Running a website isn’t always the easiest thing to do, and there are a lot of things to think about. One thing that some people overlook is the idea of uptime and downtime. People spend a lot of time thinking about their websites and whether they look nice, and how many visitors they but they rarely think about how often their site is accessible to visitors. The truth is that if you don’t have a really good web host, your site may be down a lot more than you realize, and this could be affecting the experience that users have with your site, as well as your site’s reputation among other things.
If you pay for web hosting, chances are that you have an Service Level Agreement or SLA with your web host. An SLA dictates terms between you and your web host, and specifies how much uptime they are expected to provide you with, and if they don’t what will happen. For example, let’s say that your SLA specifies 99.9% uptime. That means that your server has to be working properly 99.9% of the time, otherwise you could make a claim with your web host against the SLA and they’d have to do whatever is specified in the SLA. For example, they may have to issue you a refund for a month of service, or issue you a credit, or do something else. And it’s also possible that they may not have to do anything. This is all determined by what’s actually in the SLA. If you want to make a claim against your SLA, you’ll need some proof to back it up.
One of the best ways to get proof of how often your website is up and how often it’s down is to work with a company that offers some type of SLA management service. Dotcom-Monitor (http://www.dotcom-monitor.com/sla-management.aspx) offers a service like this and you can visit their website and find out more. So does Manage Engine (http://www.manageengine.com/products/support-center/sla-management.html) and you can find out more here. Regardless of who you choose, or how you monitor the uptime, having a third party report is usually better than just randomly claiming that your website was down because the report is coming from an unbiased third party. So if you’re taking the time to watch your website, and holding your web host accountable according to your SLA, you’re taking a good step in the right direction of being a proactive webmaster.