Many Americans Won’t Forgive a Faulty Website

(Ping! Zine Web Tech Magazine) – According to research released today by 1&1 Internet, Inc.,, a global leader among Web hosting providers, American Internet users still suffer as a result of numerous website gripes.  In an era when consumers rely on around-the-clock e-commerce and online banking, more Americans than ever are being frustrated by websites that are faulty or taken off-line during the night for maintenance to be performed.  A key finding is that 58 percent of consumers have decided to avoid a company in the future as a result of finding a faulty website.  Some 68 percent of US users are more critical towards website errors today than they were five years ago.  As a result, 1&1 advises US firms that choosing a robust hosting provider has never been so important.

1&1’s ‘US Reliability Survey’[1] of 1,340 consumers finds that 65 percent of US Web users are still regularly inconvenienced by faulty websites.  Over half (58 percent) see large variations in the reliability of the websites which they use. America’s Top 5 ‘Common Website Faults’ as found by Web users are:

  1. Slow running websites  (65 percent)
  2. Significant differences in Web page loading times  (58 percent)
  3. Broken website pages  (42 percent)
  4. Web addresses that lead nowhere  (34 percent)
  5. Online orders not processed (32 percent)

Website faults such as these have led more than 1 in 3 (58 percent) to decide not to use a company again as a result of its faulty website.  Frustrations with a business website have led 72 percent of Web users to abandon a company website for a competitor’s.  While most website owners aim to schedule maintenance and upgrades at traditional down times to minimize disruption, it appears this has done little to appease almost a third of consumers (28 percent), who feel regularly inconvenienced by the issue.

Interestingly, most respondents (49 percent) believe that websites for small and large companies are equivalent in terms of frequency of errors.  68 percent of Americans are more critical towards website errors today than they were five years ago.  During that time, 56 percent believe that they have become better able to judge whether a website contains faults.  Nearly half of Americans (42 percent) report that they regularly feel anger, worry or stress as a result of using a faulty website.  The most worrisome aspect is doubts over whether an online transaction has been completed properly, with 58 percent having been affected.

Oliver Mauss, CEO 1&1 Internet, inc., said, “Unreliable websites continue to reflect badly upon businesses of all types and sizes.  It is clear that when faced with a faulty or off-line website, consumers will turn elsewhere.  Perhaps more surprising is the proportion that will be unwilling to return.  With this in mind, businesses must ensure their websites are well designed, have robust functionality, and benefit from the most reliable Web hosting infrastructure available to them.”

1&1 Web hosting uses geo-redundancy to help enhance the reliability of its customers’ websites.  All data and processes are mirrored and operated synchronously in different data centers.  If there should be any unexpected problems at one of the locations, such as an electricity or failure, all upcoming processes are automatically taken over by the other data center – meaning maximum protection from downtime.  1&1 carries out updates and planned maintenance work without any disturbance to servers by switching between the two identical platforms.  Thus, 1&1 websites will not become unavailable as a result of hosting maintenance.

Graham Jones, Internet Psychologist, advises, “Users of your website are less likely to return if your site breaks or doesn’t work properly. People get frustrated by slow loading and by the addition of technologies that work only in certain circumstances.  If you have shopping carts or other ‘add-on’ services, test them and test them again to be sure they cannot break or cause problems. Similarly, if you have forms – make sure they work.”

1&1 Web hosting packages, currently available from $3.99/month for the first 12 months (regularly $4.99/month), also benefit from high connectivity via the company’s own global backbone.  Recent research commissioned by 1&1 concluded that consumers appreciate faster business websites.

As a global leader among Web hosts, 1&1 is well placed to deliver a high quality service to its customers. The company currently holds over 11 million customer contracts worldwide and manages 11 million domain names.

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[1] 1,340 US adults surveyed by WIRED Magazine via electronic feedback form