Users of HostGator’s reseller servers may have experienced some downtime over the past few days as the company had to begin emergency maintenance early Wednesday morning. The company still hasn’t fully restored services.
“An update to an operating system resulted in a service interruption for a small segment of our customers. We were able to quickly diagnose and resolve the issue for the vast majority of the affected customers. There are still a few customers who are experiencing some residual issues, and our teams are working with them directly,” a spokesperson from HostGator’s parent company, Endurance International Group, told the WHIR in an email on Friday.
On Oct. 29, a HostGator Linux systems administrator identified the issues as being related to an operating system update. On Thursday, HostGator systems monitoring supervisor Anthony K. said that there were issues with Innodb and MySQL. This is the extent of the information that HostGator has divulged about the intermittent downtime that has now lasted three days.
According to HostGator’s last update on Friday morning at 12:33 am, the vast majority of servers are functioning normally but it remains “in the homestretch and will announce a full restoration of services as soon as possible.”
In the update, HostGator social media manager Sean Valant apologized for the lack of communication during the outage. He said that there are still a small number of innodb recoveries and fscks being performed.
In an update last night around 6 pm, HostGator said that it was in the “homestretch” and promised that its team would continue working nonstop until full service was restored.
Unfortunatley, outages are nothing new for HostGator, who has struggled with several outages this year alone. In May, HostGator and BlueHost customers saw around nine hours of downtime during one particular outage.
Owned by Endurance International Group, HostGator has struggled to come up with an effective system for communicating outages and giving status updates to customers. The support forum seems to host the bulk of the communication, while its support Twitter account, @HGSupport, stopped communicating with customers on Oct. 29, the first day of the issues. Its @HGstatus account provides automated status updates but is practically jibberish for anyone who isn’t a techie.
Communicating through an outage successfully can either make or break a relationship with customers. Too often HostGator’s jumbled communication and lack of palatable empathy leaves customers frustrated enough to share their disdain online. With so much of hosting growth attributable to word-of-mouth recommendations, this latest outage may have done considerable damage to its reseller reputation.