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  • Web Hosting Server Uptimes - A Guide to Getting Better Website Hosting Uptime and Performance

    Web Hosting Uptime Differences Between Shared Hosting and Dedicated Hosting

    Bob in Des Moines, IA writes us: What is the average web hosting uptime metrics that I should evaluate a new web host under? Is there a difference when it comes to hosting server uptimes between shared web hosts and a dedicated server uptime level?

    Our Web Host Uptime Answer: First, when it comes to the server uptime performance of a web hosting company there can be substantial differences between the average web host uptime of a given server provider and the industry standard. In general, you cannot compare the uptime expectations between a dedicated server environment and a shared web host. If you purchase web hosting from a local host, you may not receive an uptime guarantee policy when compared to what you get from a national hosting company like HostMonster or BlueHost. In general, the larger the web host the more solid that their uptime guarantee is likely to be. The typical website hosting uptime guarantee is 99.9% uptime. Keep in mind that even at this level, which is all you can expect for a shared hosting plan that costs under $5 a month you will still have several hours of server outages in a given year. It is possible that a web host may exceed 99.9% uptime if all their hardware works but there is the possibility of downtime. Always check your own internet connection before calling your web host to ask whether your share or dedicated hosting plan is online, because often a local access issue can occur and it may not be related to your web host's servers.

    Failure to sustain a given level of web host uptime can result from two primary causes. The first reason for a web hosting service to experience a uptime failure is related to hardware. From time to time, the actual server hardware can malfunction resulting in a web server going down and not maintaining its uptime. The second means by which a 99.9% uptime web host can experience downtime is through bandwidth connectivity problems. If the network provider servicing the web host's Internet data center goes down, they may lose connectivity resulting in a server outage. Many good web hosts counter this potential uptime problem by having multiple telecom companies providing transfer links into their IDC. This way if one telecom goes down, another can carry the traffic and provide bandwidth. If you cannot get at least a 99% average web hosting uptime guarantee, we suggest you consider transferring to or selecting a different web host.

    When it comes to evaluating the uptime performance levels at a particular web host and you want to compare their web hosting uptime to your own expectations you should consult their service level agreement. This is commonly called the SLA and contains many of the important web hosting clauses that govern your service with a particular web hosting provider. The average web hosting time, as measured over a period of time, will usually be in the SLA. Keep in mind that the average web hosting uptime typically is measured over a period of a month. Thus, the web host will typically guarantee say a 99.9% level of uptime over a 30-day period. If the have technical problems. the performance on a single day may drop below 99.9% and you should realize this difference in how to understand a SLA uptime guaranntee.

    As for dedicated server uptime versus shared web host uptime, there is a substantial difference. With shared hosting, your website is hosted on a server with hundreds of other clients. The more clients, the more potential there is for a server outage. However, the cost for shared hosting is much lower, such as $3.95 per month with a 99.9% uptime guarantee provider like BlueHost. At such a price, it is not fair to expect more than 99.9% uptime performance. A web host that guarantees 100% uptime is not really possible. That's where uptime rates for dedicated hosting companies arise for examination. Take a top-tier dedicated server provider like SingleHop. They offer some of the cheapest dedicated servers available. However, for dedicated hosting you can distinguish between server uptime guarantees and network uptime guarantees. SingleHop guarantees 100% uptime for their dedicated server network access. This is possible through multiple IDC connections. However, a keen eye will note that 100% for server hardware cannot be reasonably offered. Sometimes even the best hardware will experience a failure, thus see the restriction are hardware in their SLA. No dedicated server company can promise 100% uptime around hardware issues so be careful if they do. However, since you are paying more for dedicated hosting versus shared hosting, you will tend to get better network access guarantees for your hosted website, e.g. SingleHop's 100% Network Guarantee.

    Thus, you can typically expect the average uptime guarantee to be 99.9% for the best shared hosts and up to 100% for network uptime guarantees with dedicated hosts. Check the SLA for the specific uptime policy of the web hosting company that you are reviewing. If a web host fails to meet their SLA or a given average web hosting uptime promise, you can often get a refund of monthly fees, credit, or replacement products. When it comes to web host uptime be reasonable. Sometimes even the best hosting companies experience an outage and transferring to a different web host may not prevent a future server failure or network failure experience. Downtime can happen, just try to find a web host that offers a minimum of 99.9% uptime that is guaranteed by a service level agreement. If you want to compare web hosts with different uptime guarantees or find a new hosting company, we suggest you try the web hosts in our Top 10 Web Hosting List as they are some of the most reliable hosting companies with 99.9% uptime plus services.

    Thanks again for your web hosting uptime question. Feel free to share you high reliability hosting experiences or those relating to server outages resulting from a bad uptime guarantee standard with us by email


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