For all website owners out there, web hosting uptime is a measure (or percentage) of the time that your website is available for viewing online. This coincides with what your web hosting company would state, saying something to the extent of ‘XX% service uptime’.
It has become customary for top hosting companies to promise 99.99% service uptime, but I want you to know that this is a bit vague in nature. You see, to come up with a percentage, you must know all of the variables that are used for the calculation.
Since uptime uses a measure of time, what is the unit that we are going to use? Well, for the most part, people will just use a per month basis. So, if we are going to calculate 99.99% using a 30-day period, then that would translate to roughly 3.6 hours of downtime.
Now, 3.6 hours might not be that bad on the surface considering that that is collective downtime, meaning, your website will not immediately be down for 3.6 hours but at certain times of the day (in other words, the value is staggered and not a direct service downtime).
But, whenever your website goes down, you’d have to think that you are losing a lot of potential customers. If you are running a really popular e-commerce store and you expect roughly 25,000 visits a month, every minute that your store is inaccessible could net you a loss of 2000 or so (probably even more).
Factors that Contribute to Website Downtime
Now that you know what website downtime is, I am now going to talk about the factors that may lead to such. Here are just some of the most common ones:
Web Hosting Servers
Your web host’s servers are usually to be blamed for website downtimes. That is because your website’s files will have to be put on a server (which is owned by your hosting provider) and so long as it is up and running indefinitely, your website should also be available indefinitely as well.
But, since servers are fallible in that one component of it might break or something, your website, along with many others, will also go down with it. It will only be up and running once the server has been fixed which could require hours to do.
Massive Internet Spikes
The term internet spikes refer to a sudden surge of internet traffic. Keep in mind that internet traffic is consistent, especially when we are talking about a massively popular website.
However, there are times where traffic might be too large to handle which may result in either website slowdowns or, ultimately, website downtime.
If this happens, you can talk to your hosting company to have the issue fixed, pronto.
Hacking Attempt/DDoS Attack
Hackers can go to a website and inject malicious code that might do something nasty on the backend of your website (which can ultimately affect your host’s server performance).
In addition, hackers can also orchestrate a Distributed Denial of Service Attack or DDoS which translates to a concerted effort to hugely influence the traffic that comes to a website. Again, all of the issues can also be resolved by talking to your web host as soon as possible.