OMG – Our Website is Down!!

OMG – Our Website is Down!!

Your website “went down” and you are hysterical! OMG – what are you going to do?? All of your clients will think you are out of business! Your staff is driving you crazy… “OMG – our website is down!” “Call the ‘web guy’”, “Call the marketing company”, “Get the IT Department involved”!

Yeah – well take a chill pill. We are living in the age of cyber technology and guess what? It happens to the best of them…and if you think you have problems when your site is down for a few hours – or even a few days – think again.

In 2017 a 4+ hour outage at Amazon’s AWS cloud computing division caused headaches for hundreds of thousands of customers across the United States and turned major companies on their ears. Tens of thousands of websites suddenly “went down” with no warning when someone at the server company typed in a command meant to do a standard maintenance on several of the servers. So how did it happen?

It turned out that this huge shut down was the result of a simple typo! Just one incorrectly entered command. A human error! And worse, in order to get everything “back to normal”, they had to totally reboot the whole system – which takes hours before things are back up and running.

My point in relating this is that “stuff happens” and yes, while it is really inconvenient for those of us running small and middle market companies, no one is going to die if your website goes down for a few hours…or even (heaven forbid) a few days.

As website designers and developers, we sometimes get a frantic call from a client telling us that their site is down and demanding that we, “Do something right now!” And as much as we explain that we need to find out (a) what the problem is, (b) where the problem is, and (c) what we need to do to fix it and get it back up – it might take some time. I don’t want to tell you the things that are said to us when we tell our clients that. “WHAT? You mean we might not have a website for a while? For a whole day? What are we going to do? This is unacceptable!! Do something!!”

Oh, the outrage we suffer. But think about this. While you are ranting and railing for having no website, you could be relaxing, making use of the “down time” to pick up the phone and call a few people you haven’t spoken to in a while, write a blog post or an email, clean up your office, take walk around the block, and in general, just say, “Okay – I know that someone we trust is trying very hard to get this resolved and before too long we will have our website back up and running”.