Web hosting downtime or high availability

Web hosting is a difficult business to be in. The competition is fierce. Who can compete with GoDaddy at $4 a month? What’s more is that people expect the world at that price. I’ve moved passed trying to compete at that market level. Sure, I could offer hosting for $4 a month, but it is going to be slow, not backed up properly, not have a CDN and probably going to get hacked.

I’ve been hosting a lot of sites on WP Engine and I truly think it is the best at there at the $30 price point. But even at $30 a month we still can’t offer the world.

For example, I had my server on WP Engine go down for about an hour one Tuesday morning. A client called me demanding that an explanation and how we are going to fix this. “This site should never go down”, they said. No problem. Let me explain what is required for that level of redundancy:

  • two or more load balancers
  • two or more web servers
  • two or more database servers
  • two or more data centers

The phrase is “high availability” and it is truly a glorious thing. Glorious things like high availability and free speech come with a high price tag, $3,200 and millions dead respectively.

I’ve seen Apple.com, Google in the South East U.S., and Amazon down in the recent past. Yes, your website is important, but downtime here and there is somewhat in the world of hosting expected.


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