping their DNS records served up elsewhere.
- Enlist Experts – DNS outages are more frequently targeted by hackers these days. While there’s no seamless way that you can totally avoid being hit by this, a strong technical resource can ensure that any outage would be short lived. For example, one way that customers could have limited the GoDaddy damage would have been to set a long TTL (Time To Live) on their DNS host records. TTL is a setting that says how long the mapping of a hostname (mywebserver.com) to an IP address (22.214.171.124) can be cached. A setting of 2 days would have masked any outage from a large number of , but not all, customers. And, that’s just an example. Enlisting a real expert for some preventative planning will reap benefits in other ways as well.
- Consider the Cloud – The advent of “cloud computing” is finally maturing to the point were meaningful services are available at a low cost to even the smallest of companies. One such cloud offering that can help in an outage (and other ways as well) is CloudFlare. One of it’s main benefits is that it sits in-between the general web-surfing public and your website. If your webserver is down, it’s capable of serving up cached pages…and the person visiting your website will be able to get the information they need, despite the outage.