How to reach your audience when your website goes down


With so many publishing platforms and social networks available, there's no reason for a news organization to go dark when its website is down. But it must have a good plan in advance.

In a column for, Jeff Sonderman outlined:

10 steps to take before an outage:

  • Decide what services you will use.
  • Assign individual responsibility and authority.
  • Set up the site and accounts in advance.
  • Consider keeping your backup sites or accounts private.
  • Customize temporary sites with your logo and design style.
  • Add social sharing buttons, if needed.
  • Add an analytics tracking code.
  • Include a prominent notice to readers informing them of what happened to your normal site and why they have been redirected to the temporary one.
  • Link to the last available cached version of your normal site via Google search.
  • Train the staff.

And, four keys during the outage:

  • Forward your traffic.
  • Notify people through whatever channels you can.
  • Repost recent news.
  • Remember to cover your own outage.

Read the full column here.

poynter, website, jeff-sonderman
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