Choosing the right hosting company to trust with your website is one of the key decisions that you have to make. You can spend all the money and hire the best IT minds to ensure that your website has topnotch performance, but then still realize that you have poor web traffic and low conversions. Worse, your IT specialists tell you that your website uptime history is abysmal by today’s standards and that it is dragging your entire enterprise down. They point out that your hosting provider is not delivering on its promise with regards to website uptime and that you should ditch it for another. So, what does the “uptime” metric mean for your website? What kind of website uptime should you expect your hosting provider to deliver?
What Website Uptime Means
As the term implies, website uptime refers to the amount of time that your website is up and functioning properly to accept and engage in web traffic. This performance metric is measured in percentages such as 99.92, 99.95, and 99.99% uptime. While most website host providers claim to have a 99.9% uptime, which may appear impressive at first glance, you may not be as excited if you break these percentages down in increments of time.
For example, if your website goes down for only about 26 seconds each month or 5 minutes a year, the uptime rate is about 99.999%. If it goes down for about 4 minutes a month, which is close to an hour each year, the uptime rate will still be at 99.99%. Should your website experience serious downtime of around 44 minutes a month or nearly 9 hours a year, your uptime rate is still at 99.9%. Say your website goes offline for about three and a half days in a year, your website uptime rate is still at 99%. If you’re thinking, “three days in a year isn’t so bad,” think again.
What Website Uptime Means for Your Website
Even an hour of downtime will be potentially detrimental to your website. Why do you ask? The past few years saw tremendous improvement in internet speeds and computing power. Studies show that internet users have become so accustomed to ultra-fast page loading speeds that they have become impatient and are highly unlikely to tolerate poor website performance.
Having your website go out means that your customers will remorselessly move onto your competitors, and thus cost you up to $5,600/hr (obviously depending on the amount of web traffic/revenue your site brings in).
These days, page loading speed matters, and it matters a lot. An internal study of Amazon, for example, shows that if their page loading speeds were slower by a second, they could potentially lose up to $1.6 billion a year. This is supported by another research that suggests that 40% of internet users will likely move on to another website if the pages failed to load within 4 seconds.
Now imagine web traffic expecting to see your landing page but see an “unavailable” error message instead. A study that is more important for you when it comes to your website uptime is one that strongly suggests that online consumers are 88% unlikely to return to a website that performs poorly. It won’t be a stretch to say that a website that down qualifies as poor performance.
Discussing the website uptime rates with the hosting provider and reading the fine print for their services, therefore, goes a long way in making sure that your website is in good hands. This brings us to the meat of this article, which is figuring out the hosting company with the best uptime rates.
Which Hosting Provider has the Best Website Uptime Rates?
It is quite a challenge to choose a hosting provider with the best website uptime rate since most of them promise a 99.9% uptime. Measuring uptime rates can also be tricky considering the variables that you need to factor into the equation. One popular UK-based internet services company measures uptime performance via failed requests and time to connect. However, other factors can affect the results, such as server location, server congestion, code-heavy websites, etc.
This article chooses the hosting provider with the best website uptime rates via the guarantees that they promise their clients and by their server speed. With these metrics, the best hosting providers are:
Dreamhost. This website hosting provider promises a 100% uptime guarantee, which is so far the only such guarantee that exists. If they fail to deliver on this promise, Dreamhost will give you free 24-hour hosting for every one hour of downtime. A company that is confident of providing such a guarantee is one that is confident in its uptime rates.
A2 Hosting. One of the fastest website hosting providers, A2 Hosting, also guarantees 99.9% uptime. Speed is usually an indicator of efficient servers, and A2 is an industry leader because of this.
There are a host of reasons why a website experiences downtime, and it is not always the fault of the hosting provider. These causes include scheduled server maintenance, DNS issues, CMS issues, power outage, server overloads, DDoS attacks, natural disasters, and human error. It is a given, therefore, that your website will experience downtimes. The key is to minimize downtimes and not expect to eliminate it altogether. Choosing the right website hosting provider will go a long way in helping you keep your website’s uptime rates within acceptable standards.