Disaster! Your site is down. Does this ever worry you? Downtime can be a big concern for any site, but Twitter could help minimise your downtime. I explain why this makes it so important to secure your site’s name on Twitter.

Twitter seems to be a site that people are divided over. I’ve met people who love it and I’ve met people who hate it. But whatever your feelings about it you should consider the enormous benefits it could have for your website.

Why make an account for your site?

If a Twitter user notices a problem on your site but can’t contact you there for some reason they may attempt to find you on Twitter. If they succeed they can alert you to the problem and hopefully you will learn of the issue faster than you may have otherwise.

However, if they can’t find you by your site’s name they may look no further. Even if someone wants to be helpful, not many people will want to waste time searching for your Twitter account.

Choosing the username

The best thing to go with is your domain minus the top level domain (e.g. for “arteki.com” I have “arteki” on Twitter)

If ever I want to contact someone about their site Twitter is now usually the first place I try if I can’t do so through the site. Of course, Twitter isn’t always an appropriate means of communication, for example I wouldn’t use Twitter to send someone a DMCA notice, but it should do well for most issues.

How does all this help with downtime?

There are many reasons your site could go down. Some problems can be resolved quickly, but you have to know about them first. These could include:

  • Bandwidth exceeded
  • Site has been hacked
  • Any bad configurations you made but didn’t notice (e.g. due to caching)

You can’t be expected to be watching your site for errors 24/7, so you may well check Twitter more often than your site (especially if you have Twitter hard-wired to your brain). If someone alerted you to any of the above issues you could most likely resolve them before you would have next checked your site.

Unfortunately, if the problem is that your host is down, you knowing about it isn’t likely to help, unless your host hasn’t noticed the server has gone down (in which case you may well want to think about changing hosts).

As for bad server configurations, you knowing sooner means you can contact your hosts to find out what they changed, if anything, and you may be able to get them to resolve it quicker than it otherwise would have been. That does, however, entirely depend on what they changed and how it has affected your site.

Other reasons to grab your site’s name

There are plenty of reasons, but here are my top 5 other reasons to secure your site’s name on Twitter:

  • Alert people about new content
  • Networking
  • Protect your brand
  • Encourage others to retweet your links
  • You never know what you might be able to use it for in the future

Your experiences

Have you already set up an account for your site on Twitter? Is your site’s name taken? Has anyone used it to contact you about site issues?

Please leave a comment with your thoughts on this.

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