Quality and Reliability of Web Hosting

Is a 100% reliability possible? The truth is that a 100% reliability is simply impossible: there are factors that prevent hosting providers from ever achieving such reliability. Network failures, electricity shortages, human errors… many hosting providers don’t even include maintenance time in the calculations of their advertised average uptime.

Let’s see an example of how just a tenth of the advertised number can affect your average uptime.

A year has 365 days, which means 8760 hours. If your hosting provider guarantees 99.9% uptime, it means that downtime could be about 8.7 hours: that’s the time equivalent of just one tenth of the uptime guarantee.  If our hosting company offers 99.8%, it means that their acceptable average downtime would be around 17.5 hours each year.  A number of hosting providers ensure only a 99% uptime, and that means that they reserve themselves the right for an average downtime of about 87 hours, nothing more, nothing less! That’s more than 3 days with a blank screen instead of your website. Depending on your website’s nature, even a 5 minutes of unplanned downtime could be catastrophic: imagine how much money eBay or Google Adwords would lose due to such a drop in availability.

Many hosting providers advertise “unlimited” features such as storage, bandwidth, etc. This is not completely true either. In shared hosting, hundreds of websites are using the same server and its resources.  For this reason you must be vigilant and look out for any radical – or gradual – changes in performance. When a website starts affecting the performance of other websites on the same server, its account will be suspended. The hosting companies limit the amount of data transfer, CPU usage and the amount of active connections to a website. Which shows that advertising unlimited resources on a shared server is just a myth.

Website owners and webmasters should be advised to make extensive use of tools or services that allow monitoring their websites and immediately detect performance shortcomings or any other server-related failures –  before your users let you know!  Services that provide website monitoring include, for example,  Pingdom or Montastic. You can use the service or tool of your choice and can even create your own.