Monday, August 6, 2007

A missed opportunity for ISPs

Five O'clock Shadow ??

Originally uploaded by evo_terra

One of the dumbest things and ISP can do is to put up a "This Page Suspended For Too Much Traffic" pages. Seriously. It's a public relations and marketing fiasco.

You want to know what that says to the general public, many of whom may be in the market for a decent webhost? It says "we can only handle so much traffic on our site, so you better not get popular or we'll shut you down". Thanks, but I'll move on.

And Brian Ibbott from Coverville spoke so highly of BlueHost. Now you've just gone and spoiled all of that goodwill just because someone got Dugg.

We no longer live in a limited-bandwidth world. Yes, I realize that you have bandwidth restrictions -- not saying you shouldn't. But surely there is a more creative and better way to handle sudden spikes of traffic than shutting down the content. How about putting up a redirect page or a frame (wow, a potential good use for frames?) that says something like "The amount of traffic to this page is huge. But we can handle it. Can your current ISP or hosting provider?" That my friends, would land you way more business than the cop-out approach. It just makes you look unfriendly...

And before you ask -- yes, you can get paid for the extra traffic. My cell phone doesn't shut off if my kid texts too much, I just get a massive bill. What if the person doesn't pay? Well isn't that the risk of doing business. And be honest -- the bandwidth really isn't that expensive (to you) and only a handful of folks would bail on the bill.

So stop it. Right now. It's getting tiresome and gives you a black eye.


  1. Agreed. How many times have we seen companies such as Go Daddy deal with the publicity nightmare because a site exceeded this imaginary bandwidth wall. If a small company like Libsyn can give unlimited for dollars per month, why can't larger companies?

  2. You've met me and know I'm not a bluehost shill.

    I use bluehost as a host as well. A few weeks back I was both slashdotted and dugg over the NYC photography permit thing and had no issues with bluehost, things worked. As a matter of fact I was so impressed with them that I joined their affiliate program, not for the money but because I believe they deserve the business.

    Looking at the message it was a CPU quota issue not a bandwidth issue. I suspect he's got a CMS package and isn't doing any cacheing of pages, or throdeling and is pegging the database. Maybe it's because I've run my own servers in the past, but I understand that the hosting providers have a responsibility to keep the box up in a shared hosting situation. If the webmaster doesn't configure his services properly, the hosting provider can't be the bad guy. If you don't know how to configure drupal / wordpress / your CMS of choice perhaps you should look at other options. I don't mean to sound like an elitist.

    All that said, I agree with your premise, if ISPs were smart they'd guarantee uptime in these extreme situations in exchange for advertising instead of turning off the site. It's great marketing for them and the customer stays up.

  3. From a marketing customer service standpoint I think your idea is brilliant. Good analysis/observation on this one.


Note: Only a member of this blog may post a comment.