The internet is a very valuable resource for businesses all around the world. It gives them a chance to reach out to their target audience for all kinds of reasons, including to physically make sales and enhance brand recognition and following. With so many benefits on offer it is not surprising that the losses when there are issues are just as large. This was highlighted in a recent study by the Brookings Institute.
The report issued following completion of the research looked at the physical cost of internet shutdowns in 19 countries across the world between July 2015 and June 2016. The most headline grabbing figure is that India lost close to $1 billion as a result of the internet being shut down. This huge sum was accumulated following approximately 70 days of services being off.
Saudi Arabia ranked second in the research with around half of India’s losses. Other countries such as Morocco, Iraq, Brazil and Turkey all found their way on to the list.
There are a number of reasons the internet is switched off in a country. It can come at the request of the police or state government following criminal activity or during violent situations. The latter has happened a number of times in countries over the last year following civil unrest. Sadly the response can result in big economic losses.
The study highlights the extreme costs of a lack of internet service. The cost to individual businesses can be just as high, potentially putting them at risk of not being able to survive. Every time a website is offline it can translate to lost income that could be the difference between staying afloat and going out of business.
The leading cause of website downtime is server errors caused as a result of issues with the hosting provider. The best way to overcome this problem is to choose a reliable provider and opt for dedicated hosting. By doing this rather than putting your website on a shared server you avoid having to share bandwidth and should avoid any fluctuations.
Another thing to keep on top of is the status of the domain name itself. Domains need to be renewed periodically to ensure you retain control over them. If allowed to expire other buyers can move in and purchase your domain name, replacing your website with whatever they like. For your security you should ensure you keep an eye on relevant dates and complete renewals in a timely manner.
If you want to give your website the best chance of performing and delivering the rewards you require you need to ensure it stays online for as long as possible. Ideally you want the absolute minimum downtime, only having the site offline if you are doing essential maintenance or updates.
Sadly you can’t do anything about authorities turning the internet off but you can ensure you choose the right hosting, keep your domain renewed, and schedule maintenance effectively.