What Does Uptime Mean in Web Hosting?

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You may have come across the term ‘uptime’ when you are looking for a top hosting company. What does it mean, really? Well, uptime could mean a lot of things, but if you got this from your web hosting company’s statement, then that means that their servers are so reliable that you never have to worry about downtimes at all.

To put it succinctly, web hosting uptime refers to your host provider’s servers being up and running without fail. If you do not know, a website owner needs a hosting company so that their websites will become online- allowing it to be accessed by anyone that uses your website’s specific URL.

Website uptime, then, is the measure of your website being accessible online. Keep in mind that server downtime and website downtime are two different things. The former talks about problems with your hosting company while the latter talks about the factors that could potentially lead to the downtime of your own website.

Why Grading Your Web Host’s Uptime is Problematic?

The main issue regarding checking your web host’s uptime promise is that you do not have a means of verifying what they said. In other words, you are just going to have to trust what they have to say.

Web hosting uptime is usually denoted in percentages and it is usually a percentage of time that talks about their servers’ up and running. But, what amount of time are we talking about here? Well, we will never know for sure unless you ask your hosting company for that information.

But, you can still calculate their uptime stat by using an amount of time. To make it understandable, we would just have to use a month in our calculation.

Assuming that your web host promised you that your website should be up and running 99.9% of the time, that would mean that your website should be down about 0.72 hours a month.

Keep in mind that the number that comes out after you calculate things is theoretical because if your website happens to go down, it won’t necessarily go down for that long. In other words, you should take it as a collective downtime and not just a one-time (per month) thing.

Why Uptime Guarantees Can Be Misleading

Now, as a means of somehow reassuring their clients, most web hosting companies would provide compensation as part of their service uptime guarantees. Although it may seem good on the surface, it can actually be quite misleading. It is, therefore, important that you read the company’s service-level agreement to find out more information about this.

The reason why it is misleading is that for you to receive compensation, you should meet certain requirements.

For instance, how long was your website down due to unscheduled outages? Some companies will never even take into account the downtime that is caused by scheduled server maintenance.

It is imperative that you read and understand what is stipulated in the ToS regarding this matter.