Uptime Guarantee ? Good Idea?

When looking for a Web Host there are lots of factors that come into play. Usually the deciding factors are price and bandwidth. A common overlooked item is the uptime guarantee. This is the percentage of time your account will be up and running

What do these numbers really mean?

If we look at these percentages and convert them into the amount of time your site is going to be down we get some very telling information. The chart below lists the uptime gurantee percentage and how that equates to time.

99% - 5256 Min/Yr or 87.6 Hours/Yr ? 438 Min/Month or 7.3 Hours/Month

99.5% - 2628 Min/Yr or 43.8 Hours/Yr ? 219 Min/Month or 3.65 Hours/Month

99.9% - 525.6 Min/Yr or 8.76 Hours/Yr ? 43.8 Min/Month or .73 Hours/Month

99.95% - 262.8 Min/Yr or 4.38 Hours/Yr ? 21.9 Min/Month or .365 Hours/Month

99.99% - 52.56 Min/Yr or .876 Hours/Yr ? 4.38 Min/Month or .073 Hours/Month

As you can see that while 99% uptime sounds like a lot, it actually allows for the host to have over 7 hours of downtime per month, or a whopping 87.6 hours per year. Your host could be down for over 3 days over the course of a year and still hit their target of 99% uptime. As you go to 99.5% and 99.9%, it gets much better, and with 99.95% and 99.99% you would have little or no downtime.

Is this realistic?

Is it realistic to get 99.99% uptime? Probably not, but it is always nice if you can get compensated for downtime. However, if the host only compensates you for the actual downtime you have, it probably won't be a large amount. Let's assume you pay $20 a month for your hosting, which is probably on the upper end of what you'd be paying ofr a hosting account. We will also assume there a 30 days in the month. Breaking that down, you're paying roughly 3 cents per hour for your hosting. This means if you site is down for 24 hours, 1 full day, you will only get 72 cents of compensation. By no means is this good if it means your site goes down and you get some pocket change.

So what does this mean to me?

So the more decimal places, the better the uptime guarantee. We also now know that we probably won't be getting lots of money back if our site goes down. The ultimate goal is to find a web host that has an uptime guarantee and maintains that level of service. You don't need the money back but you do need the peace of mind of having your website up and running.

Scott is the owner and chief designer for Smith-Concepts a successful web development firm.

Related Links: http://www.smith-concepts.com

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