Problems help us grow!

Well, there was an outage today from doing a “very minor” router upgrade. It ended up being almost 45 minutes. That is the most catastrophic outage we have experienced to date. I apologize to all the users out there. Those that have been with us for a while know this is very rare, but it still inexcusable. The fault lies with me. This has helped us to further iron out areas where trouble can get into our network. We will take our licks and learn from it. Your future uptime will be better I PROMISE!

On a lighter note, those wanting Ruby on Rails will get it on all our servers come Monday. That is the roll out date!

Thanks,

Matt Heaton / Bluehost.com

20 Responses to “Problems help us grow!”

  1. Matt – Wondering why 1 out of 10 times that we visit our website, or send email, the sit won’t load. Instead it pauses (and the progress bar goes very slowly across the screen of the browser as if looking for the site) and if you do not refresh your browser, then it will never load. If you refresh the browser repeatedly for about a minute, eventually the site loads again.

    Because we are a major ecommerce site, we cannot have our customers leave because the site “pauses” for them due to the hosting.

    Usually we think of it as a one time glitch, but it has happened so often since moving to bluehost.com that we can’t ignore it.

    We can’t be the only ones who see this issue? It never happened with any prior host.

    Steve Mitchelides.
    President, Joyryde Inc.
    DJDeals.com

  2. Alex says:

    Thanks for the status update. I was wondering what was going on. It’s great to see that you guys take quality of service so personal.

  3. Suzy says:

    I just made a call to support about my site being down (has been over an hour already) and was told “it is just one of those things” and “expect the server to be down for an hour or two”. Needless to say the response didn’t make me very happy as I do think bluehost is a great hosting company. So what’s up with this?

  4. Taresa says:

    Can you guys set up a splash page on the help ticket site where we can go to see announcements like this? It would be cool if there were one place where any downtimes/weird happenings were explained. It may also cut down on the volume of emails. No one wants to email you guys when there’s a problem… we just want you to be uninterrupted so you can work on it.

  5. Mike says:

    Hello Matt,
    Yes, I agree Taresa idea. The Blog is a great channel to submit our ideas to you,

    Thank you,

    Mike
    http://www.logdigi.com

  6. Taresa says:

    Keeping system announcements on the help desk will also keep this blog – a potentially GREAT or AWFUL marketing tool, depending on the content – free of trouble reports for new customers to see.

    It’s not shady to keep trouble away from the blog. Unhappy customers say they’re unhappy 10 times. Happy customers say so 3 times… just one of those laws of marketing.

    I’m learning so much from the forums! Thanks for putting those up. It’s helping me get more out of my service.

  7. I was wondering what happened. It would be nice if we received an email to an offsite email account if we provide one with service maintence. I coudln’t even access bluehost.com when the router went down, so I had no idea what was going on.

  8. Dear Matt,

    We really appreciate the sincerity you have shown to us.

    We do agree with Teresa on « Keeping system announcements on the help desk ». It´s a great idea.
    This should be an exclusive Bluehost member-only area: A password required area.

    Jc Omary
    Search4Businesses.com
    http://www.search4businesses.com
    Free and Paid Business Directory

  9. Clone says:

    looks like your doing great all you need to do now is to get listed on Alexa

  10. Allen Dardenelle says:

    Hey Matt,

    Don’t worry about it, these things happen. I’ve been with you guys for almost a year now, and this is the first time this has happen.

    I called as soon as it happen, and the support rep said he knew about the problem and we’re working on it. It was really great to be able to call and get though so fast, to talk with a live person. Thanks for fixing the problem so fast. I can’t wait for Ruby on Rails support on Monday.

    Allen Dardenelle

  11. Lee says:

    I posted a comment here earlier and it was removed. It seems only comments they like are allowed to be posted. Anything negative gets removed. My comment was with how unhappy I am right now (I was not vulgar once!), not only was there an outage, but in my case, my database was messed up and restored to a previous time. I did alot of work to my site last night and because of this, it’s all lost now. Bluehost could care less too, with a reply of we are sorry for the inconvenience. If I took the dollar amount I make per hour and times it by the amount of time I spent on the code that was lost, bluehost would owe me some money. But to them it’s just an inconvenience issue.

    People with ecommerce sites should be alarmed, you may have orders that were placed, credit cards processed, and then had your database restored to an earlier date…you may have customers who purchased something and been charged for it, but you have no record, and no notification from bluehost it may have happened.

    I hope this post doesn’t get censored to. Let the truth be told!

  12. Ian Zamora says:

    Hi Matt,

    Just like Allen said, those are just minor glitches and it happens to the best of us. I do know that there is a downtime everyday, probably for around 1-2 minutes or so, and im thinking you guys are resetting the server or something. But no problem as long as there is no downtime for more than 10 minutes.

    Am so satisfied with your service, that am thinking of hosting all our sites with you. Am hoping you’ll have a reseller plan, since we do have several ssl sites, and your plan doesnt allow multiple ssl hosted on one plan.

    Ian

  13. Jeff says:

    Well it’s definately helpful to have this blog here to explain situations like that, especially in the past where I’ve had lack of communication on those sort of issues, thanks.

    Jeff

    http://www.scoozee.com

  14. Hello Matt,

    Awesome features and functionality.

    A Swiss guy

  15. Matt, I appreciate your candour on this issue.

    It might be good to have a separate resource where your “system status” can be reported. This is a service one UK hosting service uses. Problem with them is, there are always issues and problems – I won’t mention their name but they’re not going to be hosing my customers’ site sfor much longer!

    Outage is VERY Rarely the case with bluehost, but a “system status” on a separate independent platform from the rest of your servres would help people to have “full transparency” and add to your already high credibility.

    [ You might even add the feature in a ticker on that bluehost toolbar we’ve talked about ;-) ]

    Regards, and thanks for being so honest with us,
    David

  16. Jeff says:

    I personally think bluehost has done a great job with what they do. We have been with them now for four months, and have not had any major problems, the only thing I think they should be able to do for their customers(for music industry web based sites) is offer other CGI programs such as MP3 players(on http://www.hhsrecords.com/music.html). Offer JavaScript within their HTML. And if they really want to go all out with it, Offer DreamWeaver and other flash operating systems to run and set your site with. I believe flash is a great tool, and it would be great to offer that within your registration.

    Thanks

    Jeff
    Macomb MI(USA)

  17. You may want to check out box63. It seems it has not fully recovered correctly since your outage. The Apache service likes to conk out after a while and requires a call to tech support to reset the service. I’ve been getting complaints about outage daily from users daily since this incident and trying to get dates and times out of them to see of their is a pattern.

    I can understand a some outage, but nothing like this.

  18. Eric Mill says:

    I had been planning on asking about adding support for Ruby on Rails, and here I come find it’s already being rolled out today! Fantastic, man.

    The comments here seem primarily positive, but it seems some people have some significant reservations and reports of outages and the occasional poor service experience. You’re clearly an extremely busy organization and I’m sure these are only the small percentage of that showing through. Perhaps though you are not as in touch with your employees as you would like? A service employee telling a customer whose site is down that it’s “one of those things” sounds like a bad apple or two spoiling the experience and causing bad PR. I don’t know how big your company is, but I hope you keep your clear sincerity and passion flowing downwards into the attitudes of your employees.

  19. Doug says:

    This comment is actually a response to a comment by “Lee.” If you’re really trying to run a serious e-commerce business — why are you running it on $10-a-month shared hosting? Why not invest in a dedicated server preferably with redundancy?

  20. edward says:

    Kudos on the post! I like the fact that the CEO took personal accountability for this outage!

    ..er.. Kudos on RoR!

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