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What is uptime?

Uptime is the percentage of time during which a website is online and available to users. It is a measurement of site reliability. Conversely, downtime is the percentage of time during which a website is offline and unavailable to users. Because downtime impacts user experience, it can affect brand trust, search ranking, earnings and productivity. Therefore, you want your website uptime to be as close to 100% as possible.

How do you calculate website uptime?

The calculation for website uptime is a simple one: Divide the number of hours that your website was available during a given time frame by the total number of hours in that same time frame. Multiplying the result by 100 will give you the percentage of time that the site was live.

Available time ÷ Total time * 100 = Website uptime

For example, let’s say your website experienced 3.5 hours of downtime in September. There are 720 hours during that month. So, the calculation would go like this:

(720-3.5) ÷ 720 * 100 = 99.51%

What is "five nines" uptime?

"Five nines" uptime refers to 99.999% uptime, which allows for only about 5.26 minutes of downtime per year. Achieving such high availability is a significant challenge and requires robust infrastructure and redundancy.

Tip: While 100% uptime is never guaranteed, hosting a website with Wix’s global web infrastructure will get you an average server uptime of 99.98%. See Wix’s status page for real-time server uptime rates.

Uptime vs availability

Uptime and availability are related but slightly different concepts. Uptime measures the time a system is operational, while availability considers both uptime and the time it takes to recover from downtime. Availability is often expressed as a percentage of time a system is fully operational, including recovery periods.

Uptime vs downtime

Uptime refers to when a website or online service is fully operational. Downtime refers to when a website or online service does not operate and users cannot access it.

Even the most reliable sites aren’t immune from downtime. These are the most common reasons that could cause downtime:

  • Security breaches, such as DDOS

  • Server-side malfunctions

  • Power outages

  • Natural disasters

  • Broken code

  • Software conflicts

  • Human error

  • Traffic spikes

  • Domain name expiration

  • Website maintenance

Regardless of where the threat comes from, you and your website host can mitigate the effects of the downtime when it occurs.


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How does website downtime affect your business?

Website downtime can affect a business in a number of ways. Lost revenue is the most obvious side effect. However, brands can also end up with tarnished reputations, negatively impacted search rankings, loss of productivity and unexpected out-of-pocket costs:

Lost business

This basic equation can help you calculate how much money your business stands to lose with downtime:

Minutes of downtime × Website earnings per minute = Downtime cost

However, this equation oversimplifies your potential losses. Downtime can also cause you to lose:

  • First-time visitors interested in your brand

  • Qualified leads getting ready to take the next big step

  • Followers and subscribers who wanted to read your content and share it with others

  • Loyalty customers who wanted to log in and buy more, redeem rewards, etc.

Broken brand trust

Downtime may only occur once, but it can affect your brand in far-reaching ways. Think about the different types of visitors to your website. For many of them, encountering a website that is down for any amount of time is a dealbreaker. Rather than wait for your website to restore, they’ll likely find an alternative that meets their intent.

Also, if they don’t know why the website is down, it could start to raise concerns about your brand’s reliability and grasp of cybersecurity basics.

Search ranking drop

While visitors can’t access your website when down, neither can search engine indexing bots. Depending on how long your site is down, this could impact your web pages’ ranking.

And even if crawling bots can return and get the information they need, the poor user experience and drop in traffic can still impact your site’s ranking, too.

Disrupted productivity

Unplanned downtime doesn’t just mean that everyone waits for the website to restore. For many brands, when a website is unavailable, team members fill in to provide critical services. For instance, a social media manager may switch gears from community building to addressing the outage and supporting inflamed customers.

How to improve uptime

Fortifying your website against downtime is critical. Maximize uptime and fortify your business in the process by following these tips:

01. Use reliable web hosting

Web hosting providers have a responsibility to provide not just reliable service to their users, but fast and secure hosting as well. Finding a web hosting company that offers all this and more is a critical first step in optimizing your website’s uptime.

A web host that uses a content delivery network (CDN) can also help with uptime. A CDN provides a network of secure servers on top of the ones your web hosting company uses. If one server experiences an outage, another server on the network can fill in. Wix, for instance, employs a CDN that has over 200 nodes around the world.

02. Secure your website

Some security breaches will only infect your web pages and content. Others will bring your entire website down. To reduce the likelihood that any of these attacks will occur, use a hosting platform with impeccable website security.

Tip: Wix websites are fully managed by security experts who offer threat prevention, real-time detection and rapid response. Wix also runs a bug bounty program, compensating non-affiliated security researchers to spot holes in the infrastructure.

03. Optimize your website’s performance

For some visitors, a slowly loading website is just as good as an offline one. Website performance optimization will keep your website loading at top speeds while controlling the effects of unexpected traffic spikes. While you can optimize your website for speed—like compressing images and creating minimalist designs—your web hosting provider can also be of help.

Wix performance optimizations stem from top-of-the-line technologies. A reliable infrastructure, enhanced file delivery, and automatic image optimization will all help your web pages load lightning-fast. Learn more about how to make a website with Wix.

What are some common tools to monitor and measure uptime?

There are various tools and services for monitoring uptime, including:

  • Nagios

  • Zabbix

  • New Relic

  • Datadog

Uptime and cloud services

Cloud services can enhance uptime by providing scalable and secure infrastructure. Many cloud providers offer SLAs (service level agreements) that specify high availability levels. The reliability of cloud services also depends on proper configuration and management.


Related Term

Virtual Private Network (VPN)

Related Term

Software as a Service (SaaS)

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