How Data Center Power Failure Can Affect Your WordPress Site?

Oct 14, 2016

How Data Center Power Failure Can Affect Your WordPress Site?

Oct 14, 2016

The competitive hosting space and the increasing cost of downtime all mean that having your WordPress site down is becoming more and more expensive. A web host’s success and your WordPress site’s uptime are dependent on having reliable power supply and power backup.


Your website's uptime and your web host's success depends on a reliable power supply and power backup.


Nowadays, when power supply and data centers are the topics in focus, it is generally around the increasing demand for storage space, increase in power consumption by data centers, and thereby increase in carbon footprint, etc. This over and above the fact that data center hardware has gotten more efficient so have their operations.

However, WordPress site owners also have a parallel and pressing issue at hand. Data centers usually boast of 99% uptime or 100% uptime. This is because they are usually aware of the cost to site owners due to downtime. The data on cost of downtime is growing all the time and not only are business owners becoming increasingly aware of this point; so are web hosting services. Hence, the promises.

Apart from this, frequent downtime and delays in page loading cause users to forego purchases they would have otherwise made. This goes for the percentage of people willing to engage with your brand online as well. As a result your company’s online reputation takes a hit.

Although many factors go into delivering good WordPress hosting, it is dependent on having reliable power supply and power backup. This is because power supply is key to not only powering the servers but also the cooling systems that regulate temperature and security systems in the data center.

Power supply in a data center has to power

  • Servers
  • Air handlers / Cooling / Heating
  • Generators & UPS system(backup)
  • Lighting
  • Fire suppression system
  • Alarm system

While each of these components have their own set issues and failure rates, we won’t even get to that discussion without power supply and backup.

Parts of a WordPress hosting center’s power supply and power backup which can go wrong:

Power Supply

  • Power generator
  • Backup power generator

Power Backup

  • UPS
  • Batteries

The reason for a backup generator is obviously redundancy. Having a backup helps, in case the power supply fails. In addition to this, hosting providers have a power backup system with UPS.

Power outages can happen due to a myriad of reasons- from the expected, to the less probable ones.

  • Bad/Outdated hardware
  • Expired battery
  • Insufficient cooling
  • Natural Disasters & Accidents
  • UPS failure during maintenance
  • Not performing power failure tests

There is a need to perform regular checks to not only ensure that the hardware is in good condition but also that the system is functioning as expected.

Testing Power Backup Systems

Usually power backup needs to be able to power the entire data center when it is off grid or completely unplugged. It may take several hours before power supply is restored. Also, power backup needs to kick in as soon as power supply is down. Testing if the infrastructure in place is capable of this is important.

The boxes to Tick

Making sure the batteries are functional and charged is important. Batteries have a shelf life and a limited life cycle. They need to be replaced periodically. This comes under maintenance and good hosting providers always run these tests to make sure that the hardware and software in place to control these systems are functioning as expected rather find it out as a surprise during power outage. This means that testing the power backup system by simulating power outage.

Performing checks after maintenance or after replacing batteries also takes care of any loose connections or hardware issues that may have occurred during maintenance.

From maintenance errors to failures, accidents and natural disasters. You can’t discount any factor and must be prepared for all contingencies.

Failures: A simple hardware failure like a generator fan can trigger a power outage. When the generator is Amazon’s then clients Hootsuite, Quora and Pinterest experience difficulties. No data center is too big a name or too small in size to avoid experiencing issues with its power supply. It is good to be prepared.

Natural Disasters: Natural disasters almost always cause power outage. In the aftermath of Hurricane Sandy,  Peer1 employees had to form a human chain to carry fuel up 18 flights of stairs to their generators in order to keep the power on and ensure that the data center is up and running.

Accident: In another case a series of perfectly aligned coincidences resulted in an accident which knocked out Rackspace power generators costing the company 3.5 million dollars in refunds and its clients were left experiencing unexpected downtime for hours. (link to natural disasters and accidents)

Backup Your WordPress Site

The competitive hosting space and the increasing cost of downtime all mean that having your WordPress site down is becoming more and more unaffordable. Apart from just money, it can affect your reputation, SEO (Google Rankings), and increase drop off rates. This is the reason you will need to rely on WordPress backups with best practices, like BlogVault, to reduce dependency on your web host as well mitigate costs occurring from when your WordPress site goes down.

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