Up Hosting Creek Without A Paddle

At about midnight tonight, I got a pingdom alert that WeddingChicks.com was down again. This is at least the third time this week that our dedicated server has gone down. I’m more than just a little frustrated about it, so I’ve decided to write this post. In the past few months, we’ve had an increasing number of outages at more and more frequent intervals. We’ve had servers shut down without notice. We’ve designed a multiple server, scalable environment together with InMotion that was disconnected because they’ve decided that they don’t want us to run servers like that anymore. This not only makes our clients look bad, but it makes us look bad for recommending this hosting provider. Sadly, on Friday I decided to recommend to our client to move hosts (we’re moving to wpengine if anyone’s looking for a more reliable WordPress host). Below you’ll find a sample of other customers that were effected by this particular outage.

There was a problem connecting to Twitter.

Seems like service outages have happened more and more often these days. This time it seems to have started about 10 hours ago as reported by Karl and rippled throughout the network.

There was a problem connecting to Twitter.

When I tried to restart apache via cPanel, I couldn’t reach the server. I can’t SSH in. Worst of all, InMotion’s site is down so their live chat support channel was inaccessible. Luckily I have them on speed dial because this has been such a common occurence lately. I dialed in and talked to support right away. They told me that they’re experiencing network wide problems (duh) and they’re working on it, but unfortunately couldn’t give an ETA for when things would be back up.

There was a problem connecting to Twitter. There was a problem connecting to Twitter.

It looks like we’re not the only one who’s been frustrated by the frequent unexplained outages.

There was a problem connecting to Twitter. There was a problem connecting to Twitter. There was a problem connecting to Twitter.

I just got pingdom notification (12:48am) that our site has come back online. Hopefully the rest of these folks websites are coming back too.

Honestly, I want to love InMotion Hosting so much. I know some folks who work there on a personal level. They’re big supporters of WordPress and WordCamps, hell, they’ve sponsored our WordCamp in Orange County for two years in a row now. We’ve got multiple clients hosting dedicated servers with them based on our recommendation. Unfortunately, I just can’t continue to recommend their hosting service with a clear conscience. I would love to hear what’s going on at InMotion that’s causing these failures. If anyone has any more information about why their hosting service has gotten so flaky, I’d love to hear it.

Do you host with InMotion Hosting? If not, where do you host your site?


  1. matt mcinvale on 2011.10.30 at 8:17 AM

    major bummer, especially when there is nothing you can do about it. did they end up giving you an explanation of what happened?

    • Brandon on 2011.10.30 at 8:29 AM

      Yeh. I got a tweet at about 7am this morning that said the following:

      “@brandondove Our West Coast center experienced a network issue that resolved approx 4am EST. All sites are again visible to the internet.”

      I’m sure these things happen, but I just feel like hosting companies should have backup plans for situations like this.

  2. The Frosty on 2011.10.30 at 9:05 AM

    Not that it matters but where I live So Cal Edision was doing power upgrades and they shut down the grid at 10pm last night and won’t turn it back on for another hour.

    But thats here. Not in Downtown LA.

    • Brandon on 2011.10.30 at 9:12 AM

      Service interruptions of any kind suck. When you pay for something, you expect it to work when you need it.

  3. sairyn on 2011.10.30 at 11:09 AM

    While I agree an internet/power outage isn’t something they can control, maybe some sort of redundancy is needed.

    I do have one question though…

    Why would you use wpengine instead of their parent host Zerigo?
    I never understood why someone would choose a subhost that uses another hosts servers and pay more.

    Maybe I missed something.

    • Brandon on 2011.10.30 at 12:00 PM

      @sairyn I didn’t know zerigo was a parent provider to wpengine. What I do know is that they’ve provided some super robust hosting specifically for WordPress for some of our other clients. I like that wpengine has the skillset to help debug WordPress specific issues might come up.

  4. Dave Cole on 2011.10.30 at 1:47 PM

    I’m just stunned that professional-level hosting providers are still susceptible to measurable downtime. Where’s the redundant “cloud” we were told was going to save us all? Even Apple’s iTunes streaming servers were down on Friday evening.

    Sorry to hear that InMotion isn’t living up to expectations.

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