Why Uptime Matters

It’s more than just lost sales.

How often does your website go down?

Can you answer that question with any certainty? Your website host may tell you the server you’re on has 100% uptime, but more often than not we find that to be untrue.

Hosting companies have different criteria for when a website is “down”. Some just ping the server internally, meaning a routing problem would go undetected. Others perform external pings, but don’t actually check to see if content is loading.

The only way to really know your real uptime is by using a reliable external monitoring service. There are tons of them available, but we prefer Uptime Robot. It’s got a great feature set and we love the way they handle checking a website when a failure is detected.

Why Uptime Matters

There are a lot of reasons why your website uptime is important. Some are obvious, while others you may not have considered.

  1. People hate a broken website. New visitors are much less likely to return and existing customers will get frustrated and write nasty emails that you’ll have to handle.
  2. Google doesn’t like a slow or inaccessible website. Prepare to take a hit in the search engine rankings if you website is down often enough, and that can take a long time to recover from.
  3. Ads can stop running. Not only will ads obviously not be served when your site is down, but many ad services will suspend a campaign if downtime is detected, especially if it lasts for a while. That’s lost revenue.

How Much Uptime Should I Aim For?

It would be easy to say 100%, but that’s unrealistic. Even giant companies like Google don’t have 100% uptime. In fact, when we see 100% uptime reported we immediately suspect something is amiss. It can mean that the monitoring isn’t accurate, or worse, that the host isn’t regularly applying updates to their equipment. Larger scale hosting environments have redundancies in place for maintenance, but that’s pretty rare in small to mid range hosting.

Most hosting companies will promise 99.9% uptime (which usually means 99.90%). That’s called “three nines” in the industry, and it’s what we think should be the bare minimum. 99.90% uptime means your site will be down 8hr 45m each year. That’s a ton of downtime, especially if it comes all at once during a busy day. Here’s a handy comparison:

99% = 3d 15h 39m of annual downtime
99.9% = 8h 45m of annual downtime
99.99% = 52m of annual downtime
99.999% = 5m of annual downtime

We aim for 99.99% with our members. 99.999% simply isn’t attainable on many hosts, and at four nines, 52 minutes of downtime spread out through an entire year isn’t likely to be very noticeable on all but the most frequently visited sites.

Barrel Roll Member Uptime

Last 30 Days Average (Updated Every 15 Minutes)

99.99%

Average Website Uptime

Of The Top 1k Sites

99.85%

Average Website Uptime

Of The Top 100k Sites

99.60%

Want YOur Uptime To Be Better THan The Top 1,000 Sites?

Reach out, and let’s talk about what we can do for your website.

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