If you’re running a hosted service, a web application or indeed any standard website it’s likely that sooner or later, you’re going to experience ‘downtime’. It is an occurrence were seeing more and more of recently, as some social networks and filesharing communities struggle to keep pace with their own popularity. Whether its a planned design tweak or an unforeseen ‘wrong plug’ moment, there are ways of softening the blow felt by your visitors so that you don’t end up with an angry mob on your hands when the lights finally come back on.
Lets have a look at how some of the big boys deal with flicking the off switch.
The important thing to remember is if you offer a valuable service, especially one which becomes popular then change is inevitable. There will be times when you need to reboot, and there’s always the ‘human error factor’ which will guarantee mistakes. If you counter the problems with the right attitude, your visitors will forgive you. Theres even some who argue that they’ll be happier about the way you solved the problem than they would if the problem never occurred in the first place!