When the Coronavirus (COVID-19) Pandemic hit, the workplace was already in a battle between the traditional spaces and virtual environments. Now that the entire world is practicing social distancing, remote work is finally in the lead. But was the internet ready for it?
As teams of all shapes and sizes take up the worldwide web as their new office space, many wonder if the infrastructure can handle it. According to Forbes, some people have already experienced technical issues moving their teams online. Yet, overall, data networks and internet companies are prepared to keep the internet flowing worldwide.
How Cloud Data Servers Prepared for COVID-19
That’s all great news for those working from home or trying to homeschool their kids! What about those trying to keep a website up while it’s overloaded with traffic or giant teams coordinating on cloud services? There is good news there as well. Most major cloud servers are also prepared for the effects of the Pandemic.
Google has not only taken on the task of keeping their customers’ websites up and running, but they’re also trying to keep everyone safer while information runs wild.
“[Google is] Providing SOS Alerts in Google Search to connect people with the latest news and authoritative organizations, preventive tips from health authorities to help inform people on how to stay safe, and Search trends to track top queries and concerns about the virus.”
They’ve even released a document outlining how IT companies specifically can and mitigate their risk of exposure to Coronavirus and continue running.
When it comes to keeping Google’s cloud structure running and websites alive, they’re always well-positioned for an event like this. Earlier this week, all Google Service Partners received an email letting us know that they’re:
- Offering free access to advanced Hangouts Meet video-conferencing capabilities to all G Suite and G Suite for Education customers globally.
- Continuing to scale infrastructure to support greater demand, ensuring streamlined, reliable access to Google services throughout this period.
- Helping educators in our communities with dedicated distance learning tools and step-by-step tutorials for those affected by school closures.
While Google is continuing to scale their infrastructure to meet the new demands of the global population, the company was prepared beforehand. Materiell chose to become a Google Cloud Service Partner because of their high levels of security, preparedness for spikes in traffic, and solid infrastructure. This scenario is one of the many reasons to choose Google Cloud for an Enterprise website.
Another popular cloud-based server, Cloudflare, is also “watching carefully as Internet traffic patterns around the world alter as people alter their daily lives… Cloudflare’s network is well provisioned to handle significant spikes in traffic.” They haven’t seen, nor do they anticipate, any impact on their network’s performance, reliability, or security.
Many companies like this have what Cloudflare calls “Business Continuity Teams” (BCT) in place. A BCT’s job is to respond to a crisis, whether internal or external, that might disrupt essential services provided by the company if they don’t implement additional precautions. This team monitors and reports on a daily basis to make sure any site hosted on Cloudflare stays up and running no matter what.
At the same time, Cloudflare’s regular Customer Support Team is still working as they usually do to ensure people are notified if a site goes down. This is already a regular service for all Cloudflare customers.
Tips to Get Fast WordPress Support During COVID-19
Depending on your website’s setup, it could experience many kinds of issues over the coming weeks. If you find your site is affected in any way and you’re using WordPress, there are built-in tools to help you get started.
If your site isn’t totally down but experiencing issues…
Caching, plugin conflicts, or malicious code could all create issues on your WordPress website without taking it down completely.
Start with troubleshooting on your own website by taking the same steps as a WordPress Support Engineer. Doing this helps narrow down the problem much quicker, even if you can’t fix it.
Find your website information before you contact a WordPress support team or your website hosting provider. Provide it in your request for support to get a faster resolution.
To get information on your website, first install the “Health Check & Troubleshooting” plugin and then go to your Dashboard > Tools > Site Health. Switch to the Info tab and select “Copy site info to clipboard.”
If your site is completely down…
Recovery Mode was introduced in WordPress 5.2 to provide you with helpful tools to recover a site that is completely down. If your website is running on a lower version, this will not be available to you. Instead, you will see the infamous white screen that means your WordPress site is down.
In WordPress 5.2+ if your website goes down, it will display a message to your visitors letting them know there is an issue. Your site will also send the primary site administrator email address a notification with details on the outage and what caused it.
Send these details along with any request for support. If you haven’t yet updated your website to WordPress 5.2 or above, do so now in order to prepare your site for easy troubleshooting in advance.
After you’ve contacted the proper support team, they should respond within a few hours. If they don’t, look into alternatives to get your site up faster. You might consider a quick emergency migration to a new host or finding another developer to help you identify and fix the issue.
Assistance for Nonprofits and Higher Ed During the Pandemic
Materiell is also joining the effort to help the world function more efficiently online. We’re prepared for an increased need for support from our customers as well as those who might need emergency WordPress support or site migration.
We’re also offering up to three hours of development time at no charge for all nonprofit and higher education institutions. Please reach out to our team if you need guidance in changing your organization’s website to serve your students, nonprofit clients online or help migrating to a new host.
In order to ensure we give everyone the best quality of service, this offer is available for a limited number of organizations (until we reach max capacity).
No matter what kind of website you’re running, don’t panic. Your site may not have been prepared for Coronavirus, but the internet was. Tech companies of all kinds are here to support remote work, schooling, and social distancing.