I’ve been noticing a worrying trend lately that whenever a web host goes down, due to network issues or hardware issues their website tends to go down with it.
In many safety-critical systems, such as fly-by-wire and hydraulic systems in aircraft, some parts of the control system may be triplicated. An error in one component may then be out-voted by the other two. In a triply redundant system, the system has three sub components, all three of which must fail before the system fails.
This only adds fuel to the fire, if your website or blog is down you have no way to communicate issues to your clients & the longer you take the more agitated they will get.
As a web host you should always consider hosting your main site outside of your network. I know it might feel shameful, but by spreading yourself across multiple networks you reduce the probability that multiple systems will be down simultaneously.
You can always use subdomains to your advantage too, if you have a status.hostname.com to deliver network status updates to customers then it’s easy to ensure this is on another network with failover (this particular subdomain is critical to keeping customers in the loop).
If All Else Fails?
If all else fails then you have a few final options to keep your customers informed:
- Use a service like Mailgun for your email. You can send an email to customers informing them of any outages.
- Be active in social networks like Twitter & Facebook, encourage users to follow you for network updates.
- Use forums to let your customers & peers know that you are experiencing issues.
If you stay silent customers will automatically assume the worst – that you’ve gone out of business. You could lose customers who panic, forum posts will crop up & you’ll do more harm; all because you decided against hosting your assets with competitors.
If you’re in the market for any type of shared hosting plan you’ll probably see the word unlimited used heavily. But let’s take a step back for a moment & understand more about if it’s really possible to offer true unlimited hosting.
In What Context Is Unlimited Used?
Let’s use Dreamhost as an example, they only have one shared hosting plans which offers the following goodies:
- Unlimited Storage
- Unlimited Bandwidth
- Unlimited Domains
- Unlimited Shell Users
- Unlimited Email Accounts
- Unlimited MYSQL Databases
- Unlimited Domains
- Unlimited Subdomains
Well know that there’s no such thing as an unlimited TB hard drive, or an unlimited amount of bandwidth – these are finite resources (the host must have some sort of hard limit somewhere). Everything else however can technically be unlimited (until the point at which you exhaust your server or finite resources). Read this post