Web Hosting: When You’re Down, We’re Down

Nostalgia for the Early Days of Website Hosting

Not really

I was talking with a potential client when a bit of nostalgia set in as I explained that we use the exact same systems that we were recommending for their company.

Way Back in 2002

When Your Down, We're DownIt must have been 2002, when I owned and operated a small consultancy called Larrabee Interactive Business Communications or Larrabee IBC, later acquired by Project BIG fish.

At the time I was managing a couple of servers that were hosted by a company that I can only assume is out of business today. We were having all sorts of connectivity issues with these servers and the result was a stretch of days where web and email outages were commonplace.

A very frustrating situation to say the least. Of course, the phones were ringing with clients who wanted to report that their site was down, still down or down again. It seemed no matter what was said on the phone, the response was always anger and frustration (rightfully so).

We’re Down Too

However, I noticed that when I told people that my site and my email were on the same system as theirs and I too was experiencing an outage, it seemed to calm them down.

I’m not sure if it made them feel better that it was not just them, that maybe I was that much more motivated to get the situation resolved or there was a sense of retribution. Regardless this point seemed to help defuse the situation and as a result we came up with the following campaign which we ran with for a little while.

Fast Forward to Website Hosting in 2022

So much has changed! You can see that I have been managing website hosting for more than 20 years at this point, the early days were hell! I can’t count the nights, weekends and plans that were canceled due to a down server, crashed hard drive or network disruption. Most of this was not even in my control.

Website Hosting Today is Incredible

Today, outages are very (very) rare! Thanks to better technology, hardware, software and network reliability and redundancy – outages are very rare events and are typically dealt with and resolved within minutes. Of course we have invested heavily into our particular managed WordPress hosting platform to make this way.

We have a great partnership with Cloudways which provides us a dedicated server team, self-healing servers (yes that is a thing) and we have firewalls, CDN’s and caching technologies that keep server loads low. This combined with 24/7 monitoring by several different teams, I no longer have to send postcards like the one above.