December 10, 2013
rosemary published this at 7:21 am
By Michelle Rebecca
Website crashes can be detrimental to a company’s operation. If your host goes down, your software fails or your internet provider encounters a problem, it is your business that suffers. When these situations occur you are no longer able to conduct e-business or to monitor your site’s feedback.
In order to decrease the impact of site crashes it is important to have an emergency response plan. Below is a list of tips for helping your organization navigate a site malfunction.
Investigate the Issue
Once you have been alerted to an issue with your website, the first step is to look for yourself. While a customer or employee may have encountered a problem with your website, this issue could be related to their network connection or a number of other external causes.
Accessing your website and attempting to navigate the pages will determine whether or not this is an actual issue with the website or simply a problem on someone else’s end. For instance, if you were to check your site’s XML management page and find that it was down, then you would know you have an internal problem to manage.
Once you’ve established that there is a real problem, you need to find out exactly what the issue is. This issue may be related to your website’s host, a programming error or a network problem. Identifying the cause for the site crash will allow you to make a plan for contacting the necessary individuals and getting your site back up as soon as possible.
You can determine whether or not a site has a programming error by checking the status bar at the bottom of the page as suggested by Smashing Magazine. If this bar reads “loaded” or “done” then you can be sure that the issue is not related to the site’s software or server.
On the other hand, the terms “waiting” or “connecting” designate that the problem is in fact a programming error. Having identified this problem, you now know to alert your tech team in order to locate the error in the coding for your site.
Web Server Software
If programming is not an issue, then web server software may be the culprit. By logging onto your website’s server you can determine whether the server has run out of space, run out of memory or whether there is another situation of that nature.
Also, when you log in, many servers take you to a control panel that may indicate the problem for you. As for disk space and memory concerns, there are a series of commands you can utilize while logged into your server to view available space as noted in Smashing Magazine’s article.
Hard Disk Space
By inputing “admin@server$ df” in the command line of your server its disk space allocation will be displayed. This will display your site’s file systems and the percentage to which they are currently being used. If this percentage is 100 percent then you’ve found your issue and need to free up some space.
Considering the small likelihood that your server’s hard disk space is taken up, you should proceed to check the memory. Utilizing the “free” command will allow you to view how much memory is currently in use. From there you can determine whether a particular piece of software is slowing down your server and proceed to solve the issue accordingly.
Getting to the bottom of a website issue can be a time consuming and stressful situation. Use the aforementioned steps and tips to help identify website problems and to determine how to solve them.