99%. It is a number that induces feelings of security, reassurance, and steadfast. In most cases, this is a proclamation of surety that makes the boss happy. However, when it comes to computers, 99% simply isn’t perfect.

So you’re ready to go forward with your new idea for a website. You start to do some research and find some hosts boasting of 99% uptime. Sounds good right? But what does that really mean? Let’s take a look:

  • 365 day in a year, times 24 hours a day equals 8760 hours in a year.

If your site is up 99% of the time, that means its down 1% of the time.

  • 8760 x .01 = 87.6 hours

To be clear, that’s 87 hours your site will be down throughout the year. That’s three and a half days. Now, for a small website, that may be inconvenient, but it won’t destroy your business in the long run. But think if a site like Google, Amazon, or eBay went down for three days straight. They would lose millions of dollars in sales and advertising, as well as acquire more than a few disgruntled customers. That’s why these big players spend a healthy chunk of their revenue on thinking of new ways to keep their sites up longer.


So what does this mean for you? Quite simply, things happen and your site will go down, sometime, somewhere, somehow. It is one of the inevitabilities of the Internet. Even if you’re lucky and your site remains up for 99.9% of the time, that’s still almost 9 hours – an entire work day where no one can reach your site. My point is, when something does happen, don’t panic. Instead, know that it will happen and prepare yourself appropriately for when it does. It will save you a lot of headaches and time. Appreciate that the people hosting your site are likely working very hard to get your valuable site back up and running (hopefully), and that your site probably isn’t the only one affected by such an outage.


In the end, computers are just a collection of mechanisms and electricity, and, while not very often, they do malfunction from time to time. It’s a fact that we have to deal with in the modern age; a minor inconvenience compared to the wonders brought to us by YouTube and the like. At least for now. Perhaps the “perfect” computer is closer than we think.