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How Much Business Will Your Company Lose During A Website Outage?

By Author: DavisJMartin
Total Articles: 153

There are few things in life that are considered to be unavoidable certainties. Death and taxes are the top of these unavoidable certainties that people usually imagine when they begin to consider the things that just can’t be avoided. Another certainty that affects everyone and anyone who does business online is website downtime and the resulting loss of business and profits that go along with said downtime. The question is, exactly how much business will your company lose when your website goes down? Whether you run a personal blog or operate a large ecommerce store, there are things you need to know when it comes to evaluating how downtime will affect your business’s bottom line.

Not All Websites Are Created Equal

We have all heard the horror stories of website outages that cost businesses millions of dollars in just a few short hours. The thing to remember is that not all online businesses are created equal. For example, a small blog that drives revenue through pay-per-click advertising will not generate as much revenue as a large online retailer. As such, they won’t lose as much money when the website goes down. However, the one thing that all businesses have in common, no matter how big or small, is that when a website does go down, traffic will be lost. Lost traffic almost always equates to lost profits. The key is to estimate exactly how much of your profit is at risk during any given website outage.

Estimating the Cost of Downtime

If you are planning maintenance or other activities that will result in planned website downtime, you obviously want to plan those activities during your slowest traffic periods. Websites usually have peaks and valleys in their traffic throughout each day and you should be able to establish a pattern as to when your website is at its busiest and when it is at its slowest. Obviously you want to plan your website outage during the hours your website receives the lowest amount of traffic to reduce any business you may lose during the planned outage.

Unplanned downtime is an entirely different animal. You can’t control when unplanned website downtime will occur, and if it occurs during your hours of peak website traffic, your profits will take a heavy hit. Just how much of a hit this downtime will cost you can be calculated by estimating the amount of profit your website generates during its peak traffic hours and then dividing the total profit of your site’s peak traffic hours by the number of peak traffic hours your website experiences.

For example, let’s say you have four hours of peak traffic per day and those four hours of peak traffic generate $200,000 in total profits. By dividing the total profit ($200,000) by the number of peak traffic hours (four hours) you can estimate that, in this scenario, your peak traffic hours generate about $50,000 in profits per hour, or approximately $833 a minute. If you have even encounter just 15 minutes of website downtime during these peak traffic hours, the downtime would cost you $12,495 in lost profits. Obviously the exact amount that you will face will vary depending on your site’s peak traffic hours and total profits made during those hours.

Websites That Don’t Generate Revenue Directly

Nearly all purchasing decisions start with a search engine search, even purchases that are made offline. You may think that because your website only offers information about your business, its operating hours, and contact information, it isn’t a big deal if you encounter website downtime. The fact of the matter is that website downtime can hit your business too, and you may not realize that the drop in sales is due to your website’s downtime.

Let’s say, for example, that you have a local business that sells furniture. Local shoppers go online to see where they should go for their furniture needs. While your site ranks in the search results, when the visitor clicks the link to find out where you are located or looks for your company phone number so they can call you to see if you have what they are looking for, your site is down. The consumer doesn’t just find your address and take a chance that your store is open and start heading over. The consumer is more likely to go to one of your competitors’ websites – a competitor with a functioning website – and decide to do business there. At this point you are losing sales due to website downtime and you may not even realize it.

Why All Websites Need Website Monitoring Service

Downtime is the dreaded enemy of any website. If your business has a website, even if you operate your business offline for the most part, that website was built for a reason and that reason likely has to do with growing your sales and generating profit. When your website goes down, every minute it stays down equates to profits your business is losing. Fortunately you don’t have to remain in the dark when it comes to website downtime and outages. By utilizing a quality website monitoring service, you will know the moment your site goes down, whether it’s a website representing a small local store or an ecommerce retail giant.

The sooner you find out about instances of website downtime, the sooner you can go to work to fix the problem. By being able to react more quickly to any website downtime that your business may encounter, you can reduce the duration of the downtime and, therefore, reduce the profits you lose due to that downtime.


Alertra is a leading provider of web site monitoring and alerting services. We monitor the availability and performance of Internet-connected devices. As part of website monitoring service, we provide timely alert notifications and access to detailed reporting. We offer monitoring service to all sizes of businesses right from small businesses to Fortune 500 companies.

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