The Benefits of Uptime Monitoring
Are you considering uptime monitoring, but don’t know if it will be useful enough? Well, beyond knowing when your site is up/down and being able to proactively take care of problems, you could be costing yourself money every month by not holding your web host accountable to their service level agreement, or SLA. Let’s take a closer look at what SLAs are, and how you can use a service like UptimePal to make sure that your web hosting SLA is met and your host company keeps up their end of the bargain.
Understanding a Web Hosting SLA
Most web hosts have a set level of uptime that they must meet spelled out in their service level agreement. You may recall seeing web hosts advertising things like “99.9% uptime” or other similar metrics. This metric usually means that a web host must have operational servers 99.9% of the time or more in order to meet the terms of their SLA. This is typically a selling point for web hosting because people are often looking to for the most reliable hosting that they can find. The greater the uptime number the better the service.
So, what happens if a web host falls short of this number? Well, that depends on what else is in the SLA. Sometimes SLAs can be lengthy documents, and there is often language in the agreement that specifies exactly what counts as downtime, and other various stipulations. If a web host doesn’t meet their end of the SLA, then they may offer a certain amount of money back, free services for a period of time, or other benefits. Again, this would be determined by the exact language in an SLA, so you should review yours carefully.
Monitoring Uptime with a Third Party
So how does a website owner know if their web host is falling short of their uptime obligations? The short answer is—you won’t know, unless you’re monitoring your site for uptime and downtime. Sure, most of the web hosting companies likely keep stats about uptime and downtime, but these stats are often skewed to their benefit, and are typically not as reliable as third party validation where another company specializes in monitoring the uptime and downtime of servers. Some website monitoring services even allow you to create an uptime report that breaks down the uptime and downtime over a specified period. This is particularly useful as you can send this report to your web host if you’re contesting the level of service that you received during a given period. They would then be able to see the verified numbers in an independent report from a third party, which would likely help your case if you’re contesting the level of service you received.
There’s no guarantee that they’d agree with your assessment even if you had a report, but it’s more likely than if you had nothing backing your position. At the very least, it’s definitely nice to know for yourself how a web host is performing and whether they are meeting the terms of the service level agreement. The information provided from uptime monitoring can help you make informed business decisions as to if you should keep your business with a particular web host, or move to another hosting company.