In today’s digital world, a website is the perfect key to your business ROI. With social distancing and contactless modes of transactions gaining traction, having an online presence ensures success for the brand as well as better customer service. When it comes to an offline store, you need to ensure that it is properly maintained, the store timings are good for the majority of the customers and that a customer service person is always available to take care of the customers. Similarly, for an online store, you need to ensure that the website is available to your users, and with the digital world working 24×7, you need to make sure your website does too!
So, whenever your website is down, scheduled or unscheduled, you are losing business. You need to ensure that the website is up and running at all times. Guaranteed maintenance is necessary, but you need to guarantee at least a 99.9%+ uptime for your website.
But what is website uptime? How can you maintain a good uptime score? Let us find out!
What Is Uptime in Web Hosting
The uptime of a web server is the measure of how long the server has been running uninterrupted. Uptime is measured as a percentage. When the server crashes — the reason and duration being irrelevant — it’s called downtime and will bring down the uptime of the server.
How To Calculate Uptime Percentage
For example, let’s say, we’re measuring the uptime of a server for a year, i.e., 356 days. Now, let’s assume that over the year, every month the server experienced downtime of 1 hour. So, the uptime of the website is the total hours in the year (8760) subtracted by 12 hours, which equals 8748 hours. When expressed in percentage, it works out to 99.86%. This means that for the given period of time, the server was functioning 99.86% of the time.
Of course, whenever the webserver is down, your website would be down too. In ideal conditions, the uptime of a server would be 100% because the server wouldn’t crash at all. However, even with the best hosting companies in the world, 100% is near impossible. The best hosting companies usually guarantee an uptime of over 99%.
Why is the website uptime important?
1. You lose customers if your website is down
A website facing downtime is a website that’s not making money, and it hurts your marketing efforts and puts a dent in the reputation of your business.
If your website takes more than two seconds to load, 14% of the visitors will not shop on your website and will take their business elsewhere. You can imagine what they’d do if your website doesn’t load in the first place.
2. It hurts your SEO
SEO or Search Engine Optimisation is crucial to any website’s success. Good SEO means that search engines show your website higher up in the results. Google is the biggest name in the game, and they’ve clearly stated that the reliability of a website is important for good SEO and that, in turn, is reliant on uptime.
So, if all other things are the same, Google will show the website with better uptime higher on their results. If you’ve ever read anything about building a website, you’ll know that this is crucial. SEO brings organic traffic to your website that cannot be replicated by any marketing channel. Having a website with better uptime will give you an edge with SEO.
What can bring the website uptime down?
1. Server stress
Good hosting companies will never fill their web servers to the brim. Servers are purposefully underused so that the websites have a bit of headroom when it comes to performance. Even if you see a spike of traffic on your website, it’s fine because the server has resources to handle it.
If this isn’t done, the server becomes stressed even when there’s a marginal increase in traffic which eventually leads to a crash and lowers the server’s uptime.
2. Hardware failure
No piece of hardware is foolproof. All hardware fails at some point, and this cannot be prevented. Hard disks, motherboards, processors, even cables that carry information between different parts of the server — they all fail at some point.
Hardware failure is one of those aspects that contribute to companies shying away from offering 100% uptime guarantees. Of course, good hosting companies usually have a robust backup strategy to ensure minimal downtime.
Cyber attacks bring down servers all the time. DDoS attacks are particularly of concern here. A Distributed Denial of Service (DDoS) attack will send thousands of requests to the server at the same time from multiple devices. This overwhelms the server and leads to a crash.
4. Human error
Negligence, accidents, malice — they all contribute to this. Human errors are one of the most common reasons why servers go down. Servers, especially once connected to a larger network, are incredibly complex to work on. The result is that servers go down even if there are small mistakes.
How to prevent website downtime with the right web hosting?
1. Partner with a good hosting company
If there’s one thing that you can do to have a better uptime for your website, it’s this — choose your web hosting company with care. Ensure that the company has a proven and demonstrable history of providing reliable web hosting services.
Read reviews that are posted on independent websites and not the ones that are written on the company’s website.
Good hosting companies use good hardware that lasts longer; they have better backup strategies, spend more on ensuring that their servers are secure and have additional layers of firewalls, have great disaster recovery protocols in place, and do so much more. All this means that they offer the best uptime numbers in the industry.
2. Choose the right hosting platform
Along with a reliable hosting provider, you also need to choose the right hosting platform for your website. There is a range of web hosting services available today, such as Shared Hosting, Cloud Hosting, VPS Hosting and Dedicated Hosting. While Dedicated Hosting is known for its robust and powerful hosting setup, it is highly expensive.
Smaller websites can go for Shared Hosting plans from reliable providers that guarantee a 99.9%+ uptime score. If you are looking for a more isolated hosting platform, VPS Hosting can be a good option. But again, make sure to purchase a plan with more than a 99.9% uptime guarantee.
If you are a growing business and need a scalable hosting solution, then Cloud Website Hosting is a good choice. Here, your site data is hosted across multiple servers. This distributed nature of storage ensures high data redundancy, data protection and a high uptime guarantee. As your data is mirrored across multiple locations, in real-time, the data is automatically restored from the secondary server, without any downtime.
3. Use a cloud-based security tool
Your website can crash if your website is specifically targeted, and a successful cyberattack is conducted. The best way to prevent something like this from happening is by using a cloud-based website security tool. These tools will detect malware, remove malware, use enterprise-grade antivirus, scan your website every day, check for vulnerabilities in your network, and do so much more. There are a number of website security applications that are specifically designed for small businesses, such as SiteLock Website Security. You can buy affordable monthly plans and ensure comprehensive security for your website.
Website uptime is crucial for the success of any website. The best way to ensure maximum uptime is to simply choose a company that has a history of doing it right and a hosting solution that supports redundancy. With a leading web hosting company, not only will you get great uptimes but also fast and secure hosting — both prerequisites for the success of your website. Once you choose a great company, you can stop worrying about uptime figures and instead focus on growing your website and making it a success.
For more information, contact us today!
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Eastlink Cloud Pvt. Ltd.
Tripureshwor, Kathmandu, Nepal