If in any system, there is a single point of failure, the whole system will stop working if that single point breaks. When a system fails, it will not perform the intended task optimally or as intended.
Let’s say you drive to work and there is no other way for you to get to work. If your car breaks down, that is a single point of failure. Engines in a flight can be a single point of failure and that is the reason, commercial planes have a backup engine.
It is easy to see a system can have more than one single point of failure. When any one of these points fails the system fails. For example, in a house of cards, there are more than one single point of failure.
How does the concept of single point of failure apply to websites?
Websites are a ‘system’ and like any other system, websites can also have single points of failure. For sake of example, say your server goes down, that is a single point of failure for your website.
The server going down is an obvious example of a single point of failure. However, I want to explore some single points of failure for a website that are less obvious. These are present in many websites, even in successful website. Since these types of single points of failures are less obvious, they get ignored. But the impact is the same; the system fails to perform as intended.
To identify single points of failure in your website you have to first define the purpose of your site. If you have setup a page to sell an ebook, the purpose of the page is to sell the ebook. Anything that reduces the changes of someone buying that ebook is a single point of failure for your system.
- So what are these single points of failure for a website?
- Why some website fails even if they seem to think they are doing everything right?
- Why some of these single points of failure are not obvious?
- How to identify them, fix them and avoid them going forward?
In the coming posts, I will try to explore and bring to your attention some of the single points of failures and how you can avoid them. I hope you will learn some things about how to make a website form this series of posts.
While we are in the process of exploring these single point of failures, I want you to share with me and other readers in comments, your experience of single point of failure for your website. I will reply to your comments.