Dude, Where’s My Website?

Dude, Where’s My Website?

Some people, hopefully no-one who happens to read this article, fell foul with their website hosting providers as 123-Reg wiped a number of their servers over the weekend. The company has not confirmed the exact number of people affected by this incident, although have confirmed it was a maintenance error that affected 67 out of their 115,000 servers.

Needless to say the loss of their sites has upset a number of customers. Speaking to the BBC, one customer said the issue would “wreck my business and plenty of others”.

Some companies host their websites on private servers. Purr offers this service too, although few choose this option due to the cost implications. So many companies take a share of a server at a lower cost, a system known as VPS (Virtual Private Servers).

The loss of data on the 123-reg servers was initially reporting an error as a VPS connectivity issue, although the company have publicly announced now that this was a coding error as part of their routine maintenance. They are restoring the websites who purchased back-up facilities and are advising any customers who have their own backups to upload them now.

One of the websites that was brought down was Scottish League Cup winners, Ross County. The loss of their website according to the club will have affected ticket sales in the build up to their match against Celtic this coming weekend. This is just one instance where business suffered from the hosting company’s issue, with an untold number of the other 1.7 million websites hosted by 123-Reg fixing their problems under the radar.

In other news

This is a rare incident, but unfortunately the reality is it could happen to any company that works with software. Recently, a man supposedly deleted his entire company (a hosting company with 1,535 customers) with a single line of bad code. The truth of the story came out later as the company had apparently done this as a publicity stunt claiming that all publicity is good publicity. Though the consensus seemed to be “We went into it thinking he was an idiot. We’ve come out of it thinking he’s an idiot, but for a different reason. I don’t think the joke is on us.”

Whilst not a publicity stunt and albeit unfortunately timed, just days after the foolish hosting owner stunt, this will have a negative impact on 123-Reg’s public standing. We hope website owners take this lesson on board and either purchase a back-up facility with their providers or move to a hosting platform with built in back-ups.

If this seems like it would be tricky, then contact us to find out how we can help make potential issues like this not be a cause for concern. Remember, your website might not be as precious as something like a wedding video, but if you can’t afford to lose it, don’t just have the one copy!

Stephen Collins