The Cost of Unplanned Website Outages

Calculating the exact financial loss a company may suffer as the result of an unplanned website outage can be difficult. A number of variables must be considered, such as the duration of downtime and the size of the company. For example, an obscure blog with minimal readership may not suffer any damage from an outage, whereas large companies might lose millions of dollars from an outage that lasts just a few hours. A recent report by the International Data Corporation found that the average downtime among Fortune 1000 companies cost an estimated $500,000 to $1 million an hour.

A company’s nominal losses can be estimated in some cases. An online shopping cart that earns $2,000 per hour can be expected to lose approximately $2,000 each hour that the site remains offline. This estimate doesn’t factor in other important variables that can affect a company’s profitability, however. These variables can include:

Damage to Brand Reputation

Your brand credibility will suffer if potential customers see that your site is down, particularly if it happens frequently. This can lead to poor reviews about your company on social media.

Productivity Loss

Are your employees able to complete work while your website is down? If not, how much are you paying in wages during these times?

Loss of Return Customers

Not only do you lose potential sales while your site is down, but you may also lose return customers. Buyers might decide your website isn’t trustworthy and decide to make their purchases elsewhere.

Marketing Efforts Affected

If you utilize a pay-per-click advertising model, you’ll still have to pay for clicks even though your website is down. Although customers can’t access your site, they can continue to click on your ads.

Minimizing Downtime

Considering all the possible costs and financial losses associated with website downtime, it may be in your best interest to use a third party to monitor your website’s uptime. Online services such as will inform you as soon as your website experiences an outage, reducing the amount of time your site is down and minimizing your potential risk.

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