Anyone looking for a host for their Website will find that hosting companies tend to make a great deal out of offering 99.9 per cent server uptimes, and reviews – both by users and professional reviewers – also spend a lot of time discussing varying companies’ actual server uptimes. To understand why this is so important, it helps to know exactly what uptimes are – and how they can affect a Website.
Essentially, uptime is a term used for the time a server is up and running without interruptions – or going down altogether – for any substantial amount of time. The advertised – and often guaranteed – 99.9 per cent uptime basically means a server would be down for no more than two minutes per day.
There are three possible reasons for a server experiencing down-times. One is planned down-time, which occasionally becomes necessary to upgrade/update a server. A second type of down-time is semi-planned, and occurs when a security breach is detected and must be patched. The third possibility, unplanned down-time, occurs as a result of malfunctions in the hardware or software used; malicious software or server overload at peak times of use.
For obvious reasons, servers experiencing frequent long periods of down-time are of little use to Website owners. At an age where speed and accessibility are vital in order to compete, few consumers will continue to visit a site once they have found it inaccessible a few times. This could ultimately result in huge financial losses to the site’s owner due to lost sales.
Naturally, all hosting companies are aware of this and strive to ensure their uptimes are as good as possible, but some of them are more successful in their efforts than others, making careful research with respect to this matter through reviews, blogs and/or forums essential.