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What Your Web Host Doesn’t Want You To Know About Downtime

By Author: Davis J Martin
Total Articles: 122

When it comes to website downtime, there are a few things your web host would rather you stay in the dark about. Things like uptime guarantees, shared hosting plans, and other issues pertinent to the uptime and success of your website. Before you decide whether or not your hosting provider really is living up to its promises or if it’s even the hosting provider that you should be doing business with, there are a few things you need to understand about website hosting and how it pertains to the downtime of your website.

Their Guarantee Isn’t Worth Much

Your hosting provider is top-notch and you know this because they offer you a guarantee of 99.9 percent uptime, right? Think again. That uptime guarantee isn’t worth the tiny bit of storage space it’s hosted on.

The first thing you need to realize about hosting guarantees is that they don’t include planned downtime. So if your hosting provider decides to perform two hours of planned maintenance every month and that maintenance takes your site offline, you’re not protected by this guarantee.

As far as unplanned downtime goes, how do you really know that your hosting provider is keeping its promise? They have no obligation to inform you when they hit you with a higher percentage of downtime than was promised to you when you signed up with them. With website monitoring service in place, you’ll know exactly how much downtime you incur, but even then, you aren’t protected from profit loss.

The most important thing to realize about the uptime guarantees offered by hosting providers is that the guarantee only entitles you to a refund of what you paid for the difference between the uptime you were promised and the uptime you received. For example, if you pay $100 a month for hosting and your website encountered an hour more of unplanned downtime than the guarantee promises, the refund you are entitled to would only amount to 14 cents. Considering your business likely lost much more than that in profits during that hour, you can begin to see why the uptime guarantees offered by the hosting companies don’t really offer you any protection at all.

Shared Hosting Plans Can Be the Culprit of Downtime and Performance Issues

You may think it’s great that you found an unlimited shared hosting plan, but you need to ask yourself a few questions about these plans before you jump on setting your site up on one. When you share a hosting server with other websites, that server has limited resources. What happens if another site on the server begins sucking up all of the server’s resources? Your website is going to suffer the consequences, either in the form of performance issues or website downtime. To prevent sites from significantly affecting the other sites on a shared server, most hosting companies will throttle the resources a website can utilize each month after a certain amount of resources have been accessed. If your site is the one utilizing the resources, however, this means that your site is going to take a drastic hit in performance once you reach that limit.

Your Website Downtime May Be Your Hosting Provider’s Fault

If your site has been encountering more than its fair share of downtime, your hosting provider may be the issue. It is unlikely that the company will send all of its customers a letter letting them know it has been experiencing more than its fair share of issues leading to your site’s unplanned downtime. It’s more than likely that your web host would rather you remain in the dark, hoping you don’t even realize your site has been going down as frequently as it has been. A website monitoring service can show you exactly how much downtime your website is experiencing, as well as what is likely to be causing the downtime. If you notice a trend of frequent bouts of downtime that are caused by your hosting provider, it may be time to change to another hosting company.


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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