Factors That Affect Your Web Host’s Downtime
Why is downtime important when you are searching for the right web hosting partner for you and your site? Downtime represents the amount of time that users or customers may not be able to access your site due to technical reasons.
This means that you may have lost a sale, additional information building or may have cut an actual purchase in the middle of a transaction.
But you also have to realize that not all servers can be up 100% of the time. There are maintenance upgrades and unavoidable hiccups that may happen along the way. You have to understand what goes on when there is a downtime and what is the acceptable rate for you and your service so that you can easily and accurately assess the value of a web hosting package.
What is a downtime?
Downtime is when your server cannot be accessed. It can be for a number of different reasons such as:
- Technical glitches like a server hanging, having capacity and traffic problems
- Internet connection from your site to the server problems
- Maintenance upgrades like the web host is improving the hardware that your server is using
- Unauthorized access and restarts
- Hacking attempts from external parties
And many more reasons. It can be an earthquake that affected the data center. You can understand now that there are possibly thousands of reasons why a server can temporarily go down but the more important thing is that the host should get it up in the fastest possible time.
Most hosts will emphasize their uptime ratio – the number of times that they are up and running in a year.
For example, if they claim that they are up 99.9% of the time, this means that they are up for the whole week except for a maximum of 10 minutes. Not too bad, right? But for a banking institution, this 10 minutes a week may happen during high traffic, not necessarily during off-peak hours like at 2am.
What is an acceptable downtime rate?
This really depends on what type of service you are running. For example if you are a mommy blogger that posts updates everyday but does not have to be accessible 24/7 to your readers, then a 99.9% uptime (or 10 minutes per week downtime) may be acceptable already.
But if you are a site that involves heavy buy and sell activities or heavy traffic from thousands of users, or if you host multiple multimedia files, then 99.9% is actually bad.
Other factors in choosing a good web host
Apart from the downtime, here are the other factors that you should think about before you settle with a particular web host:
- Cost of the package – can you afford the monthly rates?
- Terms of the package – some hosts charge 1 year in advance
- Other features that are crucial to you web operations such as shopping cart support, support for WordPress, stats generator for your data traffic
- cPanel support for those who are used to using this admin panel