Earlier in the year (specifically March) a major web services provider (who shall remain nameless) experienced an outage lasting longer than 24 hours. During this time, they were not able to offer their customers an estimation on when their services would be back online. Services affected included websites and email which for online businesses was extremely problematic and very costly. We've all become so reliant on websites and in particular our emails. Can you imagine if your website and email were offline for more than 24 hours mid-week?
The outage affected over 160,000 customers and if even a tenth of those are online stores, the cost of an outage begins to add up. In all of this, the concerning part was that the hosting company's own website remained online inferring they themselves host their site elsewhere. Whilst we cannot confirm that, it is of concern that a web-hosting company's own redundancy/fallback plan is to host outside of their own network (implying that they did not have failsafe processes for their own sites).
In online posts that followed this event, there was speculation that redundancies of technical support staff contributed to this issue where they didn't have the capability readily available to deal with an issue like this. Given this, it's a good reminder to evaluate your web hosting service and if it's right for you.
When looking at your current services or new services, here is some things to consider
No site can offer 100% uptime. But how do you measure their reliability. Uptime is commonly measured in 9's. According to Hosting Manual, here's how to measure what a host deems to be "acceptable" downtime for a 30 day period (a month):
99% - two 9's = 7h12m
99.9% - three 9's =43m12s
99.99% - four 9's = 4m19s
99.999% - five 9's = 26s
99.9999% - six 9's = 3s
Be vary wary of any host that offers 100% uptime. There will always be some downtime. But the key is keeping it as short as possible
A great website is made “not so great” if it’s slow. Not to mention this is annoying for both you and your visitors. Look for a host that includes features to improve loading time. People only spend 15 seconds (on average) on site - Don't cost yourself precious time.
Support and Customer Reviews
If you have problems, can they help? You should test them out before you sign up. Trial their support channels and see how they respond. Often a webhost can have great customer sales teams; but then poor support resources. Check out as many customer reviews as possible to see what the real deal is.
This is particularly important if you are planning on taking customer information through you site eg an Online store. Features you should be looking for include daily backups, SSL's and SiteLock.
If you've done this evaluation and realised it's time to change, your next question might be how? If you're not so technical and are not sure how to switch, let us manage that part of it for you. Send us a message and let's discuss your options.
For weekly tips on website maintenance, SEO and new technology developments delivered to your inbox head here to subscribe
Get updates, tips and industry news delivered directly to you