Four months of continuous testing: Server availability of five major website builders

November 20, 2011 Published by 10 Comments

Note: here you’ll find the results of our server availability test 2014!

server down
How often does your website look like this?

A website that’s off-line is not a great first impression for your business.

With online website builders we usually have no control over where the site is hosted. We are therefore at the mercy of the web host chosen on our behalf by the provider.

We wanted to know how they perform and have been monitoring the server availability of websites created using major website building tools such as WeeblyJimdoWix.comWebnode and Webs.com over a 4.5 month period.

To get the full picture we used Pingdom to monitor their uptime, as well as speed and response time.

Not all website builders provide 99.9% uptime

The testing took place between June 18 and November 5, 2011. Three out of the five providers tested achieved very good results. Weebly leads the field with an uptime percentage of 99.96. Webnode, too, gives no reason for complaint with a respectable 99.94%.

Jimdo was a little unfortunate as it experienced an extensive downtime of nearly two hours, shortly before the end of our testing period. If we had stopped our monitoring on October 31 its uptime score would have been 99.99%.

Here are the results in detail:

Company Uptime % Downtime x down Response Time US Response T. Europe Server Locations
Weebly 99.96% 1h 26m 6s 21 317 ms 841 ms USA
Webnode 99.94% 1h 53m 58s 52 1014 ms 359 ms CZ
Jimdo 99.93% 2h 20m 41s 9 238 ms 641 ms USA, DE, JP
Webs 99.89% 3h 35m 2s  37 1087 ms 1565 ms USA
Wix 99.82% 6h 5m 19s 60 415 ms 1004 ms USA

Notes:

ms = milliseconds, DE = Germany, CZ = Czech Republic, JP= Japan

Monitoring of uptime took place once per minute through Pingdom. Pingdom runs tests from 37 different locations throughout North America and Europe. Per service provider only one randomly selected website was tested. The test results include scheduled maintenance.
The top 3 service providers achieved results above 99.9% – the common uptime promise of many hosting companies.

We also tested Squarespace, but found out afterwards that the website we were using for the test had an unusual configuration, set up by the website owners themselves, which unfortunately skewed the test results and rendered them useless for the purpose of our comparison.

Response times: Which provider has the fasted server?

Anyone calling up a Jimdo website from the US will be able to view the site within an average of 228 milliseconds. Weebly, too, is one of the faster providers.

Webnode and Webs.com, on the other hand, are a little on the slow side with an average wait of 1000 milliseconds and more. Admittedly, Webnode’s server is based in the Czech Republic, which may explain the delay. Why Webs’ response time is so slow is a mystery, as its websites are hosted within the US.

Load time, by the way (and not to be confused with response time), is not only important from a user perspective but is also one of Google’s new ranking criteria (although content relevance still remains the most crucial one).

And one has to bear in mind, of course, that load time also depends on the size of the site to be loaded. So, for example, not compressing images properly will make your website slower to load.

Jimdo offers a range of server locations

Jimdo Server Location

When it comes to response times, the server location is a significant factor. Whereas Weebly, Wix.com, Webs and Webnode are content with offering servers in their own country only, Jimdo offers servers based in the USA, Europe and Japan.

Jimdo allocates the respective server automatically, depending on the continent from which the majority of visitors access a website. For example, when accessing a website from the UK it can make a huge difference which side of the Atlantic the website is hosted.

With Network-Tool.com you can find out the location of your website’s server yourself.

Again, Google also likes it when a website is hosted in the same part of the world where its target audience comes from.

Conclusion

These results show that almost all of the website builders offer acceptable uptime levels that are perfectly sufficient for smaller websites. Especially Weebly and Jimdo showed very encouraging test results both in terms of uptimes and response times.

Keep in mind that it can be a good idea to check whether your preferred provider has a server in the country where your target audience is located.

You can download screenshots of the original Pingdom results here.

If you have any questions or further observations please feel free to leave a comment.

Robert

Written by Robert (189 posts)

Hi, my name is Robert Brandl and I am the founder of WebsiteToolTester. If you have any questions, please leave a comment.

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Your opinion

  • Mrfunkydon

    Excellent study! Well done

  • Well this precise…and well exercised as well..great job

  • Professor 777

    Well done Robert Brandl and The Team!

  • would be good to do annual update of those results

    • Yeah! You’re absolutely right. We put this on our To-do-list. 🙂

  • Tim

    Would appreciate comparison with SquareSpace as well. ^^

    • We did another test in 2014. Squarespace was part of it. Here we go! 🙂