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Only YOU can prevent web failures

Dear Reader,

[NOTE: This post is not for developers, although I would encourage developers to read it. This post is for my friends who are business owners.]

The problem

Last night I wrote the info@ email address on a website and asked a questions about their product. They politely responded with two links to their website. This morning however, when I went to visit them, I was greeted with the message above. It’s now three hours later and the site is still “experiencing difficulties”. (that is developer speak for DOWN) I started poking around to see who built the site. They are a local company and I assumed their vendor was also. A quick whois showed that their site was built/hosted, not by a local development shop where they had a personal relationship with the development team, but by a company that specialized in their particular “vertical”. Checking the vendor’s website, it was up but all of their “featured sites” were throwing the same error. Obviously they had rolled an update of their system into production and it was broken. This problem can be prevented by business owners insisting on – and paying for – “Best Practices” in their software vendors.