The Real Numbers Behind Website Downtime

When it comes to website uptime, we are all given numbers that look something like 99.9 or 99.8 percent. The fact of the matter is, those numbers really don't mean anything. All those numbers indicate is the amount of unplanned downtime a webhost experiences during the year. The real numbers, the ones you rarely see published, are the ones you need to get your head wrapped around. Here are a few things you probably didn't know about website downtime figures and statistics.

How Prevalent is Downtime and How Much Has it Cost?

Just how serious is the downtime problem? And hasn't it gotten better now that companies are mostly operating in the "cloud"? The truth is that downtime is much more prevalent than people realize. Statistics indicate that about three-fourths of all businesses online have experienced severe service interruptions in the past five years, and those interruptions have resulted in a collective $70 million loss. According to Dun & Bradstreet, about 60 percent of Fortune 500 companies experience at least 1.5 hours of downtime each and every week. While the exact figures would vary depending on the business and the industry the business was in, if you assume that these companies employ thousands of individuals with an average pay of $56 per hour including benefits, the downtime is costing these companies $6.5 million per hour. That's coming right off the bottom line, making downtime a more serious concern than even the most fierce industry competition.

How Much Downtime Can You Really Expect?

A hosting provider boasts uptime of 99.9 percent, but as we said before, that is only taking unplanned downtime into consideration. If you really want to get an accurate picture of downtime, you have to take planned downtime into account as well. On average, a quality hosting provider actually only offers an uptime rate of 93 percent. That's quite a big difference. Not add your own self-inflicted downtime into the picture and you see how serious downtime become. You need to do everything you can to minimize it. That means putting quality website monitoring into place so you can see exactly how much downtime you site is experiencing and you can get on top of issues the moment they arise.