When Your Website is Down, do You Have a Backup Plan?

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I talk to more people who groan, “I don’t want to be on social media for my business!’.

Fine then, don’t be for the following reasons: it’s free, it’s great branding for your business, it doesn’t have to be time consuming, it’s fabulous for SEO (search engine optimization) and it’s a great way to connect with customers and clients.

Put aside those reasons for a minute and think about what you would do if you depend on your website to bring you business. Whether you sell products on line, you’re a restaurant or lodging facility, or you just have it to be on online billboard for who you are, what you do and how to contact you.

Think, for just a minute. Really think, just ONE minute how important is your website to your business.

A few days ago BlueHost, HostGator, JustHost and HostMonster (all owned by Endurance International Group and on the same date center), were all knocked off line. Hosting was down for many thousands of businesses for more then 8 hours. People were (and still are) having major meltdowns about it. Fingers were pointed, hosting was switched to other companies and complaints are still abounding.

While people are understandably annoyed with the companies, I want to point out that you will NEVER have 100% uptime hosting on your website. Uptime basically meaning your site is online and visible to the public.

While an outage of that length is a huge issue, many of the big hosting companies have themselves had major outages within the last year. Godaddy one of the more recent ones which took offline thousand of domains.

And that brings us to reason #1 why you should at least have a presence on either Facebook or Google+.

So in your moment of thought about what would you do if your website is offline for extended periods of time, did you also consider that if you send and receive email through your domain (i.e. your website) (depending on how it’s set up) you may have no email?

Both Facebook business pages and Google+ business pages come up on page one of web search when people are looking for businesses, some times they come up listed before an actual business website does.

If a customer wants or needs to connect with you, give them an alternative way to contact and communicate with you.

Some ways Facebook and/or Google+ can assist your business if your site is offline.

  1. Listing phone number(s) where your customers can reach you. If your site is offline so is your contact information, unless they can find it elsewhere online (and it may not necessarily be correct elsewhere).
  2. If your regular email is knocked offline it takes only a minute to set up a Gmail (or other online account) and then put a post on your social media giving people an alternative way to connect with you if needed by email. If you only have one phone line it may be tied up at that point and the quickest way to annoy customers and potential customers is to not let them have a contact outlet.
  3. If you have products to sell or reservations to take, Both Facebook and Google+ lets you upload multiple photos and have multiple photo albums. Descriptions of the photos can also contain links to e-commerce storefronts and/or reservations systems.
  4. Having a presence online gives you the ability to update customers on the status of when your site will be back up.
  5. And this is probably the most important reason to be on social media, while a website being down may not effect a service business like a contractor or drycleaner as much as it may effect a retailer or a hotel, if a consumer/customer/client can not find you, they will go elsewhere for business.

About Heather Turner

Innkeeping Tip and Tricks: Please check out some marketing ideas for Inns and B&Bs, Blogging ideas, Facebook Tips and Social Media Tutorials https://chefforfeng.wordpress.com/marketing-for-lodging-resources/
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2 Responses to When Your Website is Down, do You Have a Backup Plan?

  1. Dr RWP says:

    A very interesting post ! However it seems to me that some small businesses may now even be using social media as their primary means of internet communication – and neglecting e-mail as a result !

  2. I had never considered this, but I tried a search for our business by name and found the top results on Google were:
    1. Our English language website
    2. Our French language website (separately hosted, don’t put all eggs in one basket!)
    3. Tripadvisor (pretty useless as it doesn’t give our phone number etc.)
    4. Our Facebook Page
    And alongside those, on the right of the results page, our Google Local Maps listing.

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