The Impact of Website Downtime to an Online Business

Every year, online businesses across different industries continue to grow. With business owners dedicated to developing new strategies to adapt to the constantly changing climate, sometimes it’s easy to overlook one of the most important aspects of a website, its infrastructure.

During the building phases of a website, any hosting provider or website builder will run smoothly, but as traffic and usage of resources increases, the infrastructure will be put to a test.

There are many reasons why the hosting server might not be able to handle the load and result in an outage, in this article we’ll cover what is considered website downtime and the common causes.

We also asked website owners about the actual impact outages had on their business and the costs of website downtime.

What is Website Downtime

Website downtime refers to the period of time when a web application is unavailable to perform its primary task or be accessed by its intended users.

Common Reasons for Website Downtime

  • Scheduled downtime
  • Hardware Failures
  • Software Bugs
  • User error
  • Outdated Plugins
  • Malicious Attacks
  • Lack of resources

How to Check if a Website is Down

It’s common that a website might seem down to a specific visitor but it’s working properly for everybody else. For this reason we recommend checking with a third-party tool to verify if a given website is actually down.

  1. Down for Everyone or Just me
    A simple to use tool that will verify the site status within seconds.
  2. Host Tracker
    Similar to the one above but providing full page speed, ping, traceroute, and more technical details.
  3. Site24x7
    The main advantage of Site24x7 is rapidly checking the site from multiple geographical locations.
  4. Pingdoom Tools
    While the tool is meant as a speed test, it would easily identify an outage but will be most helpful if the site is experiencing performance issues instead of being completely down

Website downtime regardless of the reason will happen to an online business, but what is really important is that your hosting provider or developer can respond as quickly as possible and remedy the situation.

Measuring the actual cost of downtime, tracking the right site performance metrics, and making the party responsible accountable for the outage will help improve over time and prevent unnecessary downtime.


Ian Wright, Founder of British Business Energy

“When I was first starting out building British Business Energy, we had a hosting outage for something like 24-48 hours. At the time our sales were quite low, so the direct cost was only a couple of lost sales leads. Hard to say if we directly lost any business at all.

However, one negative thing I did notice is that our Google ranking really suffered and took several months to come back to where they were before. Therefore, the indirect cost was probably huge, but very difficult to measure. Eventually we switched to a premium hosting provider, and while they are far from cheap they have been amazing.

One direct consequence was improved page load time, which directly resulted in a 5% boost to sales. More than made up for the increased cost in hosting fees.”

How to Resolve website downtime.

To resolve any issue related to downtime of the website can be technical and sometimes requires an expert to handle. This is where we come in to assist you, kindly contact us via +2348117218122