This post is about recent hosting issues that I’ve had. It explains what’s happened, offers both and apology and my own view on the matter, and explains what I’m doing to make things better.
My hosting has been really poor of late. Some sites have had up to 3 hours of downtime in the first half of October. This doesn’t sound like much, but most hosting companies (including the company that I use) aim for “three nines” (99.9%) or “four nines” (99.99%) availability, which equate to 44 minutes and 4 minutes of downtime per calendar month respectively. My hosting has had around 40 times more downtime that it should have had this month.
For this, I can only apologise profusely. This is not the standard of service that I want for my clients.
The problems are not my fault; it is out of my control. I can only sit and wait while the engineers at the hosting company fix it. But it’s been a struggle because of the very limited amount of information coming back from the hosting company about what is happening.
This has left me with very little confidence in my hosts ability to provide good service.
I used to work in a big hosting company serving large corporate clients like Tesco and Aviva, so I know what good website hosting looks like and I set my own standards pretty high.
My host has not met those high standards and, again, I am sorry for the disruption that this has caused my customers. It’s embarassing and disappointing for me, and I intend to do something about it.
I’ve had problems before. When I started out in business I used a cheaper host who turned out to not be much good. So, about a year ago, I invested some decent money in some hosting that came highly recommended from several people.
I won’t name names as I’m still a customer – you can find out who by searching previous posts and my Twitter feed if you really want to know. Perhaps if and when I break free of them I will give a full account. But this company has recently been bought by a bigger company, and it seems that they are being run into the ground with increasing outages to service and no plan being communicated to customers about how they are going to improve things.
If I had some reason to believe that things would get better, I would stick with them.
As it is, I find myself on the hunt – again – for better hosting.
Making Things Better
I have found, and signed up to, a new hosting company. They are small, but I have experience of working working with them. They provide a stable, fast, UK-based service that can grow with my needs and provide fast, excellent support.
The aim is to try them out, compare the quality of service to my existing host, and then make a call in a couple of months about how to proceed longer term.
Following yesterday’s two big outages from my current host, I have already moved two key clients on to the new hosting, as well as oikos.org.uk (yes, I’m “eating my own dog food”, as they say).
I would add that I use a monitoring service to check availability of all my hosted sites, so I normally know that a site is down before you do, and I’m aware of each and every problem on each and every site that I host.
Thank you for bearing with me in this time. It’s time consuming and stressful having to move, but I think it has to be done again to get the confidence I need.
I will keep individual clients updated by email on what’s happening. And once again, I’m sorry for the poor quality service. Please don’t hesitate to contact me if you have questions about what has gone on, or what might happen in the future with my hosting.