Passive Sales: Why a Single Minute of Server Downtime Could Cost You a New Customer

When you gain customers – and by extension, profits – without exerting any special or concerted effort, this is called a passive sale. Your website is the best possible avenue to generate more passive revenue. You build an engaging site that’s easy to buy from, and let people who need you, find you.

It is these sales that make a huge difference when you’re between campaigns, or when your product or service isn’t relevant to a particular time or season. But beware: there is a real threat to your passive income, and it’s downtime.

What Causes Website Downtime? 

There are numerous reasons why your website goes down. Power outages, faulty power supply, and of course, attempted hackings and DDoS attacks. If you use WordPress, you may have a configuration problem, although this is often spotted pretty early on, if you’re paying attention.

Then we have what could be considered “good” downtime. You’re trending, or you’ve gone viral. Even the biggest social media platforms experience outages when everyone’s clamoring to view the same thing. If you never dreamed you’d exceed your bandwidth, it can be exhilarating.

Still, even then, it’s very stressful to know that you weren’t there when everyone needed you.

Finally, a major cause of website downtime is a web host that’s a cut below. If you’re not hosting in-house, you need to outsource to a company that is specifically committed to excellent uptime. If they don’t deliver, pack up and leave. If you stay, you’ll have to monitor your site constantly in the hopes that it’s up and the host is on top of any issues.

That’s the opposite of passive. 

The Huge Price of a Little Downtime  

Maybe you’re not swayed by passive sales. In this case, you should know that the impacts of regular downtime are pretty wide-ranging. Just a minute or two of downtime, if it occurs frequently enough, can affect your entire brand.

A person who visits your site and sees that it’s down isn’t likely to check back later. Before they’ve even seen what you have to offer, their impression of you is that you’re of poorer quality and preparedness than your competitor.

The same goes if there are certain pages on your site that load slowly. The idea that your audience is going to wait around for the big reveal is a bit naïve. You’re convinced that it’s worth the wait, but who’s around to convince them?

Moving forward, your rank in search results could be taken down a peg or two. As stated, letting downtime happen regularly means that eventually, a search engine is going to catch onto your lax appearance.

All of the above subtracts from your long-term bottom line. As you can now see, those passive sales are one piece of a much bigger puzzle.

Every website will experience a little downtime. The key to success is knowing the source of this downtime, and mitigating future occurrences. Your best course of action is to either protect your reputation by choosing a host that’s known for their reliability online, or look into website monitoring. There’s no telling how much you lose when you’re offline.