Facebook is Down! OK, What to Do When Websites Go Down
We just got a rather amusing email along the lines of: “Hey I tried to share a story on Facebook but your site is broken!” but with more swear words and other nonsense thrown in there for good measure.
Facebook is down, it’s not us. Blame them.
But this is a good reason to discuss what to do when a site goes down, and even ways to view websites when they’re down.
A website is down, now what? How do you view it anyway?
Wait, then Refresh: The first thing to do is simply wait, give it time, and eventually refresh the web site. The site will almost certainly come back online. Facebook absolutely will, they are a huge website and big business! That applies to most websites really, since almost always they will return – even if they are not business or big, the web host usually returns the site to an online status in time.
Use Caches: Cache! Yes web caches, on your computer, or with Google Cache or Bing Cache, or even Internet Archives and Alexa, all make it possible to view some web content if it is cached on the respective service, or on your computer. While viewing a site with a webcache is possible to view cached content… it only works so well for logged in sites, and it wont have updated content on websites with a lot of dynamic content and AJAX like facebook.
If you want to get geeky, you can even find the age of a Google Web Cache of any URL to find out just how new or old the cache version is.
- The Wayback Machine views old versions of websites (sometimes recent ones too), for example here’s the OSXDaily website on wayback machine! Many archives and snippets of what we looked like in ancient times to modern
- Google Web Cache browser works too, you access it from the search pages by clicking on the little arrow icon next to a URL and choosing “Cached”
Anyway, this is kind of a sign of how important Facebook has become to many users, where if they want to view a website or share something they found online, if it’s down, they panic. Well, sometimes there’s not much you can do about that except wait for the site to come back online.