Proving your value on bad days too!August 5th, 2013

Back in my horse training days, it use to amuse me that you were lauded for the really easy winners, but not so much for the ones you worked your ass off on. Say you had a talented runner. You enter them in an easy spot. Then they win by 10 lengths. The horses owner would say what a great job you did. Truthfully, on those days anyone could have trained that horse and he would have won. Whether they trained him hard, went easy, or even walked him into the race. But then take another runner with physical problems. You nurse them along and miraculously, they make it to a race and win. This was a feat of horsemanship and sheer hard work. But they don’t win as impressively. But again the miracle was that you go them to the races at all. You never get as much credit for those as you did for really gifted horse.

So, what does this have to do with websites? Well, last Friday I had one of my most trying days in a long, long time. For my dedicated server, I use one of the biggest hosting companies in that space. They have a 99.9% up time rate which is great. They had a huge outage at their data center in Provo, Utah. It affected 5 of the biggest hosting companies in the world. So my site and many of my clients were down between 7-8 hours coming back up intermittently then going down again.

Talk about a day from he(double hockey sticks). I was really stuck all day. I could not work on sites on my server. And I could not get email. So my clients whose sites were down and didn’t have email, we’re trying to send me emails to tell me they had no service. I couldn’t receive their emails or respond. I did put a note on both my Twitter and Facebook pages, telling them to either call or text me. Fortunately, people did call and text me. So I could tell them what’s going on. But therein lies the rub. My hosting company really did not have an ETA as to when the problem would be resolved. They just said they’re working on the issue. Worse than that, sites didn’t come out and email for a bit here and there, but then go back down again. So after telling people their sites were back up, I had to tell them, now it’s down again.

While the problem was not my fault, or my doing. It is my responsibility as a web host. I informed clients the best I could, took all calls and texts, and communicated the best I could. Once things wee restored, I handled all maintenance requests, and everything was still completed within the same day.

Bottom Line: Although the day was a disaster, my clients received best in class support, and communication was excellent. I may not receive accolades for last Friday, but I certainly proved my worth on one of my worst days.