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How to Check Hosting Uptime Effectively

How to Check Hosting Uptime Effectively

The features and price of a web hosting plan are definitely important but there are other aspects to consider as well. One area you certainly want to keep an eye on is uptime, something that is offered by nearly every web host today. Most companies will openly advertise an uptime guarantee on the homepage but in order to be sure, this percentage needs to be verified.

Some hosts make it easier to check uptime than others. Although stats may be available somewhere on the website, you should never be merely satisfied by those impressive numbers without doing a little research. You start by finding out the actual time frame a host utilizes to calculate server uptime. This is critical as some providers simply reset the service counter each time an outage occurs, thus resulting in false statistics. In our experience, we have found a 99.5% uptime over a year to be far more reliable than a 100% that only covers a week or so.

After learning how uptime is calculated, your next step is to find out how it is actually defined. For instance, there could be scheduled maintenance that doesn’t fit into a company’s uptime guarantee. When this is the case, you need to learn whether the server is only covered or the network as well. Although your site is technically still up if the network goes down, the server may not be accessible via the internet. If there is any doubt, be sure to ask for clarification. Additionally, you should inquire about emergency maintenance such as a reboot associated with kernel upgrades or security issues. All of these can impact that availability of your site whether they are covered in the uptime guarantee or not.

The last step involves finding out how you can benefit from a provider’s uptime guarantee. After all, it is a guarantee. Some companies will promise a 100% uptime guarantee or cash value or credits to your account. Others offer nothing but their word. Knowing how to thoroughly check what is involved in an uptime guarantee can save you a lot of money over the long term. If a provider experiences frequent downtime, all those credits probably will not be all that helpful anyway, especially if you are losing visitors. The longer you stay in such a situation, the more risks you put yourself at.

As you can see, there is a lot that goes into checking a web hosting company’s uptime guarantee. Taking the time to verify this information is well worth it. While there are sure to be a few customers that have exercised the promises of a provider’s uptime guarantee, several more simply move on to a new host. Although it all depends on your personal situation, either instance can be a real pain whether it’s a server that constantly goes down or moving your files to a new server. We highly recommend investigating to find out what’s what with uptime before signing yourself up for a long term commitment.

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30th November 2008
Posted by Web Hosting Consultant in Best Web Hosting Tips

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