Weekend Website Outage

This last weekend was not a good weekend for Karelia Software — along with thousands of other companies and individuals who use Media Temple to host their websites.

Some time Saturday morning, our websites went offline, returning a cryptic "403" error. Usually these kind of problems get fixed right away and there's no harm done. But in this case, it was a big issue, and Media Temple didn't restore service for approximately 45 hours. In this day and age, being offline for that long is just unacceptable.  (Read Media Temple's account here.)

We ourselves are frustrated by the outage, because we know that people were trying to reach our website to download or buy Sandvox, to look up information or documentation, or to reach us for support. (One anonymous person was frustrated enough to actually edit the Wikipedia Entry for Karelia Software to indicate that we had gone out of business!)

But we know that the outage has affected many Sandvox users in a bigger way, in that the services we provide to Sandvox users were out as well. Probably the outage with the biggest impact was the contact form: If you have a Sandvox-built site with a contact form, your visitors who tried to contact you using Sandvox's form would have gotten the cryptic "403" error message because the form was trying to connect to our server to relay the message. (Fortunately, they would have realized that the message didn't go through; it would have been particularly annoying if they had thought the message was being sent.)

In any case, Media Temple has finally restored our websites and services. And though they will probably try to make up for this by offering us a free month's worth of service or something along those lines, we have decided to "fire" Media Temple and find a new web host for our company. We had chosen Media Temple almost two years ago due to their reputation for reliability and the technical features that we needed for our databases and services.  It is clear now — and we really should have noticed this earlier — that their quality and support have gone too far downhill for us to continue using them.

Well, we want to apologize as much as we can for this outage.  We hope that this outage has not impacted our customers too much.

We are going to start the transition to a new host right away. Even though we don't foresee this kind of outage again any time soon, we don't want to give our business to a host that could have allowed this to happen. It will take a while to do the migration — we have many tools, scripts, and databases to move across — and unfortunately it takes time away from us working on cool new Sandvox features. We don't expect that this migration will have much of an impact, if any, on any Sandvox-built website.

One final note: We had been planning on a small price increase to Sandvox licenses to be effective March 1.  Since our site was offline most of that final day, we have delayed the price change until March 4 to give last-minute purchasers another chance at the "old" prices.

Moving forward,

Terrence & Dan