Website Availability and Performance
Availability and Reliability
A website should always be available and contain up-to-date information. As well as putting any editorial processes in place to ensure that content is reliably and regularly updated, it is also important to monitor the availability of a website and that all links on a site, both internal and external, are working.
Monitoring both that the server is running and that the website is available should be at least hourly and links checked at least once a week.
Planning downtime and relaunches
It is occasionally necessary to take a website offline for technical or other reasons. Such downtime must be as brief (less than 24 hours) as possible and preferably during a quiet time for the website. Relaunches must be planned with minimal disruption in mind and should be completed within an hour. Bayer’s sophisticated centralized domain name management service makes it easy to configure transfers from one server to another.
During downtime it is sensible either to place an informatory notice with a specific date and time when the website will return if known, or to redirect to another website. The web itself is timeless so notices like “we’ll be back again shortly” are unhelpful.
Many website owners assume that more and more fancy functionality gains the most customers. But in the world of instant updates, same-day delivery and high customer expectations site visitors are not accustomed to waiting long for anything. Research shows that how long it takes to load a website makes a difference as to whether a user will stay. As a rule of thumb, customers won't wait more than 4 seconds for a page to load.
Website optimization for performance
When developing your website you should take care to design and program for performance for all your users. For example, having mobile responsiveness in mind, serve different image sizes for different network speeds, and preload content. In addition, some search engines also take website performance into consideration when ranking sites within search results.