What Uptime Means for Your Business

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Uptime is something that often overlooked by startups, we often see clients rushing to get their site online and opt for the cheapest hosting and conduct little stress testing. After a few months of growth, they find they have outgrown their budget shared hosting and the lack of stress testing shows in lost enquiries and sales through the site.

Keeping your website available at all times may seem like a given, often site owners assume this is the sole responsibility of the hosting provider but it is also your task.

An easily overlooked issue

Once you have set up your website and launched a campaign, your website’s story begins. The one thing which is definitely worth mentioning is that it cannot exist on its own: you have to maintain it, supply your audience with new content, promote your services and goods, update the software sustaining the site’s functions, etc. Perhaps, the most important task is to keep the site online at all times. It may be quite a tricky and challenging thing despite the seeming ease – in most cases, it is not enough to pick any random hosting provider and expect a stable website with virtually no downtime.

Hosting provider uptime is crucial to the success of your endeavour due to the following reasons:

  • Downtime prevents your potential customers from browsing the goods they are interested in (if there is a catalogue on your page), contacting you (be it a form to be filled in, a chat feature or just your phone number), and actually making a purchase. All this leads to loss of profits.
  • Downtime is indicative of low-quality services. It is your and your brand’s reputation that downtime will tarnish. When a website visitor sees an error page, they may assume that the company is no longer operating or is not reliable enough to deal with.
  • If you experience a lot of downtimes it can affect your SEO efforts and you may see you site slip down the search rankings.

 

So what can I do to try to prevent downtime?

Downtime is usually the result of either your hosting provider’s servers being overcrowded or its inability to protect the servers properly.

The first kind of problem is partially your fault: if your company is large enough to require stable website performance, you should invest more and consider higher-level services, like dedicated servers. Shared servers are generally cheaper, but they tend to be overrun with users, which takes its toll on server performance.

So the first advice is to choose wisely the kind of hosting services you need. Opt for dedicated servers if your traffic is large and stable performance is crucial.

Besides, downtime can be caused by the inability of the hosting provider of your choice to protect servers or manage them properly. Of course, even the best companies can make mistakes, and even the best hosting providers are not flawless. Before buying from one, do some research and find out which companies are best in terms of stability, response time, support, etc. You can use special websites and tools designed to facilitate the process, such as HRANK (their ranking is based on current hosting provider performance, not age-old reviews).

The last but not the least is the monitoring of your corporate website performance. There’s a wide range of tools which can help you do it such as Uptime Robot or DownNotifier.

The takeaway is that hosting provider uptime is a crucial element of running a business with online representation. Should you fail to find a reliable hosting provider, your business will suffer, and so will your reputation. You can try to reduce the periods of downtime by choosing a hosting provider wisely and analyzing your website’s needs thoroughly before setting it up.

Written By
Adam
Founder of WP Helper.
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