We live in an interconnected world powered by informational technologies. In this world, a strong always-on presence on the web is an absolute necessity for success. The Web is, usually, the place where most companies face the majority of their clients and where the bulk of their revenue is created.
Without a website that runs smoothly and is accessible at any time of the day, any web-related investments could quickly go to waste and the entire company could come to an abrupt stop. Uptime monitoring helps minimize costly downtime by providing timely alerts, in the case of a failure.
The term “uptime” has been used for a long time by system administrators to determine how long a certain computer has been functioning without any interruption. What has changed since then is that modern website uptime monitoring tools empower just about every business owner, user, and entrepreneur achieve amazing visibility and gain the much-needed edge over the competition.
Why Websites Go down
There are many possible reasons for a website to go down. What’s more, the true reason often involves several different causes culminating into one big problem.
- Traffic spikes: Probably the number one cause of websites going down are sudden spikes in traffic. These can be caused by a surge of viral traffic from sites like Reddit, BuzzFeed, or Quora. A reliable hosting provider who has the necessary means to guarantee uptime even in such situations is really the only way how you can keep your site up and running.
- Scheduled maintenance: Even websites with excellent optimization require scheduled maintenance, from time to time. Maintenance should happen during off-peak hours, to minimize its potential negative impact.
- Hacker attacks: Hackers can bring a website down in multiple different ways: they can overload the servers with DDoS attacks, inject malicious code, or steal security credentials, thus forcing the website owners to shut off the site and solve the problem.
- Data center problems: Some periods of downtime can be caused by the web hosting company itself. In this case, website uptime monitoring tools come in particularly handy because they allow you to accurately judge how reliable your web hosting company really is.
- Website’s code issues: Poor programming can cause an unnecessarily heavy load on servers, result in various database errors, and, ultimately, make the site totally unresponsive.
Of course, there are other factors that could bring a website down, such as domain name (DNS) expiration, domain name seizure, takedown by law enforcement, but these tend to be much less common.
Why Your Site Needs to Stay up
- Think about your website as you would about a brick and mortar store. If a customer wants to visit your store but finds it closed, you won’t make any money. What’s even worse, the customer is likely to go to on of your competitors, which can really hurt you in the long-term.
- Google can also penalize your site’s ranking on their search results page, decreasing the number of visitors you get. Depending on how severe this penalty is, it may take months before you fully recover and, by that time, you customers might be long gone.
- Your image will drastically improve when you manage to make your businesses accessible every time a visitor inputs your website’s URL into the address bar of his or her web browser. You will be perceived as reliable, trustworthy, and professional.
Why Website Outage is Costly
Most major brands including Google, Ebay, Microsoft, Twitter and below mentioned Amazon have suffered downtime.
A few years back in 2013 Amazon went down and they reportedly lost $66,240 every minute they were out of action. Ouch! It’s not the first time the Internet giant has suffered downtime. According to a large survey conducted in 2007, Amazon made around $29,000 every minute. That means that their two hours of downtime back in 2008 led to a loss of $3.48 million.
A small business website or online shop suffering outage will impact the bottom line revenue. Another aspect which is harder to put into dollars and cents and is difficult to measure is the negative impact on reputation and credibility. That is much harder to measure, but that doesn’t make it any less important.
Website Uptime Calculator
In the context of web hosting, uptime is the amount of time the web host server (and your website) is available and operational. Uptime is an important metric to factor in when choosing a web host and this metric is often stated as a percentage such as “99.9% uptime guarantee“. For example a 99.9% uptime equates to a yearly downtime of 8.76 hours.
|80%||73.2 days||6.2 days||1.4 days||4.8 hours|
|90%||36.5 days||3 days||16.8 hours||2.4 hours|
|95%||18.25 days||1.5 days||8.4 hours||1.2 hours|
|97%||10.96 days||21.6 hours||5.04 hours||43.2 minutes|
|98%||7.30 days||14.4 hours||3.36 hours||28.8 minutes|
|99%||3.65 days||7.20 hours||1.68 hours||14.4 minutes|
|99.5%||1.83 days||3.60 hours||50.4 minutes||7.2 minutes|
|99.8%||17.52 hours||86.23 minutes||20.16 minutes||2.88 minutes|
|99.9%||8.76 hours||43.8 minutes||10.1 minutes||1.44 minutes|
|99.95%||4.38 hours||21.56 minutes||5.04 minutes||43.2 seconds|
|99.99%||52.56 minutes||4.38 minutes||1.01 minutes||8.66 seconds|
|99.995%||26.28 minutes||2.16 minutes||30.24 seconds||4.32 seconds|
|99.999%||5.26 minutes||25.9 seconds||6.05 seconds||864.3 milliseconds|
|99.9999%||31.5 seconds||2.59 seconds||604.8 milliseconds||86.4 milliseconds|
|99.99999%||3.15 seconds||262.97 milliseconds||60.48 milliseconds||8.64 milliseconds|
You Should Use an Uptime Monitoring Service
By now, you are probably wondering how you can go ahead and monitor your website’s uptime, what tools there are and what recommendable website uptime monitoring services exist. Here below are 4 mini-reviews of some of the most popular website availability monitoring services.
The website monitoring tool Host-Tracker is a powerful monitoring solution that can help you keep track of many different parts of your online operation. The free package comes with a limited set of features, as it can perform only 2 tasks in 30-minute intervals, and excludes most of the advanced functionalities.
A good news is the personal package costs as little as $3.25/year with Host-Tracker’s pre-paid plan. Compared to the free package, it supports content monitoring tasks, custom response timeout, daily reports, maintenance scheduling, database monitoring tasks, SSL/TLS and SNMP monitoring tasks.
If you feel like you could take advantage of their huge distributed monitoring network, which consists of servers located in more than 60 countries spread all over the world then Host-Tracker is, indeed, a great way to go. Plus their 30-day free trial let’s you take their website monitoring tool out for a spin.
The main idea behind UptimeRobot is to provide a reliable uptime monitoring tool to everyone completely for free. The developers of this fantastic service want to first convince users from all over the world that their solution can rival the best in the industry, before asking any money from them.
As of now, with Uptime Robot free version can monitor up to 50 websites, check websites every 5 minutes, and send alerts via several different channels, including email, SMS, Slack, and even push notification. It can easily handle multiple verification methods, advanced notifications, and more.
The premium version of this service costs $48/month and includes 1000 monitors, 12 months of logs, 1-minute monitoring intervals, and 80 SMS credits. That’s a pretty good deal if you are responsible for running a high performance and revenue driving website.
Pingdom’s selection of free tools and services is rather limited. Users can analyze the speed of their website, but that’s about it. The main focus of Pingdom are business and enterprise clients who want to use the entire suit of useful tools to analyze uptime, performance, and perform detailed monitoring of all important metrics used for reliability evaluation.
Their starter package costs $13.95/month and includes 10 checks, 40 SMS alerts, and 1 transaction check. All of this for a single website with the maximum of 100,000 users/month. This package is best suited for personal websites or blogs. Fortunately, Pingdom also has packages tailored to small businesses and large enterprises.
StatusCake definitely shines with their clean presented website, impressive resume of large corporate clients, and great service offering. Their pricing structure is easy to understand and starts at a very nice price of $0.
That’s right, their free plan, their website monitoring tool is custom-tailored to help beginners learn the basics of website monitoring and allow them to seamlessly transition into their superior plan, which costs $24.49.
The superior plan offers unlimited monitors, unlimited alerts, 1-minute check rate, 8 test locations selectable, premium support, virus checking, SSL monitoring, domain expiration monitoring, page speed monitoring, content matching, real browser testing, and brand free reporting. There are also two other plans suitable for businesses and large enterprises.
AdminLabs website monitoring provides simple and user friendly dashboard for monitoring websites with url, ping or port methods. You’ll get notifications about slowness or downtime via email, SMS, push or Slack channels. The service is built by developers to developers and other people who host and build websites.
Currently the free version allows users to add one monitor with 5 minutes scan interval, but users can unlock all the features for adding credits which are then spent only based on scan options.
Price per scan without SMS is 0.0001 € per scan, which means prices start from 1,12€/month with lowest settings. For example if you only need two monitors with 5 minute intervals it costs only 1,79 per month.
Ultimately, you need to decide which uptime monitoring service is best suited for your own needs. Our selection includes some of the more reliable website uptime and availability tool providers, so you don’t have to worry about the quality of their service and can only focus on the features.