After you’ve gone through all the trouble of creating a great blog, the last thing you want to do is find out that it’s not available to users for an extended period. When you’re choosing a blogging platform, it’s important to take into account just how reliable the platform is.
Bloggers who use the WordPress platform have the option of installing it on a third-party web host, which gives them the uptime capabilities of that particular web host. When you’re using a blogging service, however, there is something of a trade-off.
On a blogging service, you don’t have the same level of control over your domain name or your content as you would on the server that you rented yourself. There is a huge advantage in using blogging services, however, in the fact that you don’t have to worry about any of the hosting headaches and that you don’t have to maintain the server on your own. You simply sign up, open up your blog and get to work. This convenience, however, is not necessarily as reliable from one blog host to another.
Testing the Uptime
Pingdom.com did testing on dedicated blogging sites to see which ones would prove to be the most reliable and which ones would prove to be the least reliable. Some of the most popular websites also suffered the most significant outages. In contrast to this, some of the blogging services that struggle compared to the behemoths out there – such as WordPress.com – had excellent reliability statistics.
In 2010, Tumblr, which has been rapidly closing in user numbers With Blogger.com over the past few years had a total of 47.5 hours of average downtime per blog. In contrast to that, Blogger had no measurable downtime. It’s important to note that the Tumblr numbers have been the consequence of both a couple of big downtime incidents and several smaller downtime incidents. The service has made improvements over the years, however.
WordPress.com had an average homepage uptime of 99.98% and an average WordPress.com blog uptime of 99.99%. Over the period from October 15 to December 15, 2010, there was no outage on the system that exceeded four minutes in total length, according to Pingdom numbers.
Other numbers were relatively similar, with the notable exception of Blogger. Because of its incredibly reliable service, it actually averaged 100% uptime. This put it firmly in the first place position for the study, with WordPress coming in second. Typepad and Posterous occupied the third and fourth positions. Tumblr was rated as the least reliable blogging service in this survey, though it has enjoyed tremendous growth over the past few years, and that likely did contribute somewhat to its downtime.
Tumblr Downtime Example
Tumblr’s downtime problems can be understood a bit by looking at one particular incident. In 2010, the site actually experienced a 24-hour outage. This affected 11 million blogs – there are far more blogs hosted on the site at present – taking them completely off-line. While this may have been an isolated incident and while the service has improved itself in the intervening years, it is something to consider for those who blog professionally.
Unfortunately for Tumblr, the problems did continue into 2011. The same site reports that, on average, Tumblr blogs have a total of three hours and 50 minutes of downtime every month. Contrast this with Blogger, which comes in at 1.5 minutes of average downtime per month. The number was so small, in fact, that it resulted in Pingdom coming out with an average of 99.998% uptime for the Blogger service.
WordPress.com averaged nine minutes of downtime on its blogs per month. This is insignificant compared to Posterous, which had one hour in six minutes per month of average downtime and, of course, compared to Tumblr. Typepad was right in the middle, with an average of 10 minutes of downtime on its blogs per month.
Choosing a Service
If uptime is your main concern, Blogger has nearly 100% uptime. The lowest uptime was Tumblr, but that’s still only came out to 99.62% uptime for the homepage and 99.48% uptime for blogs on this service, which is obviously still quite reliable.
The trade-offs involved in using a blogging service versus using your own hosting will always include having no control over the server. Because they are free, you’re not in a position to lodge much of a complaint if the server goes down, as you could if you happened to be paying for your own hosting. In that regard, WordPress still offers flexibility and that the platform can be used separately from the WordPress.com blogging service. Many premium WordPress themes, even professional ones, are still based around the basic blogging model that this content management system started out with.
It, in fact, accounts for the content management system used on a very large portion of the world’s websites, blogs and otherwise.
Anny Solway is a dedicated writer at ThemeFuse – a web studio that creates original WordPress templates, that can be used out of the box. She loves to share blogging and technology tips.