Uptime is the amount of time a server has been up and running. This is usually listed as a percentage, such as “99.9% uptime”. Uptime is a great measure of how good a hosting provider is at keeping their systems up and running. If a hosting provider has a high percentage of uptime, that means their servers stay up and so any website you host with them should stay up and running as well. Since web pages cannot keep customers if they are down, uptime is very important. uptime in web hosting
Issues with ranking a web host in uptime
The biggest problem with ranking a host on its uptime is that you usually don’t have a way to independently verify it. If the host says they have 99.9% uptime, you should take their word for it.
But there’s more to it than that. Uptime is almost always defined as a percentage of time. But a percentage of how long? If Joe Blos Web Hosting has a 99% uptime, that means they have a 1% downtime. Over the course of a week, it would take 1 hour, 40 minutes and 48 seconds for the server to be down. On average over a year this would mean your server would be down for up to 87.36 hours per year or more than 3 days. Three days doesn’t seem like a lot until you’re not making any sales on the site and you’re getting calls from the vice president (or worse, the CEO). And frantic calls usually start after 3 hours, not 3 days.
Uptime percentages are misleading. 99% uptime sounds great, but it can mean a 3-day break every year. Here are some mathematical explanations of uptimes:
- 98% uptime = 28.8 minutes/day or 3.4 hours/week or 14.4 hours/month or 7.3 days/year
- 99% uptime = 14.4 minutes/day or 1.7 hours/week or 7.2 hours/month or 3.65 days/year
- 99.5% uptime = 7.2 minutes/day or 0.84 hours/week or 3.6 hours/month or 1.83 days/year
- 99.9% uptime = 1.44 minutes/day or 0.17 hours/week or 0.72 hours/month or 8.8 hours/year
Another way to think about uptime is how much it will cost when the server goes down. And all servers periodically crash. If your site generates $1,000 a month, a host with 98% uptime can reduce your profits by $20 a month or as much as $240 a year. And that’s just in lost sales. If your customers or search engines start thinking your site is unreliable, they will stop coming back and the $1,000 a month will start to drop. uptime in web hosting
When you are choosing your web hosting provider , see uptime guarantees, we only recommend a company that offers a guaranteed uptime of 99.5% or higher. Most offer at least 99% guaranteed uptime.
Uptime guarantees can also be misleading
Uptime guarantees are often not what you think. Unless your hosting agreement is very different from every other hosting agreement we’ve seen, the uptime guarantee works something like this:
We guarantee that if your site is down for more than 3.6 hours per month on unscheduled outages, we will refund the cost of hosting for the time you have reported and they have verified that your site has gone down.
Let’s break this down:
- How long was the downtime? – We already know that 3.6 hours per month is 99% uptime. So any amount of time your site is below that amount of time is within the 1% outage rate they guarantee. In other words, if your site is down for 3.5 hours in a month, that’s pretty bad. uptime in web hosting
- Unscheduled Outages – Your hosting service may call you something else, but what that means is that if they tell you that they are going to perform a server refresh next weekend and your site will be down for 72 hours, that’s not is covered by the uptime guarantee. Most hosts don’t shut down their sites for more than 4 hours at a time, but issues can occur and depending upon your hosting contract, even longer-than-expected maintenance outages will not affect your guaranteed uptime.
- Refund the cost of hosting – this is the important part. If your site earns $1,000 a month in sales and is down for 4 hours, you’ve lost $5.56. Most hosting packages cost around $10-20 per month. Then they will refund you between 6 and 12 cents.
- You reporting the outage – Many uptime guarantees only refund your money if you report the outage. And then they only refund you for the time you noticed your site was down. This is good if you have monitoring systems to let you know the minute your site goes down and up again. But most of us don’t, so you won’t be reimbursed for the total outage if you don’t know how long it actually lasted.
Other uptime issues
Software vs. Hardware
Uptime is a reflection of how long the machine running your site stays up and running. But that machine could be up and running and your website down. If you are not maintaining the web server software (and other software like PHP and databases) for your website, you should make sure your hosting contract includes guarantees for the runtime of the software as well as hardware. activity time. uptime in web hosting
Who caused the problem?
If you did something to your website that broke it, it will almost never be covered by an uptime guarantee.
If you’ve determined that your site went down through no fault of your own, and it was hardware crashing rather than software (or software was covered in your contract), it might be difficult to get your refund. Most hosting providers have a lot of hurdles that they want you to go through to claim a refund. They’re probably waiting for you to decide that the amount of effort involved isn’t worth the 12 cents you’ll get. uptime in web hosting
Uptime is still important
Make no mistake, having a hosting provider that guarantees uptime is much better than one that doesn’t. But don’t assume that if a provider guarantees 99.9999999999999999999999% uptime, your site will never go down. What is more likely means that if your site goes down, you will be reimbursed for the cost of hosting during the downtime.