Dodging The Fail Whale: A Downtime Survival Guide

Here at Bit Rebels, we’re experiencing quite an increase in traffic each day. With that comes developing the site and handling the optimization to accommodate for that. You might think that the only thing to do is just set up a website and start populating it with awesome content. I truly and honestly wish it was that easy, but there are a lot of other things that come with it that the end user really doesn’t see.

The primary issue is, of course, the growing load of server calls which can cause the server to completely freeze up while trying to take care of all the calls being made. There are several things you can do to help the server more effectively process these calls. You can optimize the server or go for a more advanced server setup. The server is designed to be able to handle thousands of database calls each second, and that’s not really where the issue lies most of the time. When traffic starts to pick up, the server uploads images to each and every user, and that’s where it can sometimes become clogged due to bandwidth limitations. However, when the site freezes, it’s mostly due to the server not being able to handle all the connections being made.

This can also be helped and increased, but when increasing it, you are tapping into the performance of the bandwidth which is handling the content uploads. As you can imagine, it’s a balancing act to keep the connections accurate while still being able to handle the content bandwidth flawlessly. I could go on and on about this, but that would take a whole other article. What I am trying to get across here is really the fact that sometimes websites go down just because of the sheer traffic they get. When it comes to social networking sites, this can become quite an annoyance and users aren’t very forgiving. The server management team is almost always on the receiving end of the anger spewing from the user base. However, when everything is working, we don’t even care to say thank you to them. Instead, we cheer the company management for its success. It’s quite odd if you ask me.

What do you do when things go belly up for a social networking service you spend hours and hours on connecting with people? Suddenly you may find your addiction too overwhelming to cope with when the downtime sometimes occurs. It can be quite hard, I totally admit that, but there are of course things that you can do to help you ease down and settle the addiction if even just for a short while. KISSmetrics compiled a great Downtime Survival Guide for social networking addicts that will probably help you through the rough and tough times when you get the fail whale.

Yeah, and before mentioning it, this infographic is from back in 2008 and Twitter wasn’t very well known back then as we all know. The fail whale statement feels really out of place not having Twitter in the mix here. After all, the fail whale is a Twitter innovation (I think).

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Dodging Social Networking Failwhale Downtime