Many small business owners look for affordable web hosting space for their business website. And it is very tempting for small business owners to cut costs and choose a cheap host because the price is right. But if the “cheap” host fails to keep your website available at all hours, your business can suffer. Thus, it is of vital importance that you choose a web host who guarantees uptime for your website.
Like most businesses who operate out of a retail store or office, when you close your doors for the day you don’t do any more business until next time you reopen. However with an online ‘virtual’ store you are able to conduct eCommerce transactions 24 hours a day. But if at any time your website is down multiple times each month because your web host experiences web server errors, you lose potential revenue.
What is “Uptime”?
Uptime is how the industry defines the amount of time their web servers are working properly. Usually it is described as a percentage such as “95% uptime”, or “99.999% uptime”. For customers it is a function of the reliability of a web hosting service.
For instance, if a web host promises 95% uptime, you may be losing up to 36 hours a month due to server errors. Whereas a 99.9% uptime assures that in case of server downtime, you would only lose less than an hour each month.
Determine if Your Host Offers Guaranteed Uptime
If you operate a business website, especially one with eCommerce, be sure your web host offers an uptime guarantee. Quality hosts like Bluehost.com and WebhostingPad.com offer a guarantee of 99.9% that their servers will be working for your business.
Will you be compensated for downtime?
If your web host offers an uptime guarantee, check to see if that promise translates into compensation for you. Some uptime guarantees only compensate on a pro-rated basis if the servers are down longer than normal, which equates to just pennies for you. A far reach from lost sales revenue.
A better guarantee will compensate you for at least a full month of hosting service if the host fails to meet their monthly uptime guarantee.
Make Regular Checks on Your Website
Never assume your business website is working smoothly at all times. It is a good practice to check on your site several times a day just to ensure it is up and running.
Big businesses like Netflix know when their website is down. With millions of hits per day, they receive notice from their customers in the form of customer service calls by the thousands when they experience a website problem.
However, a small business may not know for hours that there is even an issue with a down website. So make it a policy for your IT staff to ensure the site is up, and to contact your web host if there is a problem.
Online business websites depend on the reliability of their webhost for their eCommerce success. Be sure your host acts as your online partner with a guaranteed uptime.