AVC Downtime?

I’ve been hearing reports of AVC being down here and there over the past few days. I’d like to ask a few questions of the regulars.

1) Have you experienced downtime/unavailability on AVC since the cutover from typepad to wordpress?

2) if so, can you recall the error mode? was it a cloudflare error page? was it a 404 page? was it something else?

3) how frequently does this happen?

Finally if you experience this issue going forward, I would love a screenshot of the error page. You can email it to me via the contact link at the bottom of the About page.

Thanks everyone. I am trying to make AVC as reliable as it can be and downtime is something I want to get to the bottom of.


Comments (Archived):

  1. Matt A. Myers

    I have had a Cloudflare error page 2 or 3 times. One time it persisted for a few minutes, so waited 5 minutes or so before reloading and AVC was back.

  2. John Revay

    I have had several instances of my machine freezing when going to avc.I was not sure if it was the avc site or my os

  3. Adrian Bye

    sign up for pingdom, it will notify you as soon as there are outages, and when it comes back up again. its free for one site and the signup process is mostly painless.

    1. Matt A. Myers

      Aren’t they an investor in Pingdom ?

    2. Matt A. Myers

      I am not sure how those services work if using something like Cloudflare? It fully might well ping for Pingdom but then not for others.

      1. Matt Zagaja

        You can have it do a string check which is helpful if your web host or service falls over to some kind of custom error page instead of just timing out.

  4. tpd

    What time was this blog posted today? I checked in first at around 10:00 am EST and it was just displaying yesterday’s post. It also spun it’s wheels while even displaying that. I just now reloaded the page (10:50am EST) to find today’s post was here.I haven’t noticed any other errors since the move.

  5. DanielHorowitz

    I got a cached version once over the weekend via cloudflare.

  6. CJ

    I’ve had Disqus downtime sporadically when visiting but never the entire site.

  7. Tom Labus

    Nothing like that. Mostly access from a desktop and mobile was also OK too

  8. Anne Libby

    I got the Cloudflare error page twice (?) over the weekend, not at avc.com, but when I clicked on “comments” for the day’s post.

  9. LE

    I haven’t experienced any issues at all with avc.comBut I did definitely have issues with cloudflare and stopped using them (when I was testing).Another thing that always bothered me about cloudflare was the dns activity. There are always tons of people starting and stopping to use cloudflare.http://www.dailychanges.com…Here is a year ago:http://www.dailychanges.com…Here is yesterday:http://www.dailychanges.com…That said your use of cloudflare predates switching to wordpress (at least and possibly before Sept 2013)One thing I have noticed is that it appears that disqus comments are posting much quicker.Might be an idea if someone is reporting an issue to also send a traceroute and ping to you as well.As follows:Open up a terminal window (on Macintosh) and type:traceroute http://www.avc.comThen do a ping:ping -c5 http://www.avc.comMy first question would be who is doing the wordpress hosting for you?

    1. Dale Allyn

      Agree with your observations.Re. traceroute and ping: If some Mac users don’t like Terminal (what’s not to love?) Network Utility.app has an easy user interface and offers the same (and other) tools. I’m not sure if it’s still around in Mavericks (avoiding that), but it’s on all of my Macs. Users will likely find it in their Utilities folder inside of Applications.

    2. Matt Zagaja

      I was introduced to Cloudflare when I was a Dreamhost shared hosting user. Activating it caused all sorts of site load and availability issues. I eventually disabled it and those went away. I also eventually learned how much of a hungry beast wordpress is and left the world of shared hosting for a Jekyll site hosted on S3. Super cheap.

        1. ShanaC

          The thing is it has a humongous amount of features for a CMS while being much easier to use compared to joomla or something similar.It needs a cleanup, but I don’t think most people are moving to a static site generator cms any time soon (dealing with wordpress and all of its WYSIWYG glory scares enough people. Markdown/coding would just freak them out more)

  10. Zach Stevens

    Haven’t had any issues at all! Site works/looks great.

  11. Fernando Gutierrez

    No issue reading from Spain. Not commenting a lot lately but here everyday for my dose.

  12. ErikSchwartz

    I saw a cloudflare error screen for a few minutes.

  13. maverickny

    I’ve had a cloud flare error a couple of times, but Disqus not loading comments more frequently. Have switched to reading the posts by RSS on my mobile instead.

  14. Guest

    this was it folks…

  15. Crunkatlanta Magazine

    looks great

  16. Eddie Wharton

    AVC has been okay for me. Disqus doesn’t always work on the web and often doesn’t work on mobile.

    1. JimHirshfield

      There were some problems network-wide 2 days ago. Are you still seeing problems?

      1. Gest

        2 days ago? Hahaha. Jim H doing his stand up routine again!

        1. JimHirshfield

          I guess I deserved that. Touche.

          1. Gest

            Your comment seems to be taking longer than usual. Reload?

      2. Eddie Wharton

        It was working, but it just got stuck in a perpetual load on usv.com so I guess yes.

  17. jason wright

    yes, i’ve experienced unavailability a few times in the last two weeks. it was cloudfluck. i didn’t capture a screenshot. sorry.

  18. ijuarez

    it’s been ok for me,

  19. Susan Rubinsky

    Yes, I’ve been getting errors. I didn’t pay close attention. Just got this page but with a little grey circle spinning (loading) but which never loads, leaving the page blank. I usually just give up and leave.

    1. jason wright

      it’s hypnotic. i have to go away and lie down.

  20. Russell

    Haven’t seen it at all in London…

    1. leapy

      It’s the fog

  21. RichardF

    I’ve seen a cloudflare error quite a few times. Hasn’t lasted long.

  22. JLM

    .Lots of problems with Disqus not loading. I would then try another site with Disqus and it loaded just fine.JLM.

    1. Alex Wolf

      same here

      1. JimHirshfield

        See my comment above to @JLM:disqus

        1. JLM

          .Just did it to me a second ago. Annoying.JLM.

    2. JimHirshfield

      Specifically problems with Disqus on AVC? Or also on Big Red Car and elsewhere? If AVC only, keep in mind that Disqus is, by design, the last thing to load on the page. So, if AVC isn’t fully loading for reasons that Fred is trying to troubleshoot, Disqus won’t load. Not trying to pass the buck, just clarifying in case what you’re seeing is specific to AVC and seen in conjunction with AVC problems.

      1. JLM

        .Specific only to AVC. No problems with BRC.It just grinds, grinds, grinds and never loads.Of course, it could just be the NSA is having trouble reading all the comments on AVC in real time.JLM.

        1. sigmaalgebra

          > Of course, it could just be the NSA is having trouble reading all the comments on AVC in real time.It’s fully understandable that the NSA is really busy:E.g., they have a national security obligation to keepup in real time with all those SnapChat selfie interceptsfrom Sweden!

          1. JLM

            .Today Obama intimated he was going to slap the NSA back into their kennels and was going to stop listening in to US citizens’, well, everything.He also said he was going to do the same things to foreigners.Hey, listening in to foreigners’ conversations is perfectly correct. We call that espionage.Even doing the right thing, Pres Obama manages to screw it up.Today in his presser from Belgium, he looked old, tired, dispirited, confused and gray haired. His hair has become markedly more gray. I think he is under extraordinary stress.I imagine those chats with Putin have put a few gray hairs on his head. I honestly feel sorry for him as he is so out of his comfort zone and depth.May be time for another chat Between The Two Ferns?JLM.

          2. sigmaalgebra

            I had to Google ‘Between the Two Ferns’, find the Obama interview, and watch some if it — bizarre in how absurd it was.To me, Obama is an example of how to be president without really trying or much caring.For ObamaCare, my view is that Senator Kennedy’s old health care staff dreamed it up; it was never better designed than a paper mache boat; Pelosi and Reid pushed it through; Obama wasn’t much involved and hopes that whatever is wrong with it others will fix and feels that, if it is a start that will grow into some national health care like in England, Canada, France, Switzerland, then fine; it’s something a lot of liberals really like and have faith in; if it flops, then he wants that to be when he is out of office; to this end he keeps delaying various parts of ObamaCare to keep the sh!t from hitting the fan while he is still in range of the ‘blow back’.As far as I can tell, for being president he was mostly just trying to do a little for the people he knew as a community organizer.For most mistakes that he would make, we can get by because he will get push back from Congress, the SCOTUS, the public, some of the press, various leaders, etc. When there’s a big consensus in the NYT, then he will know what to say.I would guess that he has three principles:(1) If don’t do anything, then no one can say did anything wrong.(2) Never try to do something when can get by doing nothing.(3) Most crises will resolve themselves in two weeks when they are out of the headlines.And he has been clever in having criticism stick much less than I would have expected. E.g., any of the seeds of impeachment have never gotten even a shoot above the ground. And his approval rating is higher than the teens I would have expected.In spite of the millions of people we have in the Federal Government, at times we actually need a competent, diligent, involved president, and it looks like he has only lately faced up to that consideration.I thought that Bush, Jr., Cheney, Rummy, etc. really blew it, with serious incompetence, in Akrapistan and Gulf War II. E.g., some of the mistakes Bush, etc. were super slow to see were easily seen by various street thugs, crime gangs, highly placed crooks, ambitious clerics, international opportunists, etc. Quite a list.So, since Bush blew it, I can understand reluctance to get involved in incompetently planned foreign adventures. And the US should not go broke trying to police the world. Still, ‘international relations’ is an important subject — fumbling has led to wars. Just because Bush, Jr. had a grand display of incompetence doesn’t mean that we can ignore the rest of the world.Last I heard, on his last day in office, Bush, Jr. was still crawling around on the floor of the oval office looking under the furniture for Saddam’s nukes.For Putin, Obama has been just crystal clear and 100% determined: If Putin doesn’t promise to leave the Crimea eventually, then he will not be invited to Michelle’s next Rose Garden birthday party, the White House Easter Egg Roll, or even Obama’s next pickup B-ball game.Meanwhile Obama is firm in knowing that something should be done about Putin’s interests in the Crimea, the eastern half of Ukraine, Estonia, Belarus, the three ‘stans, etc. and is counting on some good ideas arriving at the White House just any day now. Maybe something posted here has about as good a chance as anything!So, now Obama is discovering that there can be more to being president than B-ball, golf, concerts on the White House lawn, platitudes, cliches, photo ops, waiting two weeks for crises to leave the headlines, etc. I’m not sure the MSM or the NYT has yet figured this out.

          3. JLM

            .I doubt I have ever agreed with anyone more than your analysis.I have come around on Bush, who was a superb governor of Texas, as to the Iraq war.The neocons who thought we could finance it with Iraqi oil revenue are deserving of the same shelf in Dante’s inferno as the liars who said you can keep your plan, doctor, premiums were going down, deficit would go down, etc.It has dawned on me that nobody in DC is watching the numbers or has either any sense or sensitivity testing.Having been a professional soldier and having had to write a few letters to Moms and Dads, I am very reluctant to argue for war. It is horrific and it is even more horrifically expensive.Having said that I am very much in favor of smacking the snot out of our enemies and then letting someone else handle the broken crockery.It is the after victory costs that are so expensive.When I see Russia concentrating 900 tanks, I wish we would get a chance to show them the folly of their ways. They would not have 50 tanks left after the first encounter with our air force.I am beaten into a corner and willing to have single payer health care as long as anyone with any money can opt out and buy their own in the marketplace. I did provide health care for my companies for 33 years and don’t remember anyone from DC helping me.The single payer system will be as shitty as anywhere else in the world.The bad news is that Putin is prepared to test us, the US and Obama. He doesn’t just think Obama is a pussy, he judges the US as soft.We are weary of war and he knows we will not fight for Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania, Ukraine, Moldova or Poland. America doesn’t even know where the other ‘Stans are located.It was stupid to let those countries into NATO. The Monroe Doctrine served us well since 1810. We should recognize Russian sphere of influence. Latvia has about 4.5K professional soldiers. Why do we want an alliance, a military alliance, with them?Funny thing is that Russia has a very crappy army. Still 70% conscripts and no combined arms command capabilities beyond the brigade level. No sea/air/land battle management.They do have nukes and would use them tactically in a NY minute on the European continent. Not sure they would use them on us but tactically without any compunctions.In the end, much of this is happening because of our lousy economy and energy policy.BTW, if you didn’t see Obama’s Belgium presser, should watch it. He is fatigued, listless and his hair really graying. He looks very stressed. This will only encourage Putin.Sorry for the length and apologies to all AVC folk.JLM.

          4. Cam MacRae

            We do call that espionage, but since your man in Moscow let it slip that Five Eyes has been bugging SBY’s phone, we all kinda have to pretend that we wouldn’t dream of doing such things. It is an election year, and I for one would prefer my northern neighbour to elect another moderate &/or reformist.

      2. ShanaC

        i’ve seen this happen often

        1. JimHirshfield

          The waiting to load until everything else loads thing? Or something else?

  23. Mac

    Any slow setup I’ve had with any portion of A VC has been ISP based: Time Warner.Very infrequent. Never a cloudflare or 404 error.

  24. Tyler

    Only problems have been with Disqus not loading

  25. LE

    Based on comments on this page I’d say to pull cloudflare. Yeah I know you are an investor.If that doesn’t fix the problem then you need to consider a more robust host for wordpress.For example if you are hosting at hover they may not be the right place or have issues there.My suggestion would be to try wpengine.com Or WordPress VIP. http://vip.wordpress.com/I'm not seeing any clear benefit for you by using cloudflare [1]Ddos isn’t a critical concern – you’re not a particular target – and your business doesn’t depend on 100% uptime. And you don’t have a high degree of static content either.http://www.cloudflare.com/f…[1] Other than the fact that you are an investor and want to know about the issues that people are having to help make the service better (which is a valid reason).

  26. Dave W Baldwin

    Only thing I’ve noticed is (on mobile) the page not offering “new post” and I’ve found if I tap on AVC it will get to today’s post.

  27. john murphy

    ok so far

  28. James Ferguson @kWIQly

    Benefit of scale – When you have a single “AVC” unit of engagement – if your service is down for a microsecond – you just know it !

  29. Pointsnfigures

    Just seeing downtime on your Instagram. Heh.

  30. ShanaC

    Yes, I’ve been seeing downtime. However, I’ve been seeing it since before you moved to wordpress

  31. JamesHRH

    this just happened on usv.com

    1. Aaron Klein

      We implemented Cloudflare a long time ago and it lasted 24 hours before we deactivated it. We would click the button to bypass Cloudflare, boom, site up. Then click it again, boom, site down.I especially loved how they inaccurately blamed me for downtime they were causing with that beautiful graphic.

    2. Shripriya

      I have seen this page several times on AVC, but not recently.

    3. scottythebody

      How is this “working” on CloudFlare’s part? Isn’t it supposed to make the page available?never had issues historically until quite recently and they are always messages from CloudFlare.

  32. Donna Brewington White

    No problems here. Maybe as a West Coaster I miss the rush. :)Also, I love when you travel and post later because it gives us a chance to get to the posts before there are 100+ comments or have to pull an all-nighter to get in on the action.Disqus — on the newer iteration I can’t click on the “new comment” banner from mobile and can’t see the names for up-votes. Otherwise, keep up the great work! <3

  33. William Mougayar

    I have not had any issues with downtime in the past few days.

  34. muratcannoyan

    Have not had any trouble getting to AVC.

  35. Sean Hull

    Nope, haven’t seen any errors on my end.

  36. Henry Yates

    I have noticed a few issues with Disqus. A couple of my comments in the last week have not shown up. Today I noticed 2 or 3 comments on today’s post that were awaiting moderation (see image attached)

  37. Ana Milicevic

    Just got the Cloudflare error again (I’ve seen it a few times this week but didn’t document). It’s 03/28 @ 2:23pm EDT.

  38. RowdyFish

    No longer can find the table of contents for all MBA Monday posts. It was very useful for all users and now appears to be gone. Seems the posts can no only be viewed in a simple long stream. Basically renders MBA Monday largely unusable.

    1. fredwilson

      it is herehttp://avc.com/archive/#click on the MBA Mondays tab

  39. Henry Yates

    I am receiving “Error establishing a database connection” when I go direct to http://www.avc.com/ (see attached)

    1. dave

      I was gettting same message, sorry didn’t see yours when I posted. Changing my bookmark to just avc.com worked.

  40. dave

    yesterday and this morning got Error Establishing Database Connection from my long-standing bookmark at http://www.avc.com. However, I updated the bookmark to just avc.com and it works fine.