4 Things Your Web Host Doesn’t Want You to Know About Downtime

When it comes to selecting a web host, many companies look for hosts that offer uptime guarantees of 99 percent or better. What they don’t realize is that the guarantees offered by web hosting companies are often worth little more than the paper the guarantee would be written on if they were actually indeed written on paper. Before you choose a website host based on the uptime they advertise and guarantee, there are a few things you need to know.

1. A Web Host Can’t Really Guarantee Anything

In a perfect world web hosts would indeed be able to guarantee the consistent uptime of your website. Unfortunately we don’t live in a perfect world. In the real world, the world in which we all live, nothing is guaranteed. Things happen. Natural disasters. Power outages. Server errors. Software issues. There are things that are beyond a web host’s control that may result in website downtime, even if a guarantee is in place.

2. Website Uptime of 99 Percent Isn’t That Great

When looking for a web host, you’re likely looking for one that offers website uptime of at least 99 percent. If you do the math, however, you’ll soon realize that even 99 percent uptime isn’t that great. If a webhost were to actually achieve an uptime ratio of 99 percent, that means your website would still be down for more than 87 hours each year. If each hour of downtime costs your company $1,000, that’s more than $87,000 in lost revenue. Before accepting a website uptime guarantee, make sure you actually know what it is that you are accepting.

3. The Guarantee Doesn’t Really Guarantee Much

Whenever a website offers an uptime guarantee, they aren’t guaranteeing that they are going to cover any revenue lost by your site due to website downtime. What they are guaranteeing is that if your site is down due to unplanned downtime (the key word being “unplanned”) for a duration extending the amount of time they have guaranteed to, they will reimburse you for the amount of downtime based on the cost of your web hosting package. This means that if you do qualify for a refund, it’s likely going to be only pennies or dollars. It isn’t going to cover the amount of money your site lost due to the downtime.

4. The Guarantee Usually Only Applies to Unplanned Downtime

As mentioned above, when web hosts guarantee a percentage of uptime, the guarantee only protects you from unplanned downtime. You can’t include planned downtime, such as downtime that occurs due to maintenance, in the equation when you are calculating whether or not you may qualify for a refund due to extended periods of downtime. This means your host could technically take your site down for 24 hours or more due to planned downtime and you wouldn’t be entitled to any compensation. Because of this, it is imperative that you choose a web host based on the host’s reliability and reputation. A guarantee alone isn’t enough to protect your site from downtime. You should also ensure that you are utilizing your website monitoring service to calculate exactly how much downtime your site is experiencing so you can decide whether or not it’s time to move your site to a better, more reliable host.