There are so many web hosting services available nowadays that even making an informed decision can be an almost impossible task.
Once you have decided on the company to whom you are going to entrust your websites or blogs, you will always have that period where you wait anxiously for the first problems to arise. This is not because so many hosting companies are bad, more that there is plenty of negative press about the hosting industry in general and tends to make webmasters a little paranoid.
However, eventually, anyone running a website is going to bow to the inevitable and buy a hosting package.
So, once you’ve committed to your host of choice, how do you know that they are fulfilling their promises of 99.9% uptime? A lot of people have no idea of course, and assume that their sites are up and visible to the world 24/7. If a major problem arises you will soon become aware of it naturally, but what if you are experiencing downtime while you are not around? How often are people visiting your URL and landing on an error page? If that sort of thing happens too often, your visitors will soon give up returning.
It is therefore a good idea to monitor your host’s performance on a daily basis. If they guarantee a certain percentage of uptime and fail to deliver on that promise, you may well find you are entitled to some compensation. Check the company’s terms of service. This is all well and good, but often, the onus will be on you to prove that the downtime occurred.
Now, accepting that if downtime was excessive, you will probably be more inclined to switch to another hosting company, but if it is a case of only ocasional service outage, you might be prepared to tolerate it and just call the company on it.
However, if you don’t monitor their performance, you will have no ammunition and your bargaining position will be compromized. It’s easy to monitor your host’s performance using free third party applications, and I currently use two services, one for daily, weekly, monthly and quarterly reports and another for real time tracking which will alert me as soon as a website goes down. Downtime Witness is a free service, and you can get a free registration key by visiting the link in the resource box at the foot of this message.
Alternatively or additionally you might want to use a reporting service such as the one provided by host-tracker.com