Shopify can be a frustrating platform for ecommerce businesses. However, Shopify downtime is not uncommon and it is important to know how to fix it.
Shopify, like any other website or web-based service, runs on web servers. These are fancy computers. Just like any other computer, servers can be down at any time.
The server is not the only link in the chain that powers a website or web service.
Web servers are usually housed in data centres, which rely on electricity, data line and other utilities and services to keep them up and running.
Shopify, as most tech companies, has designed a robust server system with failsafes and redundancies. However, it’s possible for things to go wrong that could cause downtime.
Determining if there is a problem
If you don’t see your Shopify shop, you may have a problem. Log in to Shopify admin and you will find out if either one is not working properly.
The “We’ll Be Back Soon” error page is the ultimate indicator that something is wrong.
These signals could indicate a problem. However, the Shopify status page is the most reliable place to find the official word.
The page is “live” on a separate server like most status pages for Shopify services. This means that it won’t go down if Shopify goes down.
You can subscribe to receive updates so you know when something is logged.
There are however some things to keep in mind when you check the status page.
- Shopify might not have noticed that you’ve encountered an issue, so Shopify might not know about it. However, everything is listed as “A-OK”, but it could still be a problem.
- Shopify may have been alerted to the problem, but they are still trying to spread the word.
- Shopify will generally acknowledge that there is an issue as soon as possible. This means that they may post an alert on the status page but it might not include much detail.
- The Shopify status page gives a breakdown of different features and functionality. Due to the sheer scale of Shopify’s servers it is possible that certain features may go down. For example, admins may be down sometimes but storefronts remain up.
- It’s also important to mention that the status page is stored on a server, which could lead to it being taken down.
Shopify support can be reached if you don’t see any updates or can’t reach the status page.
Remember that Shopify may experience an outage and you will need to wait longer for assistance.
It is worth noting that you might have trouble viewing your status page or social media pages. Try checking other sites to check if they are accessible. If you are having trouble viewing the status page or social media pages, it could be an issue with your internet provider or computer at the local level.
It’s not efficient to sit in front of your computer and hit the refresh button repeatedly.
It’s possible to think of it as: There could be thousands of store owners doing the exact same thing around the globe. This not only leads to frustration and wasted time, but can also hinder any efforts to solve the problem.
“Down” is not actually “down”
Shopify may also go “down” for other reasons.
These air quotes are not technically “downtime” as they are not technically.
Hosting technology and web servers are often referred to as “downtime”. This refers to problems with the server.
Shopify has a layer of themes and apps that enhance or add to online stores. These components can cause problems.
It’s possible for your shop to experience major problems and cease functioning entirely or partially, even though Shopify isn’t down. Some common examples:
- Pages begin appearing blank, unformatted, or with strange layouts.
- The links to your store pages no longer work.
- Unexpected results can be caused by clicking certain features, or none at all.
- Customers cannot add items to their carts or complete checkouts.
These issues are often caused by Shopify theme customizations and apps.
Sometimes, they require restoring a backup or uninstalling apps. You can also hire someone to help you troubleshoot the problem.
Shopify is down…now what?
Take a deep, slow breath and then relax.
Shopify outages can cause online stores to lose sales, but they are usually fixed quickly so you’ll be able to take orders again soon.
You might consider using downtime to “hint” and take a short break. You can take a walk, grab something to eat, or get more coffee.
You can then come back in 10 to 15 minutes to see the results. You will likely find your store back online or have more information so that you can plan for the future.
Social media is often used by users to vent their frustrations when services go down. This is a natural response.
Shopify can also be blamed for outages that affect your business.
Shopify does not want outages to occur, and they do everything possible to prevent them.
It doesn’t help Shopify at all. Shopify actually faces the same challenges as your business when it is down.
Shopify, however, has realized that problems are inevitable. They have spent time and money to prevent them but also have plans to address them as soon as they occur.
Keep in mind, however, that while downtime can be frustrating, Shopify has many advantages.
Shopify is one of the many tech companies that have professionals who are available around-the-clock to prevent potential problems. Most of these issues never cause any visible issues.
What should I do?
If Shopify isn’t working for you due to any number of reasons, we have a list of things that you can do without Shopify. We also exclude anything that requires access via the web because outages sometimes affect more than one tech company.
- Brainstorming: It doesn’t require any other power than your mind power. But, some of the most successful business decisions and ideas can be made by taking deep breaths and allowing your mind to wander. If you feel the need, we won’t judge. Sometimes, it can be helpful to not have a distraction like a mobile phone or computer.
- If you are concerned about losing revenue from downtime, you can use this time to work on improving your business model to be able to take a few orders when it happens. Your goal is to create a business that will not take a large hit if your store goes down from time to time.
- You can tackle a task that does not require Shopify access, such as cleaning out your warehouse, storage or desk.
- Plan ahead. Use a calendar, even a printed one, to plan ahead. Look ahead to the holidays and other events and create a list of ideas, strategies, and things you need to do.
- Consider allowing multiple employees to access Shopify.
- Last but not least, downtime can be a great opportunity to take some time off your business, with your family, friends, or just for you.
It’s unlikely that you will ever find out who placed orders on your site during downtime, or how many sales were lost.
This can be disappointing and costly for your bottom line. But, these are some things to keep in mind.
- There’s always the chance that a customer will return to you for a second time, especially if your products and services are exceptional and your sales pitch is solid.
- Businesses are all subject to “downtime”, which can cause them to lose sales. This could be an outage of electricity, power or credit cards terminals or POS or something more serious like a fire.
- It is important to be prepared for unexpected drops in revenue when you run a business. You should have some cash saved so that you can meet your expenses even when orders are not fulfilled.