If you run a website, then you probably know how important it is for it to be online all the time (or at least as much as possible). You really need to be aware of how much your site is up, and how much your site is down. These metrics are often referred to as uptime and downtime. If you are hosting your website with another company or renting server space, you most likely have a service level agreement with the company that you’re renting space from. A service level agreement, or SLA, is an agreement on the amount of time that your website will be online or accessible by visitors. You need to keep in mind that an SLA may not be enforceable if you can’t prove that your website was up or down for a certain amount of time, and this won’t happen unless you have a way of keeping track of the uptime and downtime.
One of the best ways to do this is to use a third-party solution in order to keep track of this. If you’re working with a company that does external monitoring, they can ping your server at a specified interval and find out whether it’s online or not, and then save this information. You could opt to ping your sever at one minute intervals, or 30 minute intervals or more. Keep in mind that shorter intervals are usually more expensive because they are using more server resources for the company that’s providing the checking. Once you have this information for a given month, you can approach your web host and show them how much your site was up, and how much your site was down for a given period of time. For example, Dotcom Monitor offers a similar service that can be found here. Pingdom also offers a service that can be found here. Finally, Manage Engine offers a service that can be found here. These are just a few examples of companies that offer uptime/downtime management.
Upon seeing this information, your web host may opt to credit you or do something else, depending upon what the terms of your SLA dictate. And of course, if the site wasn’t down very much or exceeded the terms of the SLA, then your web host usually doesn’t need to do anything because they were providing the service within the specified terms. The only time that an SLA is really an issue is when your website is down more than it should be, and that’s when you need to talk to your web host about it. Keep in mind that they may not be eager to credit you money for service that was substandard, so you need to make sure that you have some type of proof.