5 big companies that have already experienced website downtime this year


It’s only mid-February and there’s already been a surge of websites that have gone down, and big ones too. 

I don’t need to tell you how damaging website downtime can be, especially since we’re spending the majority of our time online due to the Covid-19 pandemic. We are working online, studying online, banking, shopping, exercising online, the list is endless, and this extra online activity has put added pressure on the websites that help us to perform these tasks. 

Website downtime

Website downtime can happen to any company, big or small, and cause huge rippling effects from revenue loss to lack of customer trust. Most people won’t stay around waiting for your website to go back up instead, they’ll hop along to your competitor and buy from them. If they do stick around, they’re probably Tweeting, Facebooking, Instagramming and every social media’ing’ in between about your website being down. A perfect example of this was when communicative work platform Slack went down in January. 

Slack managed to make everyone’s first day back to work rip-roaring fun (or, you know, as much excitement as you can have sitting in your pyjamas working from bed) with an outage. Thousands took to Twitter with partying memes; bemused that their first day back to work was forcing them to effectively feel as though they were off.

But Slack isn’t the only one to lose out in 2021 – here’s my list of the top 5 websites that have gone down this year and why there are undoubtedly 21 million memes about them already.

1. Asda

On February 15th, well-known supermarket Asda left customers cheesed off when their website and app had an outage, leaving them unable to log in. With supermarkets’ online presence hugely important now the demand for online food shopping has increased due to Covid-19, it’s no surprise that Asda worked quickly to get their website back up and running. Normal website and app functionality resumed at around 3pm according to their statement although there’s been no word as to what caused the outage in the first place.

2. The London Marathon website 

The London Marathon is one of the most recognised races in the world and unfortunately for its organisers, it became even more so when its website went down. This year, due to the pandemic and the ongoing pressures to find sustainable solutions, they opted to use an online ballot for participant tickets. Although on paper, this sounds like a very good idea, especially for the 50,000 runners that could simply log in and see if they were successful in getting a ticket, it didn’t quite turn out that way. Users weren’t able to access the website even when the ballot results were ready, meaning the website was getting huge amounts of traffic but weren’t even online. Every website-owners nightmare.

3. TSB

The more we turn to apps to replace our traditional methods of day-to-day tasks like shopping and banking, the more pressure we put on these apps to remain constantly available. Unfortunately for TSB, that wasn’t the case on the 26th January. Users weren’t able to log into their online banking meaning thousands of people were left unable to access their accounts, pay bills, make transfers and most importantly whilst we’re at home, check if their Netflix subscription had come out on time. TSB announced on Twitter that they were aware of the problem and were working as quickly as they could to resolve it however it took them hours to get the site and app back-up and running. 

4. UK Quarantine hotel booking site 

Probably one of the most important websites in the world to stay online right now is the UK’s quarantine hotel booking site. Now the go-to hub for UK citizens who are returning from any of the 33 “red-listed” countries that require quarantine after visiting, it is inundated with heaps of traffic.

It was put under huge strain on launch day, 11th February, with thousands of people attempting to use the portal to book, causing it to go down and become unavailable. The Department of Health and Social Care said it was caused by a “minor issue” although it took more than 2 hours for normal website functionality to resume.

5. The National Lottery website

If you’re in with a chance of winning a 130 million euros jackpot on the EuroMillions draw, the last thing that you want to happen is for The National Lottery website to go down. Unfortunately, it did just that in the first week of February. Thousands were left unable to buy tickets (resulting in a loss for The National Lottery) and took to the aptly dubbed “social complaint platform” Twitter to voice their concerns. In fairness, if they’re anything like me, they would have already spent their winnings in their head by the time they tried to buy the ticket and couldn’t bear to let the thought of their new poodle go. 

The National Lottery then released a statement that said they were experiencing technical difficulties with both their app and their website and were working to rectify the situation as quickly as possible. But how much were their ticket sales affected by this website downtime?

The solution to website downtime

Website downtime happens to every company, regardless of their team or budget size. It’s caused by so many varying factors, one of the main being a surge in traffic to the site. Once your website is down, however, it can be a while before you manage to get it back online and working fully. That’s where we come in (get ready for an unapologetic-but-very-helpful sell of StatusCake…). 

StatusCake provides an uptime monitoring solution that monitors your website performance so you don’t have to. When your website does go down, we’ll alert you as soon as it happens so you don’t find out through social media. Choose to monitor your website from 43 different locations in 30 different countries and say goodbye to website downtime. Start your free trial today.

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