Fatcow Servers Go Down Again Taking Numerous Sites with Them

Many website owners woke up Monday to discover that their websites were not online. Those who are Alertra customers were already aware of this fact as we sent notifications when websites went down. There are some, however, who remained in the dark until they tried visiting their site. What do all of these people have in common? The fact that they host their sites with Fatcow. It seems that once again Fatcow’s servers have run awry and have left numerous customers without live websites, equating to increased downtime and lost website profits.

Why Email Notifications Aren’t Bulletproof

When you’re facing website downtime it’s something you need to know about as soon as it happens. You can’t be watching your site 24/7. Alertra customers know this and count on us to notify them when their site goes down. There are others, however, who hope that someone will email them if they are having problems accessing their site. Which brings us to the question – If a tree falls in the forest and no one is around to hear it, does it really make a sound? That age-old question is kind of like this one – If someone sends you an email telling you that your site is down and your servers aren’t there to get that email to you, does it really make a difference?

That’s the problem that some Fatcow customers are facing today. Their sites are down due to Fatcow server outages and email seems to be down as well. As one Twitter member, Lisa Concepcion, tweeted, “WTF is up with #FatCow ?? Haven't been able to send/receive messages for the last 3 hours #WreckinMyFlo.” This is a perfect example of why you can’t rely on email services or email complaints from visitors to notify you if you’re experiencing website downtime. Those emails you’re relying on may not be getting to you.

What is Wrong with Fatcow?

As of the time of writing this, Fatcow itself doesn’t seem to know what the problem is. That probably isn’t making customers any happier. At least we know that Fatcow is on top of the issue. Customers may be experiencing some frustration, but after a couple of hours Fatcow did make a Twitter statement, tweeting “We are working to isolate the cause of the issue that's affecting our customers websites, email, and our site. We will update soon.”

A Lesson Learned

As stated above, this is a perfect example of why you can’t rely on email alone to notify you of website downtime. If the issue that took down your website takes down your email as well, that email notification isn’t going to come until the problem has been resolved and the damage has been done. Alertra customers don’t have to worry about this. We notify you via various methods – not just email. There are those, however, who believe that email notification is all that it takes to keep them on top of their website downtime. They even sign up for free monitoring services that send such emails hoping that it’s enough to keep them up-to-date – but it’s not. Later this week we’ll discuss the difference between such services and comprehensive website monitoring services. In the meantime, take a lesson from the Fatcow situation and realize that email cannot always be relied upon to notify you of a website outage.