Whos.amung.us goes down taking out numerous client websites
Sun, Sep 12, 2010
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Realtime web analytics service whos.amung.us
has been completely down for at least the last 3 hours (as of sept 12 4:28pm UTC). Thousands of webmasters (myself included) use this widget to gather realtime traffic stats for websites. The current outage has caused big problems to the sites implementing this widget.
Lets look at their widget implementation.
This is bad!
tag into the document which too must be be loaded before the window.onload event can be triggered.
This incident was somehow not critical FAIL for me cause I am aware about frontend SPOF
issues and placed this widget just before </body>, so it didn't completely mess with my page, but still caused the following problems.
- Delayed the window.onload event, delaying executing of other scripts made to run after onload.
- Showed "waiting for .... " in the status bar of the browsers for a long time before timing out, indicating to the user that the page is still not ready.
- Makes Google think your site is really slow and doesn't deserve to rank!
Now, for webmasters not aware about these issues the problems is possibly critical. In case the widget code is before
the main content of their site, they are in for a hard time. Their site would stop loading at the point the widget is located in the html, giving the users an impression that the website is broken
during the outage. Its the dynamic counter image which SPOF'd.
If they must use document.write, write a div, give it a name, and attach the image into it using dom manipulation after the window.onload
Moreover, when the servers come under high load, there should be a mechanism to FAIL early with an appropriate status code.
Respect your users, don't take them for granted!
Disclaimer: My current secret project is somewhat related to real-time analytics.