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WordPress Outage Takes Down Millions of Blogs

By March 15, 2013 Blog No Comments

One of the key advertising promises made by WordPress.com when promoting their VIP service is “Stop Worrying About Downtime” – so imagine their embarrassment when their servers suffered an outage earlier this month! It seems that even in the cloud, there are no guarantees of 100% uptime.
WordPress.com’s VIP servers went down for approximately 15 minutes on February 15th – just four days after an earlier issue with their servers had caused poor performance and loading issues for several high profile sites.
Unlike Magento and other eCommerce solutions, WordPress.com is primarily known for its free hosting service, which is popular with hobbyist bloggers, open source projects, and not-for-profit blogs. However, there are many other bloggers that use the WordPress.com service under their own domain names. The list of WordPress.com’s VIP clients includes MSNBC, TechCrunch, GigaOm, and the blog of the Green Bay Packers.
The outage was short, but since it affected so many high-profile sites it was quickly noticed. Automatic issued a statement about the outage, apologizing for the problems, and explaining a little about what caused them. Apparently, some debugging code had been left active, and was trying to connect to a server which had been decommissioned, causing performance degradation.
Once the server was brought back up, there was still some cleanup to do, but everything seems to be back to normal now. Kudos to Automattic for fixing it so quickly.

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