In order to provide you with accurate information, we conducted a special study. Our goal was to find out the real situation with hosting stability at our Top-10 companies. To do this, we randomly selected 200 functioning websites at each hosting, and observed them, measuring their uptime using a special service.
The term of study, sufficient enough to obtain reliable data, was defined 6 weeks. As a result, the most stable hostings are BlueHost and WebHostingHub. Interesting fact: among ten host companies, only two - HostGator and WebHostingPad - not only guarantee to provide 99,9% uptime, but also a free month of hosting as a compensation in case of not meeting the requirements.
Find out how we studied the uptime in our article Hosting Uptime Analysis.
Uptime indicates the hosting's stability. It shows the percentage of time from the total observation period, during which the website was available to visitors. Website availability depends on the server's uptime and bandwidth of internet channels, through which the data centre is connected to the global network.
The stable functioning of one's website is important, especially for commercial projects. If a popular web-portal, online store or web-service have 50-100 new visitors every minute, then any downtime period or slow page loading will result in a huge number of lost customers. This problem is discussed in the following articles:Got Enough Capacity?, Website Uptime, Your Reputation, and Your Bottomline, Black Friday: Proof That Ecommerce Uptime Truly Affects The Bottom Line.
Our team observed uptime rates of sites, hosted at our TOP-10 hosting companies. Shared hosting has several websites of different customers on the same server. Therefore, for the accuracy of statistics, we selected 200 domains, hosted at each of the ten hosts in our ranking.
We used http://www.webhosting.info to choose these domains and http://mon.itor.us to gather uptime rates.
Domain Search Methodology
- Register at http://www.webhosting.info/ (free registration).
- Go to Web Hosts.
- Enter the hosting domain in the Search for Hosting Company Reports field.
- Choose Company Website, then click Search:
- In the Search Results list, find your domain and click view report:
This window shows a summary table with changes in the number of domains by hosting.
We need a more detailed table. For this, click Gain by Transfer in the left menu. Find your domain in the Search Results list, and click view report.
This window shows a summary table with changes in the number of domains by hosting. We need a detailed table, so click Gain by Transfer in the left menu:
- Choose any hosting from the list and click on the number of domains in the second column:
- Choose any domain and open it in your browser. We need to make sure that this website is still working.
Good choice: http://1andson.com/
Bad choice http://anmphotography.com/
If the site is still working, let's choose it for monitoring.
Uptime Monitoring Methodology
- Register at http://mon.itor.us/
- Choose Monitor, then Add monitor:
- Don't change anything in the first window, click Next.
- Enter the domain in the URL/IP field and click Next:
- Don't change anything in the next window (our monitoring is free), and click Add.
- Don't change the notification settings, click Done:
- Repeat the steps from 1 to 6 for every domain.
Problems during monitoring
Initially, during the period from 12/12/2011 to 08/01/2012, we gathered statistics on 20 sites, 2 domains from each of the 10 hosts. To increase statistics, the number of sites was increased to 20 for each hosting with a total of 200 domains. In the period from 05/03/2012 to 15/04/2012, we started to collect statistics on 200 sites from each host. In the end, the values differed greatly - for example, at fatcow.com the average uptime (US) for the observation period from 05/03/2012 to 11/03/2012 was:
- data from 20 sites - 98.23%
- data from 200 sites - 99.51%
After increasing the number of domains for observation, the average uptime rate for each hosting changed -- in some cases it increased by 0.31% - 2.9%, in other, decreased by 1.26% - 11.92%. A large spread in values is associated with the specific of a shared-hosting. If a large number of observed sites are located on the same web server that operates poorly, the overall statistics for the hosting will be worse. For the analysis and conclusions, we used statistics collected from 200 sites at each hosting.
For example, at greengeeks.com, 79 of 201 domains have an uptime below 98%. To exclude the possibility of an error, we began to observe other 200 sites at this hosting. This time, we found that only 46 of 206 domains have an uptime below 99%. Based on the example of greengeeks.com, we revealed the following website stability correlation:
Average Uptime US
|99.1% - 99.8%||43.28%||87||4.48%||9|
Uptime Statistics and Conclusions
The service http://mon.itor.us sends uptime statistics once a week by email.
Average Uptime During the Period from 05/03/2012 to 15/04/2012:
(per week), %
|Downtime (per week),
|Downtime (per week),
Table. Average uptime rates for 200 sites from the TOP-10 rating.
The most unreliable is greengeeks.com.
Please note that some of the hosts not only promise to maintain the stable operation of your sites, but also clearly indicate in their ToS their obligation to maintain an uptime no lower than 99.9%.
Hostings mentioning their obligation to maintain high uptime.
- HostGator - In its rules (paragraph 9b) agrees to add a free month of hosting, if the uptime is less than 99.9%.
- Webhostingpad - In its rules guarantees an uptime of 99.9%, and agrees to add a free month of hosting for every 8 hours of violation.
The advantage of such services is that round the clock, with a short interval (from one to 60 minutes), they will automatically check the availability and download speed of your website from multiple servers located in different parts of the world. In case you have problems, you will be notified by mail or SMS.