As you may have heard, Twitter recently experienced a significant period of downtime. Well, it only went down for a couple of hours, but considering how popular the social network is, it may have felt like an eternity for avid users. Even the biggest of internet superpowers suffer technical difficulties, and when they do, a service disruption can be the result. Here are some ways Twitter, or any other social site for that matter, can survive a bout with major downtime.
What to do When your Major Website Goes down?
Take a Proactive Approach
According to Mazen Rawashdeh, Twitter’s Vice President of Engineering, it wasn’t too much traffic or even a DDoS attack that crashed the microblogging site. It was a simple software bug that left the company with no other choice than to roll back its system to a previous stable version that enabled it to restore the service. The only way Twitter was able to pinpoint the source of the problem was by being proactive and monitoring its network. Chances are, the company was alerted of the issue within minutes, and then spent the rest of that downtime working to resolve it. This is likely why the site was only down a few hours, opposed to days or longer.
Communicate the Problem
Once Twitter went down, it immediately sent out word to let its users know that the site was experiencing difficulties and the matter was being addressed. However, this aspect is often easier said than done seeing how communicating can be difficult when the site that enables is out of commission. When this happens, social networks may have to find other means to communicate. In most cases, that will be email. After all, just about every social site requires a user to have an email address to sign up. Whatever the method of communication, a simple message explaining what happened, what is being done to rectify it, and about how long before the problem is corrected should suffice.
Get Back Online
Luckily, Twitter was able to resolve its problem in a relatively short amount of time. Not all downtime victims are so fortunate. Be that as it may, finding a quick resolution to the issue is of the utmost important. Social networking is highly competitive, and if users cannot access this one, they will turn to that one in a heartbeat. How the service provider responds also tells its user base a lot, so the importance of getting back online as soon as possible cannot be underestimated. If the site is not back up in a decent amount of time, the community may view it as unreliable – at this point, all trust is lost.
Websites and web applications go down. It doesn’t matter if they are hosting social networks or search engines, things happen. Impressively, Twitter has succeeded where others have failed, surviving each bout with downtime and still coming out a champ in the end.
Do let us know how do you deal with your site downtime and how do you inform your readers, subscribers about the unexpected downtime of your site?
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