Exactly How Does Website Downtime Affect Your Business?

Website downtime… Every company that operates online faces it at one time or another. You may know that website downtime is an inevitable issue. Some may call it a necessary evil. You may even have checked with your hosting company to ensure a 99.9 percent uptime rate. The question is, how do you really know if you are getting that 99.9 percent uptime that you are paying for? Furthermore, if you are experiencing more downtime than you had thought, how exactly does it affect your business?

The truth is that website downtime can affect a business in a number of ways – possibly even in ways you haven’t considered. To fully understand why it is so important to keep on top of your website’s downtime, you need to know what that downtime is doing to your business.

How Website Downtime Affects Your Business:

Profits:
The most obvious way in which website downtime affects your business is in profit loss. If your website isn’t operating, you aren’t making sales. If you aren’t making sales, you’re losing money.

Now let’s say that you actually do only have a server downtime of .01 percent. Not a big deal right? After all, that is what most hosting companies aim for. Have you ever calculated what that downtime costs you?

Let’s say the net profits of your website are $2,000 per month. That .01 percent downtime is only costing you $2 every month (assuming your sales are uniform throughout the day and the downtime is not occurring during peak sale hours). If your monthly sales are $10,000, the .01 percent downtime is only costing you about $10 per month. That’s still not too bad. But what if your downtime is more than .01 percent? What if that 99.9 percent uptime that you were promised isn’t actually happening? What if your uptime is only 92.8 percent? The figures jump.

If you are not getting that 99.9 percent uptime that you were promised and your website uptime is only 92.8 percent, that means you are experiencing website downtime of 7.2 percent. If your monthly sales are $10,000 per month that loss of $10 per month just jumped to $504 per month. As you can see, website downtime can begin to become quite expensive – and that’s just estimating actual downtime and not sales lost due to slow site performance. The figure also doesn’t take into account website downtime that may be occurring during peak sales hours.

Profits, however, are not the only thing you have to worry about if you are experiencing a high amount of website downtime.

Customer Satisfaction:
Consumers prefer to do business with companies that are reliable and dependable. How your website is running says a lot about your company. If your website is constantly down or experiencing slowdowns, customers are going to view your website as unreliable and they will begin to think the rest of your business operates the same way. Eventually, a site that is consistently going down or experiencing slowdowns will begin to lose valued customers.

What Are Investors Thinking?
You may currently be looking for investors or you may want to find investors at some point in the future. Ask yourself this… If you were going to invest in a website, what would you think if you went to visit the site and the site wasn’t functioning properly? The truth is that excessive website downtime can break your business. Not just because you’re losing profits and turning customers away, but because it can also cost you potential investors as well.

How to Manage Website Downtime:
The best way to manage website downtime is to get an idea of just how much downtime your website is actually experiencing. Sure, your hosting company can tell you that you have a 99.9 percent uptime rate. That doesn’t mean you actually do. You’ll want to utilize a website monitoring service to get a clear picture of how your website is actually performing and whether or not there are any problems you need to address.

If your site is experiencing an excessive amount of downtime, you are going to need to think about changes. You should probably move to a dedicated server or consider a server upgrade. You may also want to think about changing hosting companies if the hosting company you are with seems to be the problem.

Once upgrades and changes have been made to address your website downtime issues, continue to monitor your website downtime and performance using a website monitoring service. By consistently monitoring your site you will know immediately if problems arise again in the future.