4 Things You Might Not Know about Hosting and Downtime

When it comes to shopping for a web host, you look for things like the uptime ratings they publish and the amount of uptime they guarantee. After all, you know your site can't afford to lose profits and downtime equates to lost profits. When you are considering your hosting plan and your hosting provider, however, there are some factors that you may not have taken into consideration when choosing your plan. Before you decide on a plan or sit tight thinking you have the plan that is right for you, here are some things to consider about web hosting and website downtime.

1. Those Uptime Statistics Don't Include Planned Maintenance

You were promised an uptime rate of 99.9 percent. So why is your site going down once a month? Well, what your web host failed to mention is that planned downtime due to maintenance wasn't included in that uptime rate. The only thing they are including in that 99.9 percent number is unplanned downtime. So if your hosting company doesn't plan maintenance properly and your site goes down because of it, they don't really consider it their problem.

2. You Need to Do the Math

Your site's uptime is not actually 99.9 percent, even if that is what your web host advertises. What your site's downtime actually is, is a total of your site's own downtime (caused by you), planned downtime (caused by your host), and unplanned downtime (that 0.01 percent they advertise). So when calculating downtime, you need to get a look at the big picture. Not just the unplanned number that the hosting company throws at you.

3. Realize that 99.8 Percent is Double the Downtime of 99.9 Percent

When shopping for a hosting provider, you may go with a cheaper one that offers 99.8 percent downtime rather than a more-expensive 99.9 percent downtime hosting company. What you don't realize when you are making that choice is that 99.8 percent means double the downtime your site would experience with a 99.9 percent provider. If you go with a hosting provider that offers 99.9 percent uptime, that equates to about 9 hours of unplanned downtime per year. That number jumps to 18 hours with a provider that offers 99.8 percent uptime.

4. Other Sites May Impact Your Downtime

Hosts that offer unlimited shared hosting plans seem like a great idea and a great deal, until you realize that other sites on the server are affecting the uptime and performance of your site. If a host offers unlimited bandwidth on a shared server, you really don't know how many other sites are sharing that server with you, and you don't know how many resources those sites are sucking up. If those sites are putting heavy loads on your site's server, your downtime is going to go up. You're better off with specific amounts of allocated bandwidth or a dedicated server.