British businesses are increasingly 'failed' by their Web hosting services, leading to offline websites and upset customers, says according to the results of a new survey.
Conducted by technology blog IT Pro (itpro.co.uk), the survey asked British companies about their Website and hosting experience. Companies said that websites are among a company's "most important assets" by providing an informational resource for customers, a marketing tool for the business and a retail outlet.
Despite these findings, 20 percent of companies said they only have access to customer and technical support from their Web hosting provider during regular office hours.
IT Pro called this lack of around-the-clock support "ludicrous", considering the peak times for Web traffic fall during weekends and evenings. Consumers typically log on at these times in search of information, entertainment and shopping services.
The study also found that 40 percent of those with access to out-of-hours support are normally put on hold for "exceptionally" long periods. Another 70 percent of businesses said they have no service level agreement with their Web host, leaving the provider completely unaccountable when their website is down.
Finally, 10 percent of company sites said they have a total of two days of downtime a year.
Despite the results of the survey, two of the Netcraft's 10 most reliable Web hosts for February were UK-based providers. Netcetera and Web Fusion came in sixth and seventh place, respectively.
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