Notice of website going down twice

Morning -
I have received two notices this past week that our site was down for two minutes with an error, "Request timed out.." Are you able to provide me more information? What does that mean? Would this be an issue with the company that hosts our website?

Thank you in advance for your help.

  • Adam Czajczyk

    Hello Kara

    I hope you're well today and thank you for your question!

    Such a message means that the site "didn't respond fast enough". It might have been down totally or it just temporary slowed down (e.g. to a sudden spike of traffic or temporary server issues) beyond an acceptable level.

    The Uptime monitoring is trying to fetch your site (nearly the same way as a regular user browser would do) every 2 minutes. The site has to respond with expected HTTP status code and do this within 30 seconds. If one of these things doesn't happen, it's considered as being down. The "request time out" means that Uptime monitor tried to fetch the site but site didn't respond to it.

    That isn't necessarily a sign of any issues with site or server as, like I already mentioned, it might be caused by some temporary issues (no server/site has a 100% uptime in a long run, I've never seen such thing) so I wouldn't worry too much yet. Instead, please keep an eye on this and see if it happens more often.

    If those "down times" will start to happen more frequently and/or become longer, then the first thing to do would be to talk to the host so they could "cross reference" those reports with their own server logs - to check if the site/server was indeed down or if some server resources were "maxed out" (and if so, which ones). And then:

    - if they confirm that server was actually down, they might need to look into it
    - if they confirm that everyting was up and/or some resources were "eaten up" temporarily, let us know and we'll look into your site to see if we can find possible reasons for this.

    Best regards,
    Adam

  • splaquet

    Worth noting, Uptime Notifications alone are not a 100% guaranteed method of tracking your websites' up/down status.

    Lots of variables can come into play, on so many levels. The largest area of question would be your host.

    - did they install/upgrade server software that required a reboot
    - did they install security software that decided to block an unknown/unfamiliar IP source
    - are you hosted on CloudLinux and you peaked your resources, and we're throttled down
    - was MySQL reset

    Hah... I realized that this list was going to be way too long. So, hopefully you catch my drift.

    Depending on how many websites you manage, consider setting up a free account on pingdom.com. They provide a free uptime report for 2 domains (I believe).

    In my experience with WPMU uptime... When I receive a random down notification, the site is usually live when I click on the link.

    I have 200+ connected sites on 4 different servers. When I receive a random notification, it's usually some type of glitch. When I receive dozens all at once, there's something wrong with a server.

    I've learned to not rely on a single notification point of failure. I have about a dozen services monitoring my everythings. You'll gain a better understanding of what's actually going on that way.

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