June 1st, 2009
by Kelly Kohen
Last week proved to be a very frustrating week for these Wild Web Women when it came to our website!
We had a few exciting things going on, such as a WMT webinar on Social Media and our fearless leader and Web Marketing Therapist extraordinaire, Lorrie Thomas, was speaking at a great event for SmartyLA on being Social Media Savvy. We had new press releases and traffic to our site was exploding…then it happened, one of the most dreaded events for any online service…we went DOWN! The server where our site is hosted was having issues and there was nothing we could do about it…we just had to sit and wait until it came back up again!
After submitting help tickets to our hosting company, quickly followed by calls to our hosting company (let’s just say we were less than patient) and some pulled hair and some stressful emails to our web designers for help, the site came back up. At least that was what the hosting company was saying when they took a look at our site…but some of our team was still unable to access our site! How could this be? Have YOU ever had the same issue?
Our cache…(not CASH), was the culprit! For those of you that are unfamiliar with this term, cache is a temporary storage area where frequently accessed data can be stored for rapid access. What does that mean when it comes to certain situations? Here’s what happened to us: I tend to refer to OUR site often throughout the day, which is cached within the memory of my computer-so that it makes it easier and faster to access sites I visit frequently through the cached copy, because my computer doesn’t have to re-fetch or recompute the original information. Still confused? Check out How Stuff Works for a more detailed explanation.
Regardless, what does CACHE have to do with the website being down? When I had checked the site earlier in the day, and it was down, my computer stored or cached that information, so the next time I went to the site, it still appeared down. But in reality, it wasn’t-my computer was showing old information. I had to go in and clear my cache (watch for my upcoming blog post on How to Clear Your Cache) in order for the website to repopulate the information and show that in fact, webmarketingtherapy was indeed live!
One of our wonderful site designers at Sitegoals (THANK YOU SIMON) offered up a wonderful self help website for situations such as these! It’s called downforeveryoneorjustme.com. The simplicity is brilliant-no clutter, no ads, it just gets straight to the point!
So the next time you think that YOUR website is down, be sure to check out this site BEFORE you freak out, then clear your cache! You may not have a thing to worry about!