In a modern world, every business needs to be present on the Internet, or it will literally fall behind competitors by a huge margin. And this presence in the form of a website should not only be full of useful and high-quality content, but it should also work like a clockwork mechanism from top to bottom. It must be accessible anytime to anyone from anywhere. Of course, such a thing is impossible, because of the maintenance issues, but it shouldn’t hold a website owner back from aiming at the highest accessibility time possible.
Therefore, it is vital to keep a website online and accessible most of the time, maintaining its stability at best condition and uptime at highest ratio. Because downtime or partial unavailability (region-related, etc) are very frustrating for website users and for a website owner and a webmaster. And to avoid this frustration it is important to understand how everything works, why a website could go down and how to prevent or at least quickly find and fix the reason for its downtime.
Website uptime and downtime
Website downtime, simply put, is a time when a website is down and out of reach for all users with no exception. On a contrary, website uptime is a time when a website is fully accessible from outside. It is measured in percentages and, obviously, you can get 99.99% at max. Because you won’t be able to get full 100% even if you will use a cloud-based server with no maintenance downtime.
Of course, uptime counts without taking various outside issues into account. Like blacklisting, network issues, local or global ISP problems and so on. To sum it up, there are main reasons which could transform uptime to downtime:
- Server-side maintenance.
- Overall server unavailability due to hosting issues,
- Offline server hardware status.
- Server software malfunction.
- Malware and hacking attempts on server, including DDoS overload.
Everything above, as it is obvious, is related mostly to server issues. Because, reasonably speaking, a website is not really down if it is blocked by DNSBL or cut down due to network problems. Therefore, it will not be considered as a downtime.
Nevertheless, all other availability problems will annoy users, despite not seriously affecting ads, promotion and search services. Of course, if a website is not available for parsers, no matter the reason, it will be excluded from queues or even temporarily banned. Until it is available again and its owner reported it to a corresponding service’s support. Although it will not affect ratings if a server was up and running and uptime was not decreased.
Importance of a high uptime
Simply put, if your website’s uptime is high, it is profitable for a website’s position in various ratings and queues. Advertisement services, as well as promotional services and search engines will consider your website as a reliable one and will not sanction it. Otherwise, obviously, your website will fall down in ratings and queues. Therefore, you will get less chances to attract new visitors and potential customers. With this, you will lose not only your potential profit, but also your reputation. Moreover, your website’s current audience might leave and go to competitors’ websites.
Considering all of the above, it is vital to maintain uptime as close as possible to the maximum of 99.99% - the higher, the better. But this is not an easy task. Because you will need to quickly react to various downtime issues and fix them. And to do this, you need to put your website under constant monitoring.
Of course, you can always use simple manual tools like www.host-tracker.com/en/ic/ping-test and its additions when your website is down to diagnose what’s happened. But it is better to have a preventive solution. Therefore, it will be a wise decision to opt in for a useful and versatile automated monitoring service. Like HostTracker, for example. It will surely help to know what happened, when it happened and why something malfunctioned. This way you will be able to quickly react to any situation.
Website monitoring solutions to prevent downtime increase
As it was said, automated monitoring routines are a must if you want to keep your website up and running as much time as possible. Therefore you should consider opting in to one, As an example, you can get yourself one of the best toolkits to find out is website down - host tracker monitor service. It will surely come in handy with its vast functionality.
Simply put, with this particular service you will get a worldwide access point network for monitoring purposes. This platform, when you configure everything, will put every single aspect of your website’s stability, availability, loading speed and so on, under constant surveillance.
It will even notify you when something’s wrong with your website. And you, as an owner or as a webmaster, will have your hands free from a part of your daily routine. And if you’re already considering this service, you can try it for free during 30 days of trial subscription.
On top of external monitoring, remembering that downtime usually rises due to server-side issues, you will have a HostTracker hosting checker to keep your hosting provider’s server in check. It will be useful by all means, because with its help you will get all details on hardware and software stability. Therefore, you will be able to find and fix any issues if those will arise.
Website downtime reasons in details
Already mentioned above, there are various reasons for real downtime of websites. Those reasons, strictly speaking, are not always usual and common. But those have some similar details and possible causes worth mentioning. That is why it was possible to divide those issues in categories and explain those reasons in a simple way.
The main reason why a website’s uptime will never reach 100%. Simply put, whenever there is a software update or hardware replacement, it will cause downtime and affect uptime. There’s only one thing you can do to prevent this. This thing is using a backup server to work with when your main one is off to maintenance. It will require some time to set everything up and additional money to rent a backup server, but it is better to be prepared. Of course, this is not an ideal solution, but there are no alternatives except using highly expensive cloud servers. Because cloud technologies are not too properly developed, thus not too useful at this point of time. And are by no means cheap.
Overall server unavailability due to hosting issues
First things first. Server can and will be unavailable if there are problems with hosting. No matter whether it is a power outage or a bad and greedy neighboring website on the same server with you, who grinds all resources. If a server fails or malfunctions due to those simple reasons related to hosting - it will still be down. Therefore, it will increase your website’s downtime. This category is a broad one, but it is present and it will cause you a headache from time to time. But not as constantly as you could think, because this category is literally akin to natural disasters in terms of chances of happening.
Offline server hardware status
Hosting-side power outages are one thing, and hardware malfunctions are another. Although both issues will cause a server to go offline, hardware-related problems are internal and sometimes even preventable if you have a properly configured monitoring. Therefore if you are using a hosttracker http host checker monitor, consider telling your hosting provider that there’s something wrong with server hardware. And, obviously, you should be taking DDoS, hacking attempts and viruses into account, although those will cause almost the same consequences, despite being in another category. Nevertheless, you should monitor server hardware independently and notify hosting support if you have noticed something, or it will be too late if a server went down already.
Server software malfunction
Almost the same thing as the previous one, but related to a software side of a server. Usually this thing happens when an update routine went wrong or someone configured something not in the way it should be configured. In both cases things usually go south as fast as possible and without anyone noticing what happened and why. And, obviously, this kind of issue happens right after a server maintenance downtime. Of course, this could happen some time after it or even in the middle of a 100+ days of stable work, but the latter is not a common thing. You will rarely encounter this one in your lifetime, on a contrary to after-update malfunctions.
Malware and hacking attempts
Another software-related type of an issue, but not a malfunction by mistake, but a man-made malicious deed. Strictly speaking, you could not even be a target for this malicious attack on a server. But you will be affected. Especially when there is a DDoS attack. Because it will overload a server in no time and could cause its numerous reboots, downtimes, software and hardware malfunctions and so on. This will put your website’s uptime in danger until it’s over. Of course, hosting providers have DDoS countermeasures and antiviruses against malware, but this doesn’t mean you will have 100% all-round protections against those issues.
Concluding everything that was mentioned and explained, you must pay attention to your website’s and server’s uptime by all means, because it is vital for your website’s development and promotion. And to do it in a most effective way, you should consider putting your hands on a reliable and versatile website monitoring service. Of course, there is a manual way to do the thing. But we’re living in an age of automation of everything, so it is worth it to use automated tools to deal with the matter to keep your website up and running as close as possible to the 99.99% of its lifetime.