I've seen too many posts about major website disasters that could have been averted (or minimized) with a little proactive planning. For many people, these lessons have been learned the hard way. Hopefully, this post can prevent others from suffering the same fate. Monitoring & Alerting Site availability is critical to both users and crawlers. A website owner should be the first to know there is a problem with their site. You don't want to find out your site has been down all night, or get an email from an angry user about the extended downtime. The solution? Free web monitoring tools. There are quite a few free website monitoring tools out there. Ideally, you want to setup a website monitor that can email or SMS alert you within minutes of encountering site problems. It is helpful to use a monitoring service outside of your hosting provider in case you hosting provider suffers network downtime that would prevent it from contacting you. Furthermore, you will want to use a website monitoring service that scans for keywords. This is very useful for detecting if/when your site has been hacked/redirected. A simple ping-monitor will not notify you if your site has been redirected. Here are a couple free web monitoring sites I have used: Montastic UptimeRobot The ability to quickly respond to availability issues can prevent a disaster. Having a website down all night, even if no users are impacted, can greatly diminish crawler access and subsequent SERPs. Off-site Backups A bad code release, plugins-gone-wild or hackers can easily destroy a website to the point where backups are required. Often times, backups are stored locally, by the hosting provider. However, the hosting provider will only retain backups for a limited amount of time. Furthermore, the hosting provider may be unwilling or unable to restore the backups. Sometimes problems go undetected long enough that there are no valid backups. This disaster could be minimized if the website owner had configured their systems to automatically send backups off-site where they could be retained and protected for a much longer period of time. There are quite a few free solutions for this. Better WP Security Plugin Security and automated backups sent via email Wordpress Backup to Dropbox Send your backups to the cloud Setting these two systems up is free and easy. When you need them or use them, you will be -really- glad you took the time to do it. Enjoy!