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The 5 most shocking websites to go down in May

downtime

As May draws to a close, it’s that time again to share with you the most surprising websites that went down this month. Now, I don’t like to “out” anyone but I do like to use these to emphasise that website downtime can affect any website, big or small. And ultimately, the impact is the same – potential customers gone elsewhere, higher bounce rate, lower SEO, and worst of all, lost revenue. But I’m not the Grinch, it’s not all doom and gloom in the world of website downtime, there is a solution. You’ve probably guessed it but yes, it is us. More on that later.

Here are the 5 most surprising websites that have gone down in May: 

Salesforce

As the world’s most popular CRM platform, it’s not exactly ideal when Salesforce goes down. Unfortunately for them, this is exactly what happened this month, causing a stream of unhappy customers to reach out to them on social media, concerned that their sales teams were losing out on key customer information during prime selling time. 

Multiple Salesforce Applications Disrupted

At 21:46 UTC on May 11, 2021, The Salesforce Technology team became aware of an issue impacting multiple Salesforce services. Customers will experience issues while navigating multiple Salesforce services, including the Core application, Marketing Cloud, Commerce Cloud, Government Cloud, and Experience Cloud (fka Communities).

The impact is also impacting the Salesforce Trust site, status.salesforce.com is not accessible.

The team is all hands on deck exploring multiple swimlanes as a potential cause of the issue. This includes the possibility of a block implemented by a DNS provider, as well as any recent network changes.

Interestingly, it’s not the first time Salesforce has gone down this year. In April, they also experienced downtime, and on a massive global scale. So what’s causing this multi-million dollar CRM system to keep going down? Too many users? Too much pressure on their servers? 

CTO Parker Harris also seems to think it’s a “DNS-related issue” although this hasn’t been confirmed. Whatever it is, they can’t keep going down, or Microsoft Dynamics will continue to gleefully nab their customers.

BT 

It’s been a very bad month for BT, going down four times in less than two weeks. Customers have been less than impressed, especially those working from home without access to the internet or to their BT emails. 

The most recent downtime for BT occurred on the 18th May at 2pm BST, prime time working hours for those in the UK. More than 1,200 people reported issues with BT, but BT wasn’t quick to communicate with their customers and give them an update. Bad move. This caused an even wider disruption as customers took to Twitter to voice their concerns: 

“@Bt_uk Hello. My BT email has been down for last 30 mins or so. I see there may others reporting this. Any idea of when it might be fixed? Thanks.”

This is why public status pages are so important for keeping your customers in the know when your website experiences any kind of issues, downtime, or otherwise (although even Salesforce’s public status page went down…).

Facebook 

Barely a month goes by without talk of Facebook and May has been no different. From the media attention that monetising WhatsApp has had to the previous shutting down of Facebook news pages, this tech giant is rarely out of the spotlight. But this time, it’s for all the wrong reasons as Facebook experienced 4 hours of downtime this week from the prime usage hours of 8am to midday. The outcome? Some very angry business owners who were losing revenue through ads and worse still, some very angry social media users who couldn’t update their status. Dangerous. 

The lesson? If multi-billion dollar company Facebook can go down, any website can. 

YouTube 

Popular video platform YouTube experienced rare downtime this month on the 19th May. Luckily, the downtime came at just after 4am in the morning (which you’d presume, wasn’t prime time video-watching hour..). One positive to take out of their downtime experience, however, was that although it happened in the early hours of the morning, YouTube managed to get back up and running normally by the time everyone came online. Smooth. 

Reddit 

Similar to Salesforce and BT, Reddit has already gone down multiple times this year, mainly when they had a surge in traffic caused by the GameStop shares group saga. But unfortunately for this popular forum site, they once again experienced downtime in the UK on 20th May for a short time in the early hours of the morning. Interestingly, you’d presume that at 3am, there wouldn’t exactly be a high volume of traffic so what caused the unplanned downtime? My bet is that there was a server error somewhere along the line, but I can’t be sure unless they utilise our website monitoring solution (see what I did there?). If they are continuously going down around the same time every month, however, there’s definitely something to say about the fact that it could be an ongoing issue in the backend. One user even commented on DownDetector, “this site breaks more than it works”. Ouch. 

*Screenshots from DownDetector

Check out the other website downtime blogs for this year: 

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