We know from experience that many online businesses and website owners spend a lot of time and money on online marketing and getting conversions. However, sometimes, teams lose sight of one of the most basic of concerns, website uptime. Teams forget the impact of downtime, and they neglect to monitor their website’s uptime. As a result, when a website outage occurs—and it will—the downtime goes unnoticed, but the outage still affects visitors and potential customers.
What is website uptime monitoring?
Website Uptime Monitoring is a service that tests your site’s availability continuously around the clock, and if there is an outage, the service lets you know. Uptrends checks your site from over 200 monitoring locations around the globe. Uptrends checks every minute from one of your users’ locations to see if your website is available and working. If not, Uptrends sends out alerts. You can choose to get your notifications via multiple channels:
- Push notifications on the Uptrends app
- SMS/text messages
- Voice/phone messages
- Direct integrations through Slack, PagerDuty, or StatusHub
- Set up your own integration using webhooks to services like VictorOps or ServiceNow
You get the alert message through the channels that work for you and your team best. By supporting the communication methods your team already uses, you can respond quickly to website problems.
1. Website downtime means lost revenue
As an online business, you do not want to lose revenue because of website downtime. If your website is down, there is a big chance your prospects or visitors simply go to your competitor. As a result, you lose revenue, conversions, and leads. To prevent attrition due to downtime, you need to keep a close eye on your site’s uptime statistics.
…Google’s home page briefly went offline, costing the company more than half a million dollars in lost ad revenue in just five minutes.
Solution: Website Uptime Monitoring can let you know about an outage the moment it happens. You can get moving on getting your site back up faster.
What those uptime percentages mean to you and your wallet
Website uptime is generally expressed in percentages, but it is important to know what those percentages mean. Let’s take a look at an example based on a website that brings in $10 million per-year in revenue. As you can see in Table 1, 98% uptime sounds like a good number, but for our hypothetical site, 98% uptime results in a loss of nearly $200K in potential revenue.
Table 1: Downtime percentages translate to hours and days of downtime and costly loss in revenue
|Downtime percentage||Downtime per year (hours)||Potential revenue lost|
|98.9||96.0 (4 days)||$109,589|
|98.0||168.25 (7.2 days)||$192,066|
Sites like Google, Amazon, and Facebook aim for 99.999% uptime, a.k.a. five nines or no more than 5.25 minutes of downtime a year. Five nines is a lofty goal, and even the big guys rarely—if ever—make it. If you would like to see how much downtime you can have for a given percentage, use our free uptime calculator. If you’re thinking of signing an SLA (Service Level Agreement), make sure you understand what the uptime percentages actually mean in downtime (95% uptime means 2.5 weeks of downtime per year).
Solution: With Website Availability Monitoring and SLA tracking, you can track website uptime easily to prove to your users that you’ve met your SLA. If you’ve agreed to an SLA with a provider, you’ll have proof if they don’t keep their promise.
2. Keep visitors and customers happy
Nobody likes a website with erratic availability, sluggish performance, or that simply doesn’t work correctly. In the case of downtime, some of your loyal customers will wait, but frequently they simply move on to your competitor. If that competitor offers a better, more reliable experience, you won’t see them again.
Sites that went down experienced, on average, a permanent abandonment rate of 9%.”
Akamai found that 9% of visitors that encounter a down site will not return to the site again. You may think 9% isn’t so bad, but those outages typically happen during your peak hours. Sure, planned maintenance also creates downtime, but planned outages take place during the slow times when your site has fewer visitors. So, 9% during peak hours may represent thousands of customers, and if you’re one of the big guys, we are talking about millions of visitors permanently abandoning the site. During your peak times, what will an outage cost you?
3. Lost reputation. Your online presence affects offline too.
Whether your users rely on your website or are visiting your site for the very first time, outages affect how they feel about not just your website, but every other aspect of your brand online and off. Outages destroy user confidence in a brand and can even affect how users feel about a brand’s product online and off. A Wells Fargo outage in February of 2019 created a panic when users couldn’t access their accounts. Of course, users turned to Twitter with their thoughts, and by doing so they further damaged brand perception and user confidence.
Solution: Free Public Status Pages from Uptrends allows you to offer transparency to your users by providing them with a place where they can check on the status of your website. Informing your user base is an important part of the outage mitigation process.
4. Detect hackers faster
DDoS (Distributed Denial of Service), man-in-the-middle attacks, DNS spoofing, and DNS poisoning are all methods used by attackers. Hackers attempt to bring down your site, reroute your users (usually to a malicious site), or extract data from and insert data into the connection between you and your users. Your servers can be sitting there humming away while hackers block, divert, and compromise your website traffic. Would you know? How long would it take you to figure out you have a problem? How many users did the hack affect before you noticed?
Solution: Advance Availability Monitoring from Uptrends can check for changes to your DNS records, so you know something is up. A hacker can also insert themselves on a secure connection that uses SSL (Secure Socket Layer) certificates. Although SSL hacking is harder to do, it does happen. Monitoring certificates can capture changes due to the spoofed certificate.
5. Website Availability and search engine ranking
We don’t really think about it much, but downtime is a major factor for most search engines. Google’s spiders crawl your site all the time checking your content, page speed, and availability. Of course, even the all-mighty Google knows that downtime is inevitable, but frequent or lengthy outages do cost you in SEO (Search Engine Optimization).
Solution: Website monitoring keeps you aware of any outages your site experiences, even the little ones that you might not know about otherwise, but the search engines noticed. Knowing early on about outages allows you to get on the problem quickly to protect your page rankings.
6. Get insight into the performance of your hosting provider
Wouldn’t it be nice if we could all afford the high availability offered by the top website hosting providers? Not all of us can afford these very reliable but expensive hosting plans. If you can afford cloud-based or dedicated servers, you need to remember they go down from time to time too. Whether it is frequently or occasionally, the only way you can know if you’re getting the most bang for your buck is if you don’t watch them 24/7.
Solution: SLA monitoring with Uptrends keeps track of all the ups and downs your site experiences. Not only will you know about the outages, but you can quickly verify the uptime percentages and generate SLA reports to prove to your hosting provider that they aren’t delivering on their promise.
7. You’ll sleep better and gain peace of mind
Worry doesn’t do anyone any good. If you’re lying awake at night worried about your website or service, you can relax. Uptrends is on the job checking your site from any one of hundreds of checkpoints around the world. We can even capture those micro outages and regional outages. Uptrends is on the job 24/7, and we’ve got the alerting options to help you get your notifications your way. Go ahead and get some rest. We’ve got this.
Website uptime is central to your entire DEM (Digital Experience Monitoring) strategy. Without uptime, you’ve got nothing, so Website Availability Monitoring with Uptrends is a great place to start. However, your strategy shouldn’t end there. Downtime is bad for business, but slow and malfunctioning websites are actually worse.
Web Performance Monitoring: Downtime has a 9% permanent abandonment rate, but a slow site increases bounce rates, affects conversion rates, ruins brand perception, and drops you in the page rankings. With slow websites, you can expect a 28% permanent abandonment rate.
Web Application Monitoring: Your web application has to work and work fast from the first interaction to the last. Web Application Monitoring from Uptrends can step through your transaction just like your users do. As the monitor steps through, it evaluates response and load times while validating content. You can check logins, financial transactions, scheduling, and just about any other user interaction.
API Monitoring: Uptrends Multi-Step API monitoring tests even your complex API interactions with data reuse and validation. You’ll know that your API is responding quickly and working as it should.
Real User Monitoring: Know exactly how your users experience your website based on their device, operating system, browser, and location. Get comprehensive data straight from your users in nearly real-time.
Server Monitoring: Either monitor your servers externally with Uptrend’s external monitoring or bring Uptrends indoors and monitor your servers behind your firewall. Uptrends has the solution that will work for you.