Is it Down? Status Pages for 50 Top Hosting Providers
The modern marketplace runs on the assumption of an “always connected” Internet. Whether your website is the online face of your bricks-and-mortar business, or your website comprises your business, it’s the first – and maybe only – impression your visitors will get of your business. And if your website is down, it’s impossible to make that impression a good one.
Downtime not only makes you look bad, but can also lose you business, or even hand it over to your competitors. Potential customers who try to visit your website may think you’ve gone out of business, or just decide they don’t want to wait for your site to be up again. Frequent downtime can also lower your search engine rankings, or even result in your site being removed from search results altogether if Google’s bots keep getting errors when they try to crawl it.
That’s why guaranteed uptime is such a prominent feature of many hosting plans. Web hosting providers often promise uptime rates of 99%, 99.99%, or even 100%.
But while many of them do everything in their power to deliver on these claims, Murphy’s Law continues to reign. Not all web hosts are as dependable as they promise to be, and even the most reliable hosting provider needs to do server maintenance or deal with an outage on occasion.
The Most Common Causes of Downtime
The longer you run a website, the more likely you’ll experience downtime sooner or later. But while downtime is an inevitable occurrence, some causes are much more common than others. Most downtime scenarios can be grouped into the following categories.
Hardware failure is one of the most common causes of downtime. Whether it’s a hard drive malfunction, motherboard failure, or even a flood or earthquake destroying equipment, hardware failures in your web host’s data center can have a cascading effect that brings everything – including your website – down with it.
A good web host will protect against hardware failure by using quality equipment appropriately, and having built-in redundancies and backups so that one failure doesn’t bring the whole system down.
Software failures are another common cause of downtime. This is a broad category, but software failures are often caused by installing untested software or updates that then bring the whole server down, or by viruses or malware that infect crucial software. Web hosts can take steps to prevent software failure by testing all software and upgrades before rolling them out, and by putting security software and measures in place to protect against viruses and malware.
User error, whether on the part of a web host or their customers, is an unfortunately common occurrence that can often bring your website or even a whole server down. According to the technology research firm Gartner Group, 32% of all data loss is caused by human error. Whether by accidentally deleting a system file, entering the wrong settings, or misplacing a comma in a line of code, there are all kinds of seemingly innocuous errors that can have far reaching repercussions.
Web hosts should have procedures in place to limit opportunities for user error, such as limiting access to important systems to expert staff only.
Hackers target all kinds of websites across the web, whether to bring down sites they oppose, to steal sensitive data, or to infect them with malware to distribute to other visitors. Luckily, many hackers can be thwarted if your web host uses basic security measures.
You may be lucky enough not to have to experience one of the above scenarios, but even the best web host will have planned downtime now and again. Often planned downtime will be necessary to upgrade servers and perform other maintenance to prevent problems like those listed above. A good web host will give you plenty of advance notice of any planned downtime, and may even share tips on how you can prepare for it.
Keeping Informed With Server Status Pages
When your site does go down, it’s crucial that you have access to the latest info on how long your server (and your site) will be out of commission.
Server status pages are a tool used by hosting providers to deliver timely updates, announcements, and alerts to their customers. They’re often part of a given provider’s support forum, although they can also take the form of a dedicated page that updates automatically and on-demand.
Since every second your site is down can mean customers and profits lost, it’s a good idea to know whether your provider’s just doing a bit of routine maintenance or dealing with a major outage.
Not every host extends the courtesy of up-to-the-minute server status updates to their clients, but we’ve collected the status pages of fifty who do. These links will take you directly to the status or support forum pages that provide the latest news on a provider’s server maintenance and outages.
NOTE: Some status pages may require you to log into your hosting account before you can access them, so have your username and password handy.
SERVER STATUS PAGES
- 1&1 Internet
- A Small Orange
- Canadian Web Hosting
- Crucial Web Hosting
- Dot5 Hosting
- Host Excellence
- HyperMart Hosting
- InMotion Hosting
- iPage Hosting
- Media Temple
- Networks Hosting
- Our Internet
- RackSpace Cloud
- Simply Hosting
- Web Hosting UK