Server uptime and downtime: what they are and why they are so important

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A good hosting can really make a difference in conversions and not only because from May 2021, Google with the concept of Core Web Vitals , rewards the fastest sites, but and above all because if the user does not have an optimal user experience on the site, abandons him.

Obviously all this is linked to the type of hosting service we rely on and in particular to its technical specifications, which can actually benefit us.

There are therefore two very important parameters to consider, namely uptime and downtime. These are part of a qualitative metric of the hosting service.

But what is it specifically about? Let’s see it together.

What does Uptime mean?

With the term Uptime , we come to identify the actual time of operation at full capacity of a machine. Basically it is the time in which a specific server is actually active and reachable. Basically it represents an indication of the stability of the system.

This value can be measured in percentages or in absolute terms (hence the precise number of hours, minutes and seconds of uninterrupted operation). Therefore, having a server with a high uptime means being able to have the security of a site that is always online. Obviously, also in this case, some small physiological interruptions are allowed, which however last for a few minutes.

In the case of providers, the percentage estimate is used and not the absolute number and the measurements are made on an annual basis. The percentage can range from 0%, relating to a service that never works, up to 100%, relating to a service that always works. In reality we can consider excellent uptime, when we are around 99.5%.

What does Downtime mean?

In contrast to uptime, we find Downtime , which basically represents the period of inactivity of the system. These outages can be voluntary and scheduled, due to maintenance work or unexpected. In the first case, those who manage the system will notify their customers of the period of disruption. It is different if the downtime is caused by other problems.

This is why when choosing hosting, you need to be well informed and choose a service that has a low dowtime and consequently a high uptime.

What can downtime depend on?

As I anticipated, the downtime can depend on maintenance works , which however are scheduled and the customer is notified of the disservice.

Another relevant cause may depend on a server failure and this leads the sites to go offline, due to failures in the hardware components (overheating, damage to the disks etc) or software of the machine on which they are hosted.

Furthermore, there could be an excessive consumption of resources , which can compromise the operation and efficiency of the machine.

Or even attempts at information hacking and security attacks.

Finally, there was also a failure in the data center that hosts the server.

Why are uptime and downtime so important?

The relationship between these two values ​​is fundamental for choosing a hosting service without surprises. This in fact allows you to understand the quality of the product and any flaws in it.

If the hosting service you are choosing has a high uptime, you have a better chance of having no problems and finding your website always online.

The high uptime value therefore becomes fundamental for the success of an online business. In fact, many companies can lose customers if there is a network outage. Not to mention that if the site goes offline with a certain frequency, this also negatively affects the SEO side.

Having a high level of uptime means having a high probability that your site, for example E-Commerce, is always online and available. On the contrary, dowtime makes your platform unreachable and this can easily discourage your customers, who switch to your competitor.

What are the optimal values?

Hosting that can boast good quality and therefore reliability of the service, boast an uptime of over 99.5%. This value is certainly given by an excellent maintenance of the infrastructures and by an assistance that allows a certain continuity.

However, there is no 100% uptime as the system will always be subject to fluctuations. However, aiming for hosting services with an uptime equal to or greater than 99.5% is certainly a good choice. The success of an online business also depends in part on this.

Andrea SaccĂ 
FOUNDER Bhoost Hosting

Sharing tips and insights on Bhoost and Page Speed Optimization

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