Remember how gravitational force pulls everything that goes up? These laws do not exclude websites too. It is estimated that websites are 0.5% more likely to have a 2 seconds downtime for every ten additional active users. It is essential to understand that these websites are made up of multiple web pages/resource which are available on a remote computer (hardware) and powered by an operating system among other software which is prone to many forms of error, making efficiency and availability of data less than 100%.
Facebook and Instagram appear to be partially down for many users around the world today, 03/13/2019 as at 7:00 PM EST making #Facebookdown trend massively on Twitter, making this outage the longest Facebook has ever experienced. It is unclear how long more this downtime will last, but currently, service had not yet been restored as of this writing.
Netscount’s engineer, Roland Dobbins, a renowned network performance engineer mentioned that the outage was due to an accidental network traffic jam between the cyberspace of a European internet company that collided with Facebook’s servers, mainly impacting Facebook as well as other resources hosted on these servers.
Some users of Whatsapp, a Facebook-owned cross-platform messaging application also reported delays and failure in sending texts and photos on the popular platform. Downdetector.com, a website status monitoring platform showed Facebook and Instagram blackouts in large portions of the world.
Is your website currently down too? Here are a few reasons why your website might be acting up as well as preventive measures to avert these technical discrepancies.
Hacks and Data Breach
Depending on the worth of data on the website, this is always the main reason attackers might be interested in taking down a targeted website. In less organized attackers, key user login accounts may be compromised for the intent of defacing, redirecting or deleting website pages. In more sophisticated attacks, threat actors are geared towards monetary gains and make use of advanced threat methods including malware and rootkits, ransomware or botnets to initiate a DDOS attack.
Website hosting service providers often have scheduled server maintenance which is usually scheduled to commence and end withing off-peak periods, which can vary based on website types. In most cases, hosting providers reserve the rights to communicate this procedure to users. Sadly, this might impact customer productivity and result in loss of income in the case of unresolved outages.
Human and Machine Errors
Everyday websites hire software developers to write codes and consistently improve the UI/UX. Discrepancies in human-machine interactions as a result of mis-coding, bugging, and non-specific error handling and validation methodologies can result in an umbrella of errors.
Since most servers housing these websites still utilize traditional CPU circuits with continually moving parts, hardware failure is unavoidably imminent. Creating a redundant environment for an automated backup/fail-safe fosters continuity and ensure service remain uninterruptible.
DNS Changes or Expirations
DNS or Domain Name Services updates typically results in a temporary delay. If a website changes it’s hosting service, the IP address, physical hosting servers, network traffic hops, name servers, among other identifiers change as well. A proactive measure towards this point is budgeting more for domain life span and staying up to date with provider updates, suspension, and expiry notifications.
Server Overloads occur due to enormous traffic accessing a website at a given time. This sudden spike in traffic is usually to ensure safety on both the ends of the hosting provider and the customer. Hosts allocate bandwidth based on a customer’s subscription plan which consumes back end resources. Customers want to uphold the availability of crucial data to ensure users revisit their website.
Websites like Pingdom.com, Isitdownrightnow.com and downdetector.com are handy tools to check website uptime and downtime history. Bearing in mind that most A-list websites will require more scheduled maintenance than websites with less active users, it is important to recall that web building platforms usually have vulnerabilities which might be susceptible to an exploitation or remain in it’s “zero-day” state for a period of time