How And Why Websites Suddenly Crash

Millions of websites make up the internet, but that doesn’t stop digital users from feeling immensely frustrated whenever their favorite webpage suddenly and unexpectedly crashes. Having a webpage suddenly collapse is a common experience in the modern world, yet few companies and IT experts have come up with adequate solutions to the problems which arise when web traffic suddenly rises.

Websites big and small both suffer from sudden and unexpected crashes. According to one news report from KIWA Radio, for instance, the local news source found itself unexpectedly beset by huge sums of web traffic that exceeded expectations and led the entire website to crash.

“Technicians at GoDaddy, our web hosting company, say the GoDaddy server the KIWA website uses was inadequate to support the large volume of internet traffic generated by KIWA listeners trying to view the Closures & Delays page of our site during Monday morning’s winter storm,” the stationed noted in a recent story. It’s not only relatively smaller news outlets and websites on the internet that face such difficulties, either, as even some of the largest companies in the world regularly face website crashes.

Costco lost millions in sales from a website crash that occurred earlier this year, for instance, demonstrating how even major corporations can suffer from serious setbacks due to the popularity of their webpages. When websites which normally get a few hundred viewers a day suddenly start getting thousands, the servers that host these websites become overworked and incapable of doing their jobs. According to the New York Post, Costco’s website remained down for about 16 hours and likely cost the company an estimated $11 million on sales given the holiday fervor of most consumers.

The company extended its Thanksgiving deals well into Black Friday, but smaller companies and websites may not have the financial resources to appease angry users after similar crashes who weren’t able to use their A2hosting promo code. This problem has been around for a few years, J. Crew’s website suffered from similar problems last year that cost hundreds of thousands – and it’s likely to linger well into the future barring a major technological revolution that drastically upends the internet infrastructure of the modern world.

Website crashes
Website crashes. Image by Tayeb MEZAHDIA from Pixabay Mar 05, 2018

Avoiding web crashes

Experts have some advice to give to businesses and individuals who deal with major amounts of unexpected web traffic, but the only surefire solution to website crashes usually involves buying more or better servers. Neverthelesswebsite operators can take certain steps like getting a content delivery network that bolsters a webpage’s loading time and helps deal with the immense strain many users will put on the servers.

Common safety tips also include backing up website data, as there’s no surefire way to deal with a crash – even companies like Amazon deal with website crashes, after all. By backing up data, experts note that this can prevent a webcrash from permanently ruining the site’s online presence.

With major companies and small businesses alike suffering from website crashes, it’s important for entrepreneurs and web browsers everywhere to understand what leads a website to crash, and above all else it’s usually excessive traffic that was unexpected and ill-prepared for.

Khuram Aziz
Khurram Aziz is a freelance writer based out of London, England.