99.9% Uptime Guarantees are commonly offered from web hosts. This creates a Service Level Agreement, or SLA, that the provider will keep the server – and your website(s) – up and running 99.9% of the time. Since pricing in the industry is competitive and 99.9% uptime guarantees are so common, it is not recommended you choose a web host that fails to provide this level of quality service. The hosts below have all been verified to provide 99.9% (at least) uptime guarantees and are sortable by popular brands or cheapest price.

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Why Uptime Is Important For Your Website

Reliable, consistent uptime is imperative for websites. Your
website having high availability can directly impact how well your site ranks on
Google and other search engines. Downtime can be seen as the site is no longer
live or that it has been potentially hacked – both of these don’t present good
results for any using search engines to find answers.

More importantly, downtime also impacts your bottom line
directly. Breaking your revenue down to the minute can show you the tangible
cost of when your site is not running. This isn’t a true one-to-one comparison
though – downtime can hurt customer retention and loyalty, hurting your revenue
in the long run as well.

What Factors Determine Server Uptime

The time component of uptime is straightforward: all time in included in the guarantee,
whether it’s in the middle of the night, the weekend, or even a holiday. The
only time that is usually excluded in
uptime calculations is scheduled maintenance. Depending on your host and
hosting type, you may be able to work with your provider to move maintenance to
a low traffic time period for your site. Generally, maintenance will be
performed on weekends or the night anyway.

What classifies as server
downtime is a bit more complicated. Errors and bugs or your site that bring it
down do not count as server downtime nor do any issues that come from any 3rd
party plugins or software. However, if you haven’t done any work on your site
and you see errors codes for “500 Internal Server Error”, this could be a good
indicator that there is an issue with the server and not your site. Simply put:
the web host is not responsible for you breaking your own site.

Issues with your internet – either in your area or at your location specifically – also do not count towards server downtime. Sites like DownForEveryoneOrJustMe.com can help you determine if the issue is localized to you or if it’s happening on the site level, but they will not distinguish between server-level and website errors. On the web host side, they take several precautions, like RAID systems, to ensure this doesn’t happen on their end.

Finally, your site becoming hacked or otherwise compromised
does not count towards server downtime, but it does present a new set of issues
with your host if this is a common occurrence.

What 99.9% Uptime Translates To In Terms Of Hours

99.9% uptime roughly translates to:

  • About 2 minutes a day (1 minute, 26 seconds)
  • About 43 minutes in a month (43 minutes, 12
  • About 9 hours a year (8 hours, 45 minutes, 36

Here’s a handy tool for determining downtimes for other SLAs from hosts.

Going Further: How Five Nines And 100% Uptimes Are Possible

Make no mistake: 99.9% uptime shouldn’t be seen as the gold standard. With the advancement of cloud networking and technologies, greater uptimes are not only possible, but they are becoming much more affordable, even to small businesses.

SLAs with 99.999% (often referred to as “five nines”) and
100% uptimes use cloud hosting to achieve the desired results since resources
are split across a network of machines rather than a single server. A rack can
be taken off the network without disruption to your site. While 99.9% uptime
can allow for 43 minutes of downtime a month, 99.999% uptime guarantees
translates to your site potentially being down for only 26 seconds a month.

Further Reading