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.