Is WordPress Website Down?

Sometimes WordPress just crashes...

Whether it’s the WordPress.com site or your own WordPress self-hosted website, sometimes it might go offline and if it does, you’d like to know about it! If you’re sure it’s down, then you’ll want to get WordPress working as soon as possible.

But how can you tell for sure if it’s down? Oftentimes there are issues that are just on your local machine such as lack of internet, caching issues, and more. It could even be a regional issue.

So how do you know if a WordPress site is down?

There are a few ways we can check! Here are some of my favorites.

1. Check using downforeveryoneorjustme.com

This brilliant website is in every web designer’s back pocket. If a client says their site is down and it looks online to us, this is the first place we send them.

 

This screen shot shows the site downforeveryoneorjustme.com checking to see if WordPress.com is offline

To use it, simply navigate to their home page and enter in the URL of the site you are checking. So for instance, if you were checking if WordPress.com was offline (and that would mean the admin of your own WordPress.com site would also be offline), you would go there and enter in wordpress.com and press enter.

And then… Boom! You get your answer. It’s rarely wrong! Though it can get confused if you have other issues on your site. For example, if it’s loading very slowly, it might tell you that it’s offline even though it’s not.

2. Check using a proxy server

You can use a proxy right in your browser with no addons to see your website using a different IP. Just go to any proxy server (I like proxysite.com) and enter in your URL. Viola! You should be seeing your site the same way others do.

This site will let you view your site (or any site) with a different IP address

However, this method isn’t as good because it doesn’t eliminate many of the local variables. You’re still using the same device, the same internet connection, the same cache (potentially) as well as a host of other problems.

In conclusion, this method can sometimes prove that the site is NOT down for everyone, but it can’t always prove that it is.

3. Use a Monitoring Service

Uptime Robot dashboard

UptimeRobot is a great way to be absolutely certain a site is up or down, and also gives you piece of mind knowing that you’ll be alerted if something happens.

You can use a monitoring service to proactively alert you if your website is down. I actually have mine set up with all my clients’ sites (as part of our hosting) to send me text messages every time a website goes down. That way you can track down issues immediately and solve them.

Most of the good monitoring tools are good at making sure the site really is down. I have yet to have a single false-positive! We use UptimeRobot and it’s worked pretty well for us in the 3+ years we’ve been using it.

But how can you prevent WordPress from going down to begin with?

Now you’re asking the right questions! An ounce of prevention is worth… Many ounces of having to rack your brain fixing something. If your site is down, head over to our help page where we can guide you to getting it right back up.

But if it’s not, let’s do some things to make sure it stays up! Here are the top ways.

1. Keep your plugin, theme, and core files updated

Using outdated files is the surest way to causing a conflict, or worse. You’re basically inviting malicious hackers in to your site wreak havoc. And trust me, you don’t want to have to remove a hack yourself.

Make sure you go through at least monthly and keep everything updated. If you use premium plugins or themes, make sure you check to make sure they are the most recent version because WordPress won’t always tell you.

If you know you can’t or won’t do it, consider hiring a pro to keep on top of it.

2. Use quality hosting

Godaddy may have sucked you in with their “unlimited everything for $5/month” plan, but that doesn’t mean you should stick with them.

The problem is, the performance is simply not good with those plans. Your site is not meant to run that slowly, trust me. Better hosting will be much faster, and in many cases your uptime will be significantly greater. Especially if you’ve had the same hosting plan for more than a few years.

Quality hosting costs more. But honestly, not even that much more. Odds are you are paying 2-3x as much for your cell phone each month as you would for premium WordPress hosting, which you can have for as little as about $21/month.

3. Work with a professional website company to audit or manage your site

WordPress can be complicated, we get it. And I know the tendency for beginners is to simply keep installing plugins for every piece of functionality under the sun, but you’ll want to resist that urge.

Too many plugins can bog down your site and greatly increase the risk of something breaking. A pro can look through and tell you where there might be problems!

Just make sure they are a Certified WordPress ConsultantĀ© otherwise they may not know what they’re doing.

…Just kidding, that’s not a thing.

Hopefully you now know whether your site is offline or not, and I hope I’ve also helped you get it back online and prevented this from happening again. If this was helpful to you, subscribe to our newsletter for more tips every business owner should know.

About Brian Johnson

Brian Johnson is a website developer and designer living in Minneapolis, Minnesota with a passion for code and WordPress. He spends his days building WordPress websites for small businesses, developing new code with the online community, and living life.

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