Website Availability

Website Availability - What Is It and What You Should Do

When someone types in your company website’s URL and is able to fully access the website with perfectly functioning content and features, that’s known as website availability. For your company’s site to be fully available, the web server and other servers like the database server and file server that host your website’s information must all be working. If any one of these pieces has an issue or goes down, your website availability may be compromised. Portions of your website or the entire site may be unreachable through the Internet, and that can be devastating for your business. 

When website availability is lost, a state that is also known as website downtime, the cost to your business could be substantial. A customer that finds your website unavailable may turn to one of your competitor’s sites to find the services or goods he is looking for. You can’t assume he’ll come back to your website in an hour once the problems have been resolved, and sometimes resolving the problem takes longer than one hour. The more time your website is down, the more of a financial hit your company will take. 

In August 2013, Amazon lost website availability for about 30 minutes. Forbes reported it’s estimated that for each minute the ecommerce site was unavailable to consumers, Amazon lost $66,240. In total, it lost about $2 million during that half hour. 

Chances are, your business isn’t as big as Amazon’s, but this is still important information to understand. Amazon knows it can lose over $66,000 each minute its website availability is compromised. It invests heavily in making sure that all of the technology that makes Amazon run like a well-oiled machine does not have any downtime. Yet, it happened - not for one minute, not for five minutes, but for 30 very expensive minutes. 

If Amazon can have 30 minutes of downtime even with all of the failsafe measures it must take to ensure website availability, it can happen to any business – even your business. Can your business afford to lose even 30 minutes of revenue? Even if it wouldn’t cripple you, would you want to lose that money if it could be avoided? Of course, not.

The consequences of failed website availability can be more than lost sales. If your company processes orders through your website, runs its email system through the site, has employees enter timesheet and expense reports online, or does any of the dozens of everyday tasks necessary to running a successful business through its website, losing website availability can cause problems. Now, you have more than lost sales. You have wasted employee time, and that adds up financially, too.

While there is no foolproof way to ensure 100 percent website availability, there are steps you can take to minimize the time your website availability is compromised. These are a few.

  • Ensure you have adequate bandwidth for your website’s most busy times, plus some extra for an unexpected rush of users.
  • Guard against hardware, software and server failures by performing regular system checks and having backups incase something does fail.
  • Create a well-documented operational procedure plan that all IT professionals are familiar with. Ensure that steps needed to be taken to minimize compromised website availability are done regularly by IT.

Of course the preference is to prevent failed website availability from ever happening, but there is always the possibility that parts of your website or the entire site may go down. If it happens during business hours, you may notice the site is having problems, but you may not. If you don’t notice but your customers do, they may not let you know. Whether it happens during business hours or after-hours when you’re even less likely to notice a problem, it’s not acceptable.

This is where having a reliable web site monitoring service like elkMonitor can save the life of your business. ElkMonitor offers website availability monitoring. You can be alerted of a problem through an email, an SMS text message, or a voice alert. Notification that there is a problem with your company’s website availability is as close as your smartphone. If you are at the cinema or some other event where your website’s functionality is not first and foremost on your mind, a timely message on your phone will alert you to any problems with website availability.

Your ISP may provide website availability monitoring services, but those serves are limited to only the problems that occur from their network. Problems that cause your website to go down can come from many sources. ElkMonitor is the right solution for website availability monitoring because it alerts you to any disruption in website availability, regardless of the source. With a reliable monitoring service, you can be assured that you’ll be notified immediately if any part of your website becomes unavailable. 

Sign-Up for a Free Trial of our Website Availability Tool Today and Give It a Test Drive