There’s little more frustrating than a website being down. We should know, website building is what we do. That feeling when you want to tweet, check the scores or binge your favourite TV show, but all you can do is stare at a blank screen, is enough to send many a gadget to an early grave.
After the Fastly outage earlier this year – during which 85% of their global network crashed – we saw just how fragile the internet can be, with one customer causing some of the world’s biggest websites to be out of action. After all, much of the internet relies just on a few key infrastructure providers like Amazon (AWS), Cloudflare, Akamai as well as Fastly. If any one of them goes dark, it will affect millions of users around the world.
But are some websites worse than others? And which industries leave us refreshing for the longest?
We’ve found out.
The top websites experiencing the most outages in the US
Gamers suffered 211 outages in the US in the past year
As well as in the UK, Steam was the biggest gaming culprit in terms of outages in the past year in America with users suffering from 99 blackouts. The biggest problem was with the website (39%) with online gaming following closely second with 38% of reports down to this.
Xbox Live and PS5 are 2 of the biggest competitors for gaming. However, that comes with a lot of issues when it comes to playing games. Xbox Live suffered 63 outages, with users reporting online gaming (65%) as the biggest problem. PS5 fell to 9th place with 49 outages, with one of the biggest problems reported by users being unable to log in (64%).
Social media users in the US experienced 383 outages in the past 12 months
Discord is an instant messaging platform designed for creating communities where users can chat via instant messaging and video calls. However, it was the biggest culprit for internet outages, with users not being able to communicate 129 times over the past year. The biggest problem reported was connection to the website (87%).
Twitter didn’t tweet 54 times last year
Twitter placed in the top 10 for the most outages over the past 12 months in the US. The social media site is packed full of constant updates and ideas, with its 186 million users regularly refreshing, writing and retweeting content. However, during 119 outages over the last 12 months, none of this was possible. There were 54 issues with tweets in the USA, 55% of which impacted the desktop version of the site.
Facebook users suffered 41 outages
Facebook is a social media platform designed to connect family and friends all over the world. Users suffered 41 outages in the US, with 51% of the problems being down to users unable to login.
The top 30 websites experiencing the most outages in the UK
Mobile networks suffered the most outages in the past year in the UK
Virgin Media, TalkTalk and Sky keep consumers connected throughout the UK through phone networks, internet and landline. The internet/mobile providers sector experienced 721 outages in the past year across their internet, cable, mobile and TV services.
Sky keeps its 12.7 million customers connected in the UK but came out on top with 268 outages, with the main reason being down to internet outages (92%). If you are a customer with Virgin Media, the biggest problem experienced was with the cable internet (78%) with some users reporting WIFI dropping in and out while TalkTalk customers experienced 218 outages last year due to internet issues (93%) with users reporting that they are struggling to connect to WIFI and that it keeps disconnecting.
Gaming experienced some of the biggest outages in the UK
Steam is an online gaming platform where users can play, chat and create new games. Steam was the biggest gaming culprit for internet outages in the UK, with the website experiencing 177 outages over the past 12 months. 37% of the problems were reported due to the fact that users were unable to log in successfully.
Xbox Live is a popular online multiplayer gaming service with over 90 million users. UK users experienced 102 outages with the main problem being gamers unable to play online, 68% of problems reported was from online gaming with 29% of problems being down to being unable to login.
Instagram is designed to offer instant images, showing you everything from what your friend’s cat is doing through to the latest in fashion, music, sports and more. But sometimes those images aren’t as instant as we’d like. Throughout the past year, they suffered 111 outages in the UK.
The biggest culprit was Instagram’s news feed, which was responsible for 88% of the UK’s problems. This left people scrolling in vain, with no new pictures loading and our appetite for visual stimulation going unfed.
Snapchat – the app that lets you send pictures and messages without leaving a trace – is the second most affected social media site, with it being more than just your communications that disappear. The little ghost failed to load 128 times throughout the last year, suffering from 82 problems in the UK.
In the UK, 88% of all issues were relating to snaps being sent and received.
It’s not just specific sites that cause us online frustration. Entire industries suffer with their servers, leaving their customers clicking like crazy to no avail.
If you’ve ever played a video game, you’ll know how tempting it can be to throw the controller across the room when something goes wrong. Spare a thought, then, for online games who suffered a huge 193 outages over the past 12 months, with servers crashing and games failing to load – or worse – save.
No matter how good you are at gaming, if the site fails to load, your controller will be nothing more than decoration. Just put it down and walk away, throwing it only makes the problem worse.
If you want to get online on your phone in the UK, good luck. Over the past year, there were 161 mobile internet outages in the country, leaving people stranded for things like news updates, taxis, music and more.
Given how rural parts of the UK are, internet issues are no new thing. Despite the advances in 5G technology, many countryside dwellers still depend on rare bars of signal, and no matter how high in the air you hold your phone, things don’t get much better.
Certain websites have developed a bit of an unwanted reputation for being down, with social media giants leading the way for being, ironically, antisocial.
Throughout 2020, social media was all we had to keep us connected. As the Covid pandemic went on, we found ourselves totally reliant on things like Facebook and Instagram to keep up to date with our friends and family.
Sadly, that added strain took its toll. There were on average 90 social media issues reported over the past 12 months, leaving us socially isolated in more ways than one.
The top 10 websites in the US with the least outages
|Rank||Website||Category||Total number of outages|
|9||Wells Fargo||US Banks||16|
Amazon Prime had the least number of outages in the entertainment industry in the US
Amazon Prime is a streaming service where you can watch new movies and TV shows for paid or trial subscriptions. Amazon video has 53.3 million subscribers who can access and enjoy the service and in the past 12 months, there were only 6 outages. The main reason for these outages is video streaming, with 83% of problems reported due to this. Thanks to their own hosting company AWS, Amazon knows a few things about reliable servers.
The top 10 websites in the UK with the least number of outages
|Rank||Website||Category||Total number of outages|
Disney+ had the least number of outages in the entertainment industry in the UK
The popular streaming service, Disney+, is home to Disney, Pixar, Marvel, Star Wars, National Geographic and now Star. Their service has over 4.3 million subscribers, making it a popular choice to watch shows. Disney+ had only 13 outages over the past 12 months, with 81% of the problems reported being down to video streaming.
No-one wants their website to be out of action. That’s why we only offer reviews of the best website builders that you can rely on, guaranteeing you an excellent design on a server you can trust.
Let’s check which of the most popular website builders and ecommerce platforms had the highest number of outages:
Website builder outages over the past 12 months in the US
|USA||Issue 1||Occurrence||Issue 2||Occurrence|
Shopify had 48 outages in the past 12 months, coming in top as the website builder with the most outages. The main issue was due to login issues, with some users reporting 502 bad gateway on the admin login page.
It’s also interesting to see that Wix wins this battle against Squarespace, since they are the two main competitors in the website builder landscape.
Website builder outages over the past 12 months in the UK
Data was collected from downdetector.com looking at the number of outages each month for the last 12 months across each website. The three most common problems were also collected. This was repeated for the US and UK to compare both countries. A total outage for the website was also calculated to show the number of outages in the US and UK. For the pie chart, we calculated the average number of issues for each sector.
*Data correct as of 25th June.