So what really is meant by “Reliability of your Hosting Service”? Well, it’s nothing more than the amount of Uptime of your Server. Here, uptime is referred to the amount of time the Server is actually accessible to the Users. And opposite to Uptime, we have the term “Downtime” which like you guessed it correct is the amount of time the Server is down or is not accessible to the users. And being a person who is hosting a Web Server, it is very crucial for you to provide a reliable service because even if you are offering tons of processing power and loads of storage but your server is down most of the time, your users will eventually go away. Therefore it is very important that you try and keep your server online for as much time as possible.
Having said that, it is somewhat impossible to have a Server up and running with 100% uptime as there can be unforeseen circumstances or you might have to take your server down for some regular and scheduled maintenance work. Even big Web Hosting providers have a maximum uptime of 99.9%. The remaining time which the server is offline is used for Scheduled maintenance tasks. Now there are large scale professional companies. And if they don’t have a 100% Uptime then it is fairly easy to say that we being home users setting up their servers in their homes also cannot have 100% or even 99.5% Uptime as we will obviously have more problems like Power Outages, Internet Breakdown, Server failure which other big Web Hosting Companies might have taken care off.
But still, we can on our part try to make our Server as reliable as possible. The first step in doing that is to ensure that there are no power outages in your area. If Power Outages do regularly occur then it might be a good idea to get a portable generator or a small scale UPS (Uninterrupted Power Supply). The second step is to ensure that you have a stable and reliable Internet Connection. The next step is to work on your Backup strategies. There must be a clear cut backup system in place which makes a copy of your entire Server at least once a day and saves that on another PC or even to an external hard disk. In case your Server crashes for some reason and your data is lost, you can quickly restore your data from the Backup PC or external storage and get the Server up and running.
Another factor which comes into reliability is the Website’s response time i.e. how fast the website loads and responds. And there are two main factors on which this depends. The first is the distance between the Server and the user. So, suppose if you and your Server is in the United States and a person from Japan is trying to access it then the access time for the person in Japan will be considerably more compared to the access time for users within and around the US. So make sure to ask your clients where a majority of their Users are based. The second factor is the amount of websites hosted. Needless to say, the more load there is on the Server i.e. the more sites there are hosted, the more time it will take to access them. So be sure to put a stop to the number of Websites you’re hosting on your Server.
P.S. And the photo is just to attract your attention – I took it last summer in the fields near the university.