All hosting providers will experience downtime at some point. That’s why you should never trust a 100 percent uptime guarantee!
Six “9s” (99.9999 percent) of uptime requires million-dollar, continuous-availability servers. So 100 percent uptime is not something any hosting provider can deliver consistently.
But you need to maximize uptime. So ask yourself how many 9s of availability you need, keeping in mind that more 9s will mean a more expensive solution. On average, how much downtime per week is acceptable to you?
If it is difficult to find answers to these questions, or if what you find is hard to believe, then you should be suspicious.
Also, you should check with third-party experts who track the uptime of major hosting providers every day. For example, Netcraft tracks the uptime of all major hosting providers every 15 minutes: http://uptime.netcraft.com/perf/reports/Hosters.
In order to provide that uptime, a provider has to be able to handle traffic spikes. In my next post, I’ll talk about scalability and how well a provider handles sudden surges in traffic.
Be sure to check out previous tips for choosing a managed hosting provider.