What can be done about this?

Went out of town recently, took my raptop so I could check me email, and I could not access it at all! (email through a couple of domains of mine that are hosted out of California at some big hosting place that’s supposed to be one of the world’s largest)

I’m thinking my sites are down temporarily so I get on the horn and call the office and they can access the sites, and the email, just fine.

After a couple of days, I’m FINALLY able to access my sites which meant my email was also accessible (I use Outlook Express set up just like my office computer)…but back at the office they had access the whole time.

And, another thing…every now and again somebody I’ll be on the phone with will tell me my site is down but when I go look it’s not down…but it is for them as they can’t access it.

What can be done about this? Do I need to get another hosting provider and set up a secondary nameserver and setup my sites with dual hosting or something?

Actually you need reliable web hosting service with high uptime :slight_smile:

You should go to another host, use their nameservers and that’ it.
I have never heard about ‘dual hosting’ in last 12 years of my business.

Good luck.

But, the websites were not down…it was a communications issue between where I was at the hotel and the data center where the websites are hosted.

They are hosted at the facility at One Wilshire in Los Angeles, California where all incoming and outgoing bandwidth will be transited via Tier 1 providers.

Remember, our office experienced no down time whatsoever so the websites were up the whole time.

Just going to another host doesn’t do anything if they too are using the same data center.

I heard of some sort of secondary DNS service once where they cache your site every few days and the secondary DNS points to different servers than your original nameserver does.

Anybody ever heard of this?

Never have I heard about this. It is just a weird concept that I don’t think will work. Maybe as the hosting industry evolves it can implement this but what is the benefit of this?

There could be issues with your hosting provider Network. You could do Traceroute from several locations and see if there are any dropoffs.

Another good thing to do is to signup for 3rd party Server Monitoring service. One that monitors form multiple locations.

Read all about it over at http://www.BackupDNS.com/html/reasons.html

I found an old thread about this at http://www.sitepoint.com/forums/showthread.php?t=494193&highlight=secondary+DNS

I suppose that your access to your own web sites and mail is blocking by your ISP somehow.
Testing your web host from various locations should be helpful for you. Also you need to ask your hosting provider to negotiate with your ISP about blocking

That would have been the ISP that was providing internet access at the hotel I was staying at, so it wasn’t a permanent thing. Plus, we had access back at the office the whole time.

In times past I did talk to my ISP and my hosting company about the occasional customer not having access (customers several states away from me) and both said there wasn’t anything they could do about it because it was a breakdown in communications at other facilities and providers that they had no control over.

This makes it all the more important for me to either have dual hosting on dual nameservers (each nameserver hosted with a different hosting company located in a different facility)

Or, I could try using the service provided by http://www.BackupDNS.com and see if that helps.

I’m hearing now that there is always the occasional communications issues outside of the control of your hosting company even if they were the very best on the planet.

Our sites are currently hosted at the facility at One Wilshire in Los Angeles, California which is one of the leading data centers in the world.

That would have been the ISP that was providing internet access at the hotel I was staying at, so it wasn’t a permanent thing. Plus, we had access back at the office the whole time.

I believe that for the time being in the hotel he just needs to use proxy to access to own sites.


It’s not just as simple as setting up two hosting accounts and using both sets of nameservers on the domain - that’s asking for a world of pain. Sure it could work, if you’ve got everything in perfect synchronisation such as email (although it’l cause a lot of problems if you’re using IMAP, you’ll get two copies of mails in to clients as it flips and flops between which mailserver it talks to), databases, web files, session states etc.


Yes, this has come up before and when I asked our hosting company to look in to it, all they said was that their servers are up ad running and performing properly.

They said that the problem was a break down in communications between Los Angeles, California (where they are located), and the person’s location who is trying to access one of our sites but can’t.

They said they have no control over third party communications providers providing service to the end user.

So, it sounds as if this is something that cannot be resolved.

It’s been such a rare occurance that I doubt I’d want to change hosting companies for this cause the next hosting company probably has the same problem and can’t do anything about it either.

So, what’s the fix for this situation?

It’s got to be more than changing hosting companies since most of them are just renting server space at major data centers to re-sell.

All of our sites are static sites (we do advertising sites mostly that don’t need any databasing) so having dual nameservers and dual hosting locations could work since it’s not hard to upload to two servers anytime a site is updated.

I’m just not sure what would happen to email…wouldn’t it automatically work on the first DMX settings and only use the secondary if the primary wasn’t available?


If you set say two name servers from each host - no matter what order you set them in, any of them could be queried first. Which means that you’ll end up with a situation where the MX records for Host A could be loaded, or the MX records for Host B could be loaded.

One way around this would be (if your host allows it) to set custom MX records with two different priorities, so on both Host A and Host B the DNS says, “Host A mail server priority 10, Host B mail server priority 20” - but then you would still end up with mail in both places. The reason being some mailers don’t follow the priorities properly, and unless you configure Host B to only act as a store and forward for the mail it’ll store the mail locally instead of sending on to Host A - which is still no good anyway if you can’t get to Host A to get the mail and you’re also likely getting outside of the realms of what most virtual hosting companies will do for you.

Then you’ve got the problem of what happens when it comes to trouble shooting, as you’re going to be running a very non-standard setup, you’re likely to find Host A say, “Oh no, that’s Host Bs fault” and vice-versa, or just, “You’re running things in an unsupported way”.

Did you actually contact your host and have them look in to the issue at all?


Why don’t you just use a cloud based email service that has already solved the problem e.g google apps email?
With regards to static sites, again you could put all files onto a CDN that allows an index file and a cname e.g amazon cloudfront, then the files get served from the quickest location and have multiple redundancy.

I like to keep things professional with the business and using free email accounts isn’t something that gets alot of respect from customers as being professional. I know the younger people may not see free email as being un-professional, but there’s plenty of middle aged and older folks that do and wonder what kinda of fly-by-night company they are dealing with when the see a company using free email services.

You don’t see many major companies using gmail, yahoo mail, hotmail, etc.

We have our own company domains and will continue using these domains for email.

Anywho, am I the only one that ever experiences the occasional phone call from someone saying they cannot access my website even though it’s up and running just fine?

There’s gotta be something that can be done about this. Do others just keep changing hosting companies hoping this will go away?

What proof is there that if I change to another host…EVERYBODY will ALWAYS be able to ACCESS my websites AT ALL TIMES???

I’m willing to bet that no webhost can guarantee that there won’t be occasional communication breakdowns between their facility and web surfers in other parts of the country or the world.

Because of this, I see no need to switch to another hosting company since they are at the mercy of the same communication breakdowns my current host has experienced only a handful of time in the past 6 years I’ve been with them.

The problem is NOT the hosting company being down, but poor communications around the internet itself, which is something no hosting company can do anything about.

How would the customers know you are using ‘free’ email? When it comes from youraddress@yourdomain.com ? You’re getting gmail addresses mixed up with google apps email for domains which isn’t quite the same thing.

I’m sure that if the likes of the high profile companies listed [URL=“http://www.google.com/apps/intl/en/business/customers.html”]here are happy with their service, chances are yours would be too.

Didn’t know you were talking about using a domain name in conjunction with an email service provider. I can do this with Yahoo also for a fee, which is something I’m not paying for since I can do it for now for free.

Don’t like gmail, but I do use a couple of free Yahoo accounts for online shopping purposes so they can send all their spam to the Yahoo accounts.

I will continue using a local email client because this is what I like, it’s what I want to use, and because it’s easier for me to back up all my emails.

No reason to quit using a local email client. Just because everyone else is starting to use cloud based software and services is all the more reason for me to keep this stuff on my local machine.

All this cloud based stuff is just removing control from end users so the big companies (and eventually governments of the world) can control all the end users. It’s just another attempt to control the masses, so I’ll pass.