Does your web hosting provider claim to include a 99.9 percent up-time guarantee with your hosting package? If so, are they holding up to that promise, or are they providing sub-standard service? Furthermore, how do you really know the answer to these questions? If you want to know if your hosting provider’s up-time promise is being kept, you need to know exactly how much downtime your site is experiencing and the reason for any downtime that occurs. The only real way to accomplish these tasks is with a quality website monitoring service.|
Understanding Your Web Host’s Up-time Guarantee and Why It Doesn’t Really Matter
Your host may very well have a 99.9 percent up-time guarantee in place. Before you assume this means that your site is going to be up 99.9 percent of the time or more, there are some things you need to understand.
First and foremost, that guarantee you are being given only holds true for unplanned downtime. If your web host decides to take your site offline for two days (or more) for “maintenance” or “upgrade” reasons, that’s your loss and they aren’t going to do a thing to compensate you for it.
Another thing you must realize is that the guarantee these hosting providers offer does not protect your website’s profits. Your web host will not reimburse you for lost sales caused by excessive downtime. They will not compensate you for damage to your site’s search engine rankings or your site’s reputation. They will only reimburse you for the amount you paid for hosting during the time your site was down above and beyond the guaranteed amount, which usually equates to a few dollars or even just a few cents. Even then, you have to request such reimbursement. This means that you have to know exactly how often your site was down and have verifiable proof. This is where a quality website monitoring service can come into play, providing you with the proof you need to show your hosting provider that you know exactly when and how often your site went down due to both planned and unplanned downtime.
Deciphering the Root of the Problem
With website monitoring service in place, you can determine whether or not your site is experiencing unacceptable levels of website downtime and if so, what is causing it. If it’s because your site is running out of bandwidth mid-month, you may need to upgrade to a bigger and better hosting plan. If, however, your hosting provider is to blame for your site’s unusually-high downtime levels, you may need to take your web host to task and call them out on the issue. If they cannot compensate you and rectify the situation accordingly, it may be time to look for a more reliable hosting company.
Don’t Let Your Hosting Provider Hurt Your Company’s Profits
The bottom line is that each minute of website downtime that your site incurs equates to profits lost. If your hosting provider is causing you to lose profits by not providing you with the level of quality you expected when you paid for the plan, it is time to consider your options. You may want to consider changing to a dedicated server or changing hosting providers altogether. However, you absolutely must have website monitoring service in place to determine how often your site is going down, what your up-time percentage is, and the root cause of your downtime woes. Without a website monitoring service in place, managing and minimizing downtime (and holding your web host accountable if necessary) is akin to navigating a ship in the dark without a compass. A quality website monitoring service will serve as your navigation through your website’s downtime issues when they occur.
Alertra is a leading provider of website monitoring and alerting services. Alertra's website monitoring price is monthly and starts at USD $0.20 (20 cents) per URL for 60 minute monitoring. It will provide timely alert notifications and access to detailed reporting. Since April, 2000, Alertra provided website monitor services to more than 10,000 businesses and other organizations.
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