The Virtual Egg Basket: Don’t put your ‘eggs’ in one basket.

By | January 17, 2009

There’s common wisdom that you should put all your eggs in one basket, then watch over it like a hawk. But if like me, you manage a number of domains, customer sites, and blogs, this is somewhat disastrous if your primary host does go down. Fact is even if a hosting company promises you that you will have 99.9% uptime in any 12 month period, that still means you will have over 8.76 hours downtime in any year.

So, if you are going to manage any more than a couple of sites, split your eggs between baskets to ensure that WHEN one of your sites/accounts goes down, you can still be productive on the OTHER sites until service returns. This is what I’m doing at the moment to keep sites up and running.

Keep your domains and hosting SEPARATE

Domains are registered at NameCheap. If one host turns out to be really hopeless, as long as I can retrieve the most recent data, I can be up and running on another host within 24-48 hours as long as it takes the DNS to resolve properly. Recently, it’s been within 12 hours for some changes.

Separate Crucial Sites

Customer sites are generally hosted on their own accounts, separate from my blogs, and separate from each other. With domains registered elsewhere, it makes switching sites a breeze. Also, it largely protects sites from mistakes made by their owners having an effect on other unrelated sites.

Keep redundant back ups

My own blogs are generally hosted on one personal server, but the biggest have their own space on another server as well. Smaller blogs, though, share my VPS solution. Unfortunately, this means if my server goes down, most of my blogs are inaccessible. Since most repairs are quick, and data is generally unavailable during outages, moving the domains at that time is impossible.

However, if you have a daily backup of your blog, including the database and the files, you should be able to get up and running quickly on another hosting company. I don’t have a copy of the latter stuff. More fool me.

Redundancy: An Expensive Option

For my most important blogs, I’m looking at creating some form of redundancy so that I can switch and keep things up. But for most small blogs, this is quite expensive to achieve. It’s called Failover Web Hosting where your site is accessible from a number of IPs should the original site fail. This would work well with HTML based sites, but dynamic sites which lots of commenting and posting would have issues with keeping the data synchronized properly.

I’ve been using BlueHost, BlueFur, Hostmonster and Dreamhost for hosting these past few years. Though each has had intermittent problems through that time, I found Dreamhost has been the most reliable in the past six months, while BlueFur turned into a bit of a disaster as we kept getting locked out of our account/Cpanel/Website. It got so ridiculous that we stopped using their service. I can’t particularly recommend BlueFur but you may get different mileage. Still, let me know how you plan to keep your sites running in an emergency.

Author: InvestorBlogger

Investorblogger.com takes you on a 'Random Walk To Wealth' through money, investing, blogging and tech. We'll explore my insights, mistakes, and experiences together.

5 thoughts on “The Virtual Egg Basket: Don’t put your ‘eggs’ in one basket.

  1. BlueFur.com

    You were blocked by a firewall that detected your behaviour to be malicious.

    If your IP was white listed you would not have had any issues at all.

    Sorry to hear you were unhappy with our service.

  2. InvestorBlogger Post author

    Thanks, Gary. Yes, I'm aware of the reason. It's perhaps because the product was unsuitable for what we were trying to do. I still keep my account because I have other plans for it. The hosting itself was fine, just that we had so many issues with the firewall software… This however resulted in downtime for the site… and we couldn't use a whitelist since we had a dynamic IP address. Result: unusable.

  3. BlueFur.com

    Well downtime is not defined as you not being able to see the sever but that the server is actually down.

    If you are willing to work with me I can assure we can find the cause of your issue and fix it w/o using the IP in the firewall.

    If your intested my MSN is the same as my email which you have from the comments.

  4. InvestorBlogger Post author

    Thanks, Gary. I will look into that. Let me see if I can still use the account. I didn't close it yet. Oops. It was closed for me. I can't login via the FTP or the IP number. So we'll never know if we could fix the problem.

    That doesn't look good, now does it? So I lost six months hosting. I did ask for the account to be closed, but the email required me to confirm the secret question and answer. I never did because I decided to keep the account. But it's deleted after all.

    I can't recommend BlueFur at all now ( I was going to give Gary the chance, but that's not possible now ) because I've been seriously underwhelmed by their service. Big bloggers may benefit from BF, but the little guys… we're just fodder.

    Kenneth

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