Is 100 Percent Website Uptime Realistic?

Downtime can have a lasting negative effect on your company, depending on how often your site experiences outages and how long the outages last. Not only can an outage translate into profit loss, but it can also cause a loss in productivity, damage to your brand reputation, and decreased customer loyalty.

In an ideal world, your website would experience uptime 100% of the time. However, that number is just not realistic. Instead, a number such as 99.9% is more realistic. While one tenth of a percentage point may not seem like a huge difference in the amount of uptime, it actually translates into 8.76 hours that your site will be down per year and 43.8 minutes it will be down per month.

A Closer Look at the Numbers

Uptime is generally measured using “9’s” and percentages. For example, 99% uptime (also referred to as “two nines”) equates to 7 hours and 12 minutes of downtime per month. Uptime of 99.99%, or four nines, equals 4 minutes and 19 seconds of downtime per month. Uptime of 99.999%, five nines, equals 26 seconds of downtime, and 99.9999%, six nines, equals only 3 seconds of downtime per month.

What Causes Downtime?

Websites can experience downtime for a variety of reasons, including human error, coding errors, expired domain names, natural disasters and planned website maintenance. Downtime can also be attributed to your web hosting service. Although a web hosting service may guarantee 99.99% uptime, shared service with other sites may affect your own web performance. When selecting a web hosting company, be sure to review the Service Level Agreement, SLA, first. An SLA is a portion of the service contract that formally defines the amount of uptime guaranteed by the company. If the web host doesn’t meet the amount of uptime laid out in the SLA, you should be entitled to refunds or hosting credits.

Maximizing Uptime

Utilizing a website monitoring service, such as, is an easy and effective way to maximize your website’s uptime. Because this service monitors your website 24 hours per day, 7 days a week, they are able to notify you immediately upon discovering that your website is down. This will give you the opportunity to resolve the issue faster, thereby minimizing the amount of downtime your site will experience.

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