We had what we thought was a great situation for our web hosting. One of George’s friends from college runs a small hosting company. The server we are on has only a few sites in addition to ours, is blazing fast (4 GB of RAM I believe), and extremely affordable. While the company was a one man operation, we were generally satisfied with the level of service. All in all, nothing to complain about.
Unfortunately on Friday night one of the nameservers (that he does not control) went down….it’s still down, causing Detailed Image to load sloooooow. We eventually learned that the company controlling the nameserver was recently sold and our server manager was going through hell trying to get in touch with the people who could fix it. Not his fault, but a cause for us to re-evaluate our situation.
We decided that our sites are too large now for this to be out of our control. The cost of a managed dedicated server is essentially negligible for what we’re doing in sales. Prior to this we didn’t have a compelling reason to move. Now we do, so we did. After spending quite a bit of time researching, we pulled the trigger on a managed dedicated server from Liquid Web.
The next few days I’ll be scrambling to migrate our sites. Not the way I really wanted to be doing this, but the end result will be more control in-house of something that’s critical to our business.
As for the lost sales: our business insurance covers e-commerce revenue caused by forces outside of our control, so we’re already starting the claims process to recoup some of the lost revenue. Once everything is up and running again we’ll be profusely apologizing to all of our customers and offering discounts & specials.
Should we have probably done this prior to now? I guess so. But hindsight is always twenty-twenty. The best we can do now is move forward and continue to put as many systems in place to prevent future issues.