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Cost of website downtime

In today’s age of the Internet and modern technology, more and more things are being done online. The first example of this online revolution is with ecommerce and online stores. Before it was unthinkable that, from the comfort of your home, pick something, pay for it, wait for delivery and get it to your home address. Today, in the Internet age it is certainly possible, and it is today’s reality. People all over the world are buying online more and more, and that is recognized by retail chains and companies that offer their customers the option of online order of their products and services. Businesses, large and small, are investing money in creating their online stores because they know very well that in this way they may be more accessible to potential buyers, but also they could reduce operating costs.

Online store risks

In every business there are risks. In traditional trade there are risks of theft or robbery, while the online store story is a bit different, but also very important. The main problem of online stores is downtime. It is because of that, very wise to monitor website downtime.

There are 3 types of downtime:

1. Planned downtime

Planned downtime is a time when you know in advance that you will have downtime so you can notify users. Reason for planned downtime can be hardware or software upgrade.

2. Component failures

Like everything else, nothing can work forever. There may be a cancellation hardware, errors in the software, viruses or file corruption.

3. DDoS attacks

One of the biggest problems of online stores are DDoS attacks. DDoS attack or a distributed denial – of-service attack is an attack whose goal is to prevent legitimate users access to a service or the server. Small web stores are hardly dealing with it because they have no money to invest in a set of protection, while large internet store discounts like Amazon or Ebay have multiple levels of protection against DDoS attacks and cope with the problem.

Three largest cost of downtime

1. Loss of customers and of course, money

72 % of Internet users who buy in online stores during unavailability moves to competitors. When downtime occurs, your customers will not wait for your website to be available again. They will automatically look for other web shops and in most cases they will no longer want to shop with you.

2. Loss of customer loyalty

Customers who experience unavailability while buying or searching to purchase on your web store websites are losing interest in buying and turning away to the competition. The same applies to possible defects and errors on the website.

3. The negative reputation

What most affects online stores is a negative reputation. Nearly half of the customers who buy through the web shop seek feedback of those who already buy through your online store before they buy anything. If they encounter any negative feedback , they will probably turn away to your competition so you will lose money.

How much downtime?

When seeking hosting solutions for your online store website, it is important to check with the provider how much uptime guarantee, or the percentage of uptime period, and how much time is left for possible downtime.

Most providers offer uptime guarantees the following :

99.999 % uptime = 5 minutes downtime per year
99.99 % uptime = 53 minutes downtime per year
99.9 % uptime = 8 hours 45 minutes downtime per year
99 % uptime downtime = 3.65 days per year

Before you begin…

Ask yourself, are you ready for all the risks and problems that online stores offer. Do you have secured the support in case of problems.

Below are a few questions you should ask yourself before going into business:

Which hosting provider to choose, how much access it has to offer and what is level of security?
Do I have the system administrator at my disposal?
Do I have a backup?
How much money do I have to invest in my shop?

If your have answer to all of my questions, you are ready to start your online business. Good luck! 😉

Written by Branimir Grabovac

Branimir founded a hosting company when he was 15 and sold it three years later to one of the biggest Croatian hosting companies. Branimir has 3+ years of experience in business development and more then 8 years of experience in web design and programming.

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