When Shopify is down, as an ecommerce company owner who depends on the Shopify platform, it’s frustrating. However, it’s also critical to realize why Shopify experiences downtime and what to do when it happens.
Shopify, like any website or web-based service, is powered by web servers — which are essentially powerful computers. All servers, like any other computer, can go down for a variety of reasons at any time.
Servers aren’t the only “link” in the chain that provides a website or web service with power.
Web servers are generally kept in data centers, which require electricity, data connections, and other resources to keep operating and linked to the internet.
It’s important to remember that while a Shopify website may seem to be in good working order, there are always elements of the system that can break down.
As with all complex systems, even the most robust server setup will have flaws and malfunctions — and even though these are unlikely to cause significant disruption, they may lead to downtime.
Common Reasons for Shopify Down
Here are some of the most common reasons why your store might be down and what you can do about it.
- Shopify Website is Down. If your business is down or closed, make sure it’s not due to a problem with the site. If you are using Shopify, the store may be unavailable for maintenance or more serious reasons. They’ll usually notify you in advance if it’s the latter. If it’s the latter, check with a service like IsItDownRightNow or DownDetector to see what their status is.
- Your Domain is Unverified. If you just started a new business and it isn’t performing as expected, it’s possible that your email address for the store does not correspond to the one linked to your domain. If you’re adding a new Shopify store, you’ll need to guarantee that you own the domain before Shopify releases it from review, so double-check your data and have access to your website c-panel to make any required modifications.
- Accidental Deletion. If you just updated your store, added new items, collections, or pages, it’s conceivable that you’ve deleted a file or code that your page needs in order to operate. In this situation, you’d have to start from the beginning and restore from a backup. Shopify Backup and Restore is a fully hosted backup solution that takes care of the rest. You always have a clean copy of your store to back up from because it runs in the background.
- Failed CSV Uploads. It’s not unusual for bulk uploads from a CSV file to result in mistakes. If something goes wrong while uploading the file, it typically shuts everything down. That’s why before posting any CSV files, it’s a good idea to run a backup.
- Incompatible Apps or Themes. Third-party applications on the Shopify app store are fantastic, but they don’t always work well with certain themes and/or other apps. If you’re utilizing an older theme, it might cause compatibility issues that affect your site’s functionality or failure. The first step is to recover from a backup. Then you may proceed to do the required updates so that you can make full use of Shopify’s apps and other sophisticated capabilities.
How do find it when Shopify Down?
The first indication that something is wrong is that you can’t access your Shopify store, log in to the Shopify admin, or either of them is operating slowly or erratically.
The “We’ll be back soon” error page is the ultimate indication of a problem.
All of these indicators are likely indications that something is wrong — but the “official” indication that something is wrong is usually found on the Shopify status page.
Shopify Status Pages are generally hosted on a distinct server from Shopify, so if Shopify goes down, the status page is unlikely to be affected.
You can also subscribe to be notified as soon as anything is recorded.
However, there are a few things to keep in mind when viewing the status page:
- Shopify may not be aware of an issue that has just begun, so everything appears to be A-OK but there may still be a problem.
- There’s also the possibility that Shopify has been notified of the issue and is working to notify customers.
- Because of the nature of their software, Shopify can be unpredictable when it comes to how they handle issues that arise. When a problem occurs, they generally try to resolve it as soon as possible, so while an alert may appear on the status page, it may not provide much information.
- It’s also worth noting that the Shopify status page provides a breakdown of various features and functionality. Because Shopify’s servers are so big, it’s conceivable that only certain features will be hampered — for example, while the admins are down, storefronts are up, or vice versa.
- Finally, it’s worth noting that, in a twist of irony, the status page itself is hosted on a server, thus it could be down at any time.
You don’t see any changes on the status page (or can’t reach it), check out Shopify’s official social media accounts or, last resort, contact Shopify support.
If Shopify is down, you may expect to wait a long time for assistance.
Now having trouble viewing the status page or social media sites, try visiting a few other websites to see whether they load. If not, there could be an issue with your computer or internet service provider at your home level.
What isn’t working: Staring at your computer’s refresh button nonstop.
Consider it this way: There are probably hundreds of other store owners all around the world doing the same thing, which equals a huge number of frustration and time lost — not to mention potential hindrance.
When things aren’t truly ‘down,’ they’re just resting.
Shopify may also go down for other reasons.
The air quotes in that phrase are deliberate; they’re there for a reason because these issues aren’t technically “downtime” as we know it.
In terms of web servers and hosting technology, “downtime” generally implies difficulties with the server itself.
However, because Shopify also includes a layer of both themes and applications that extend or improve online stores, these two features can cause problems.
Even if Shopify isn’t down, your store may have major issues and effectively cease operating completely or partially — even if you’re not aware of it. Some common examples:
- The URLs don’t display properly, are unformatted, or have unusual layouts.
- Your storefront pages are no longer clickable.
- Some elements may provide unexpected side effects or no results at all when clicked.
- Customers are unable to add anything to the cart or finish transactions.
Unfortunately, these sorts of difficulties are most likely to be triggered by Shopify theme modifications or applications.
Regrettably, resolving them usually entails restoring a backup, uninstalling applications, hiring someone for sophisticated diagnosis, or utilizing one of our other Shopify “emergency” recommendations.
Shopify down … now what?
Relax and take a deep breath first.
While Shopify outages can result in sales loss, they’re typically resolved rather rapidly, so hopefully, you’ll be back up and taking orders soon.
It’s possible that taking a short break during downtime might be beneficial. Take a stroll, have some lunch, or get some more coffee for the road.
After that, return after 10 or 15 minutes to see what’s new. You’ll probably discover that your business is up and running again, or at the very least learn more about the problem so you can prepare.
When a service is down, many consumers take to social media to express their annoyance — which is understandable.
It’s also simple to point the finger at Shopify for outages and their consequences on your company.
Shopify, on the other hand, does not want to suffer a service outage. Keep in mind that Shopify strives to avoid outages; they are very serious about it.
Consider this: Shopify doesn’t profit in the least from downtime. In fact, just as it does for your company, it creates difficulties for Shopify.
Shopify, however, has recognized that problems are unavoidable, and while they’ve invested time and money in preventing them, they also have strategies in place to address them as soon as feasible.
While it’s natural to be irritated by downtime, there are several advantages to having Shopify handle the technical aspect of your company.
Shopify, for example, has specialists who work around the clock to prevent a variety of potential problems every day — most of which never result in any evident issues.
What to do when Shopify down?
Assuming Shopify isn’t working for you for any number of reasons, here’s a quick rundown of things you can do without Shopify (we’re not including anything that requires access to other online services since outages frequently impact numerous tech firms):
- Brainstorm: Taking a few deep breaths and allowing yourself to get lost in your thoughts doesn’t require any extra energy, but some of the greatest business decisions or ideas may stem from doing so. If you need to think out loud, do it (we won’t criticize). It may be beneficial not to have the interference of a computer or smartphone at times.
- Use this time to consider how you might improve your company model so that you can afford to lose a few orders now and then when there’s a technical problem.
- In a nutshell, your aim should be to establish a firm that will not suffer too much if your business goes down for an extended period of time.
- Organize or clean your workstation, warehouse, storage, or other working spaces if they don’t need access to Shopify.
- Use the time to consider ahead. Take out a calendar (even a printed one will do!) and jot down notes about holidays and events coming up, as well as ideas, plans, and to-dos.
- Consider keeping your employees on the job and holding a brainstorming or “town hall” session to talk about how things are going in business and come up with new ideas if you have many workers who need access to Shopify.
- Finally, downtime is also an excellent opportunity to spend some time away from your business and with your family, friends, pets, or simply taking some time for yourself.
Unfortunately, you’ll probably never find out who attempted to place transactions on your site during the outage or how many sales you lost.
While this is certainly distressing, keep the following things in mind:
- There’s always a chance the consumer will return once again, particularly if your items or services are unusual and your sales pitch effective.
- There will always be times when your small company is unavailable to serve clients, and this is especially true of those who are self-employed.
- Downtime may occur for a variety of reasons, including power outages, credit card terminals, as well as much more serious events like fires.
- When running a business, it’s critical to have a strategy in place for any number of reasons. Keep some money on hand so that you may still fulfill your obligations even if sales fall short.
Here are several of the reasons why your Shopify shop may be down.
Several are beyond your control, and others are honest blunders that can be readily addressed if you have a backup.
AdNabu Backup and Restore App for Shopify and Shopify Plus is a simple, cost-effective method to safeguard your store.
You’ll be up and running in minutes if your business goes down, minimizing downtime while allowing you to sleep better at night.