Clients and potential clients always have two expectations: that your website will be accessible, functional, and fast – and that you’ll be able to give them excellent service, immediately, for rock-bottom prices. That second expectation was one I learned of quite early on… I remember my dad drawing out a triangle on a paper napkin and explaining that while his remodeling clients wanted all three sides, the hard truth is that they could only pick two sides at once. All these years later, I haven’t figured out a way to give clients all three sides of that triangle at once. But I have learned that you can have a website that has accessibility, function and speed all at once – and having all three of those has never been more important. Your website is the first point of contact between you and the world at large, and having a website that is offline, is impossible to easily navigate or is loading too slowly can severely impact your reputation and your bottom line. Most people understand that a product or service can’t be all three sides of that triangle – but very few people will tolerate a website that doesn’t hit all three of those requirements.
Even website developers aren’t immune to website performance issues
Because I personally monitor BIPI’s own website – one of the perks of doing this for all our clients – I noticed recently that the site was experiencing outages twice a day for 15 minutes at a time, and sometimes for over an hour. That much downtime is unacceptable for anyone’s website, but it especially important for us – we are in the website business! I called our hosting service, A2 hosting, because this kind of performance was very unusual for them. Their excellent support team explained that they were in the process of re-routing their client sites through different servers to accommodate an unexpected uptick in traffic to the server where our site is hosted — traffic that nothing to do with the BIPI website but that had the potential to slow load times for the BIPI site and every other site on that server. While our site was in their queue to be moved to a server with less traffic, it would have been another couple weeks before it was moved had it not been for me reaching out to them. Because I contacted them with my complaint, I was able to get the BIPI site (and all the other files that are on the BIPI server – WordPress sites under construction, small HTML sites, email signature graphics) moved to a different server much quicker than would have happened had I just waited my turn.
Website performance issues are an everyday occurrence
What happened with BIPI’s site isn’t unusual. Site loadtime and uptime can be affected by a whole raft of things: software, domain issues, content size, server traffic. Without regular monitoring, the availability of your website could be severely limited or nonexistent without you even knowing. Downtime as low as 4% can be devastating for your business if potential clients can’t see your product offering, services, or contact information by visiting your website. There is nothing more embarrassing than having a satisfied client recommend your services, only to find out that when they went to your website, your website wouldn’t load.
What happened to our site this past September is a great example of why we even started offering site monitoring services as a part of our WordPress website care packages. Sure, there are a lot of other bells and whistles that are valuable in their own right, but the site monitoring part of our plans enable you to focus on what you do best – trying valiantly to give your customers & clients all three sides of that triangle – without having to worry about whether your website is up and running at its optimal speed.