What do experts and technical sites refer to when they talk about website availability? Don’t let the jargon scare you. It simply denotes the percentage of time the website was accessible and usable. In other words, it’s the ratio of available time to the total time.
You often hear of sites with 99.99% uptime. What that means is that there was an hour of unplanned downtime throughout the year. For many, this is the standard. Crucial sites like Google aim for 99.999% availability, and you can imagine why that is.
Availability Versus Accessibility
Now, when a company says that its site is available, it means that users can access the URL without getting the 404 page, 500 internal server errors, or timeouts. Is the site still considered available when visitors cannot complete certain tasks or access certain pages? You as the website owner certainly wouldn’t think so, but your hosting provider might not agree with you.
Clearly, a malfunctioning site is damaging to a company’s reputation and profit. For example, users who encounter problems while on an e-commerce website can easily switch to a different company selling similar products. Even if they could access your product page, facing an error while checking out will mean a loss for you.
Testing Website Availability
If you don’t know it yet, regular checks to see if a website is available is crucial. The smaller the interval between tests, the better. Obviously, you cannot spend your hours reloading your site every few minutes. Who has the time for that?
The best method to determine availability is by using a website monitoring tool. That’s the only way to notice short outages – automatic periodic testing. If you’re running a website that caters to an international audience, ensuring that it’s available to visitors from the US, Europe, or Asia is equally important.
A Good Website Is More Than Just Content
Loading your site with interesting and useful content is just the start. In addition to that, there’s still security, domains, and certifications to consider, among others. That’s where a website monitoring tool comes into play!