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Meet the author:
Jill Olkoski

Jill has a MA in Clinical Psychology, a BS in Computer Science, and a BS in Mechanical Engineering.

She currently owns Aldebaran Web Design in Edmonds (near Seattle WA) and enjoys educating her clients on topics related to small business website design.

In Jill's previous life, she spent 17 years in the engineering and quality organizations of a Fortune 100 tech company.


How Often Do Websites Go Down – How Much Downtime is Normal?

December 3rd, 2011

I use Web-Stat to track my website traffic and to warn me if my site is down. Whenever my websitesite goes down, I wonder to myself…how often do websites go down? My hosting company is DreamHost and whenever there’s an issue people rant and rave about downtime. But I wanted to share my actual downtime statistics with folks, who may be wondering: how much downtime is “normal” for a small business website?

Web-Stat has many nifty reports that are easy to view, and one of them is daily downtime over any length of time. I ran this report to see my own website’s downtime from 2011-1-1 to today (2001-12-3) and here’s what I found:

Average Downtime : 0.21%

You can see that on some days, my downtime was 7.2%, which equals 1.73 hours.

(Calculation:�� (7.2/100)*24 = 1.73)

Yes, on those days, if the downtime happened during my working hours, I was certainly concerned and emailing DreamHost. But they always got things working again. On average, my downtime is 0.21% per day, which equates to 0.0504 hours per day, which is 3 minutes per day.

So that’s my average downtime per day: 3 minutes per day. For me and my business, that’s completely tolerable given the low cost of website hosting that DreamHost charges.

You may see other hosting companies who talk about downtime in terms of uptime, meaning the percentage of the time that the website is up. In these terms, you could conclude that my uptime per day would equal 100%-0.21% = 99.79%

So if you see a website hosting company advertising 99% uptime, you’ll have an average of 14 minutes of downtime each day.

If a hosting company advertistes 99.9% uptime, you’ll have an average of 1.4 minutes of downtime each day.

Again, this data is easy to get if you’re using Web-Stat as your website traffic tool – which I highly recommend – especially because it alerts you to when your site is down so you can notify your hosting company if they aren’t already working on the problem. The sooner you notify them, the faster they can fix things, and the lower your overall downtime will be. Web-Stat offers a 30 day free trial, and is super simple to add to a website.

Leave me a comment and let me know what your average downtime is.

J. Olkoski
Aldebaran Web Design, Seattle
Jill Olkoski has a BS in Engineering, a BS in Computer Science and an MA in Clinical Psychology. She delights in using her advanced technical and psychological skills to help small business owners develop cost-effective and successful websites.

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