What is an Acceptable Downtime for Websites?

Now-a-days, downtime has become major topic of interest for all website owners. Companies that largely depend on websites for business take many possible measures to avoid downtime issues but to their disappointment at least once or twice in an year they come across unexpected outages. Zero downtime is fairly rare for websites because for some reason or the other the site will have interruption in its service. No matter whether the site is on cloud or with a typical traditional host, it has to go through scheduled periods of planned downtime for upgrade and maintenance. Planned downtime is somewhat manageable because it is notified before, and the owners will have time to prepare their sites for downtime event. But the real problem is with sudden or unexpected website outages. Unfortunately, if the site is stuck with a bad or poor quality host then unexpected downtime issues become quite common for websites. That means the site experiences more than its fair share of downtime. 

What Amount of Downtime is Unacceptable?

There is no standard answer for this because it depends on the uptime of the website. Not all web hosts provide percentage uptime agreed on the service contract. It is important to remember no website hosting service provides 100% uptime on the long run. Some services boast high uptime numbers upfront to get the customers but in reality they fail to meet those numbers. This is not the problem with only traditional web hosting providers. Even the low quality cloud hosting services disappoint their customers with bad uptime numbers due to poor bandwidth, low connectivity, and other server issues. Uptime percentage close to 99% is also considered as low because it will account for significant amount of downtime when calculated for month or year. So, if the web host doesn't deliver even that uptime percentage, then the downtime becomes unacceptable.

How to Assess web Host Uptime Percentage?

The uptime guarantees of hosting providers are not usually the same. Some may promise 99% while others may differ with small percentages. Site owners cannot rely on their uptime rates because the actual site uptime may differ. To determine whether or not the percentage of uptime offered by the hosting service is acceptable, it is essential to have tool or service that can verify their numbers. Website monitoring service with uptime monitoring is most helpful in checking the instances of downtime and calculating the real website uptime percentages. Their uptime calculation is different from the web hosts because they consider the downtime minutes against the total number of minutes the site is monitored. 

For instance if the site experiences 20 minutes (1200 seconds) of downtime in a day (24 hours or 86,400 seconds), then the downtime percentage is calculated as (1200/86400) * 100 = 1.38%. The uptime percentage for the website is 100% - 1.38% (downtime percentage) = 98.61%. The uptime number of web site monitoring service will help site owners assess the service of hosting providers and determine exactly how much downtime their site is facing in a particular period. By comparing uptime percentages of web host & monitoring service, site owners can determine whether the hosting service is delivering the promised uptime numbers. If there is a wide difference, it means the site is going down for longer periods which are not covered in their uptime guarantee.