How Much Does Each Episode of Website Downtime Cost Your Business?

Almost every single professional who runs a website knows that website downtime equates to lost profits, but the per-minute cost of downtime varies greatly from one business to the next. While it seems like calculating the cost of downtime would be a rather simple and straightforward task, the calculation isn’t as simple as it appears to be on the surface. Before you can decide how much each minute of downtime is costing your company, there are a number of variables that you need to take into consideration.

Impact on Sales

For a significant number of websites, downtime equates to lost sales. Those lost sales are what online businesses usually focus on when it comes to calculating the cost of website downtime. However, lost sales are only a part of the equation, even if they are an important part. To determine how much an episode of downtime costs in terms of lost sales, you need to figure out what the average profits-per-minute are during the timeframe in which the downtime occurred. For example, downtime at three in the afternoon is likely going to lose you more sales than downtime that occurs at three in the morning. To determine how much an episode of downtime has cost you, you need to average the sales that were lost during that downtime, but that is not the only number that you need in order to get the entire picture.

Damage to Your Site’s Reputation

Chances are that you have invested at least some money into building your brand’s image online. When downtime is severe enough to damage that reputation, you need to figure out how much it is going to cost your company to repair your brand’s image and add that in to the cost of the downtime.

Wasted Marketing Money

If you have pay-per-click campaigns running or other similar marketing efforts in place, you need to determine how much money was spent on that marketing while you were experiencing website downtime. Since the marketing dollars were essentially thrown out the window since no one could access your site when they clicked an advertisement or PPC link, the money spent on the marketing during that downtime also needs to be added to the total cost.

The Cost of Repair

Finally, you need to figure out how much it cost your company to get your website back online. The cost of fixing the website is also one of the costs of downtime that is oftentimes overlooked, but can also be quite substantial.

Figuring Out the Cost and Protecting Your Profits

Once you have taken the above information into consideration and have determined how much money your last few bouts of downtime cost your business, you may want to begin thinking about ways to minimize your website’s downtime. One of the best ways to minimize downtime is by partnering with a quality third-party website monitoring service. A website monitoring service will not only monitor the uptime of your website, but will also monitor your site’s performance. Not only does this reduce the amount of time your site is down (because you can get to work sooner to get your site back online when you find out about downtime faster), but a website monitoring service can also alert you of problems that may cause downtime before the site actually takes a dive, allowing you to avoid some instances of website downtime altogether.