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I'm working on a system that is going to need some regularly scheduled maintenance for:

  • upgrades and releases
  • regular data migration and database maintenance

How should I determine how long these maintenance windows can be and how often they can occur?

For example, some data needs to be moved from the "recent transactions" database into the main database. The amount of data in the main database precludes updating the indexes in real time, so it has to be an offline process with downtime. Would it be better to do it daily for an hour, weekly for three hours, or monthly for eight hours? Each of those options is going to have an effect on users as well as SEO.

Similarly, if a release takes an hour, is it acceptable to do it every night, or should it be done less frequently?

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Isn't this dependent on how often these updates need to be made and how long it takes? But also, the thought occurs... if there are regular upgrades and DB maintenance reqd then maybe you should factor in some kind of static mirror that is able to serve a cached copy of the site in these "down" times? But maybe that would depend on your content and whether "out of date" content is useful or not? –  w3d Nov 18 '13 at 17:06

1 Answer 1

I think you really should look into a mirroring structure to perform this kind of work.

However, if you can't do this, the best way to decide when to perform this maintenance work would be to observe the hourly traffic on your web site so you will be able to figure out what is the best timeframe. Also try to determine most timeframes as possible, that way you will be able to choose the best option.

During this process keep in mind that downtime, even planned, will impact your SEO and may keep some users to comeback to your site. Also from a personal SEO experience more frequent down time will have a worst efect on the SEO than long downtime.

For more info you can look here:

http://customblogging.com/seomike/archives/seo-tips-tricks/handle-planned-time and here http://moz.com/blog/how-to-handle-downtime-during-site-maintenance

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