Understanding Website Uptime Statistics and How To Improve Them with a Website Monitoring Service

Most online businesses have begun to understand the importance of partnering with a quality website monitoring service, but not everyone is familiar with how these services work or exactly what the statistics that these services provide mean for their online business. In order to get the most bang for your buck in the world of website monitoring, you need to understand how to read the website uptime statistics that your website monitoring service provides for you. Armed with this knowledge, you can take measures to improve your uptime statistics, allowing you to directly impact your business’s bottom line for the better.

Which Statistics Do You Need to Look At?

When you utilize a website monitoring service, there are a number of statistics that you will be presented with when you access your reports. While you should familiarize yourself with all of the statistics that your service provides you with, the most important ones to focus on and understand include the number of outages, number of failed checks, average response time, DNS lookup time, page download time, and the uptime percentage. Other important, but more advanced statistics include full page download times and link validation responses. So what are these statistics and what do they mean?

  • The number of outages is simply the number of times your site experienced an outage of any kind.
  • The number of failed checks is the number of times the service tried to “ping” your website and the website failed to respond.
  • The average response time is the average amount of time it took your site to respond to the server.
  • The DNS lookup time is the amount of time it took the service to get a reply from the DNS lookup process.
  • Page download times are the average amount of time it took for your website pages to download during the reporting period.
  • The uptime percentage is the percentage of time your site was up and available.
  • Full page download times are the amount of time it took your page to fully download for the service.
  • Link validation responses show you which links are validated and working and which aren’t.

How Does Your Website Monitoring Service Gather These Statistics?

While you don’t necessarily need to know the in-depth technology and schematics behind the gathering of your website’s statistical data, you should have a basic understanding of how a website monitoring service functions. To get the statistics for your particular site, your website monitor will review the HTTP server that delivers your site’s pages, the HTTPS server to monitor the secure areas of your website, the FTP server that provides the files on your site, and the SMTP and POP3 servers that manage your incoming and outgoing email. By checking these areas of your site, your website monitoring service is able to gather statistics that accurately represent the end-user experience, while at the same time ensuring that your website hosting provider is living up to its uptime guarantee.

What to Do With Your Website Uptime Statistics?

When you receive your website’s uptime statistics from the monitoring service that you have selected to monitor your website, you can review these statistics to see whether or not any downtime or performance issues may exist within your site. For example, if your site is experiencing unacceptable full page download times, you’ll want to investigate the issue so you can ensure that your site’s performance is up to par. This is especially important considering that the average Internet user will only wait approximately 3 seconds for a page to load before moving to another site. If your site is experiencing more than its fair share of downtime, you can utilize the data gathered from your website monitoring service to determine the causes of the downtime and take measures to decrease your site’s downtime percentage and, thereby, increase your business’s bottom line.