Most web hosting providers provide some uptime guarantee as part of their overall marketing strategy to help promote their uptime performance and draw attention to their reliability. Usually, this guarantee claims that you’ll get some sort of compensation if you don’t get somewhere between 99% and 100% uptime.
Web hosting providers often advertise their guarantee as a percentage. However, you might be surprised to learn what these percentages really mean. In fact, even with a 99% uptime guarantee, you could still be looking at around 45 minutes of downtime each month, which could cost your business a great deal.
What’s the Right Amount of Downtime?
An acceptable amount of downtime for your web hosting service depends largely on whether or not your website actually makes you money. If you rely on your website for a revenue, then it could be possible to argue that any downtime whatsoever is too much. However, that might not be a realistic aim.
Unless you want to craft a load-balanced customized server from scratch, then you’re going to have to face the fact that a small amount of downtime is going to be unavoidable from time to time. However, that doesn’t mean that you should be struggling with downtime all of the time, or for long periods. Unfortunately, it’s worth noting that a more expensive provider or service isn’t always more reliable. For a totally reliable server, you’d need a load-balanced server, and even then, issues can sometimes lead to unexpected downtime.
What is Downtime?
A simple way to define downtime in the context of web hosting is as a time wherein your machine or computer simply isn’t working. However, it might not be quite as simple as that outline makes it seem. Web hosting providers often define downtime differently to its dictionary meaning, which is why it’s so important for companies to recognize that they shouldn’t be focusing entirely on downtime, but on overall performance.
In many cases, it’s not actually the fault of the web hosting provider that your website is slow. While we’re not going to cover all of the things that might be making your website slow here, we are going to highlight a couple of reasons that you might be facing problems, for instance:
- The number of external resources included on the website is too high. For instance, this might include third-party fonts and scripts.
- The number of queries that the website makes when loading pages is too high – plugins and bloated themes can worsen this problem.
- Your images haven’t been properly re-sized and optimized for the web.
If your website is optimized but it’s still sluggish, it’s natural to turn to your hosting provider for answers. If your website is mission critical, then it’s important to monitor for downtime, as this can help you to submit tickets for support as quickly as possible.
Remember, when you’re monitoring downtime, you should be:
- Examining your website, and setting your monitor to check for certain phrases or words that might cause problems.
- Monitor your network for content delivery in greater depth.
- Monitor all of your website pages, including your un-cached and cached pages.
- Monitor the uptime of your website and also your response times.
- Monitor the speed at which pages can load.
Uptime Guarantees are Ultimately Worthless
It’s important to remember that you won’t necessarily get great compensation, even if you navigate the various exclusions that stop you from accessing cash when your website is down. The truth is that time is money, and the level of compensation that’s offered by some web hosting providers to people who struggle with their uptime is often not worth seeking in the first place.
Additionally, you’ll need to consider your action should your web hosting provider continue to offer you on-going problems in your service and uptime. The truth is that, unfortunately, though they might appear useful on the surface, these guarantees for uptime are ultimately worthless.
The best way that you can make sure that you’re avoiding as much downtime as possible, is to choose your web hosting provider with care and attention. Look for someone who has a proven track record regarding reliability, and the infrastructure in place to make sure that if things do go wrong, they can be dealt with in a manner that’s fast and efficient.