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Web Hosting and Uptime

web hosting uptime

When searching for a provider to host your website, there are few key features you need to look out for. Of course bandwidth and storage space are important but what about uptime? Uptime is a measurement of the time a server will function without falter – the higher the uptime, the better. Uptime is a critical feature of web hosting and is equally important to providers and clients. If a server goes down, more than likely your website goes down with it. If a web hosting company is known for enduring equipment failures, they will eventually lose a lot of business. Nearly every web hosting provider today will guarantee an uptime of 99.9%, which is an estimated 2 minutes of downtime per day.

Situations that impact a web server’s uptime are often elements that cannot be avoided. However, most companies strive to prevent this in order to provide the most reliable service possible. In web hosting, downtime can be viewed in three different ways:

• Planned Downtime – this occurs when a server needs to be serviced which may include hardware upgrades and software updates.
• Semi-planned Downtime – this occurs when software companies discover security vulnerabilities and patches that need to be applied.
• Unplanned Downtime – this is the most severe instance that is often the result of an overloaded server, a software or hardware malfunction or malicious software.

Web hosting companies base their uptime guarantees on prior analysis and monitor and maintain it in various ways. Many services provide 24/7 monitoring services with onsite professionals to handle any difficulties that may arise. Several also use redundant servers for backup purposes in case the primary server happens to fail. Additionally, uptime is backed up by other resources such as power generators, air conditioning, fire detection and suppression and alarm systems.

In the event that a primary server does fail, a web host will usually forward a message informing clients that their site is temporarily down. Larger companies are able to restore data much quicker, therefore giving them a better percentage of uptime. Smaller companies may experience longer periods of downtime due to limited resources, the case with a few providers offering a free hosting service.

Uptime is something that can make or break a web hosting company. If their servers frequently receive technical service, the word will eventually get out and negatively impact their business. A quality web hosting provider will guarantee an uptime of 99.9% and have some type of documented evidence to back up those claims. You can learn about a variety of web hosts and their reliability by reading reviews on the internet.

If your website does happen to experience downtime, you should immediately contact the customer service or technical support department of your hosting provider to learn when it will be restored. While a few companies make the claim, no one can truly assure a 100% uptime guarantee. If your site experiences too much downtime, you may want to consider switching web hosts before those issues began to affect your business.

Why worry about uptime? Get reliable web hosting with BlueHost, HostMonster and LunarPages.

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