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Forum Home > General Discussion > It wasn't just you - Webs (all websites) was down yet again

Site Owner
Posts: 13496

Those of you who visited (or attempted to visit) the forum over the weekend may well have been greeted by this, or something like it:

The Webs host server  was up and down like the proverbial whore's drawers on Saturday morning and Sunday evening .....

and again Tuesday evening and into the early hours of this morning. See multiple complaints on Webs (total lack of) Support forums:

July 18, 2012 at 4:14 AM Flag Quote & Reply

Site Owner
Posts: 13496

If you're in any doubt as to whether just the forum is down, or that it's a typically (much) bigger Webs hosting problem ....

I've found this website status checker comes in handy: or short URL = 

It doesn't solve the lousy Webs hosting issue, but at least it saves you from wasting your time vainly refreshing the screen. :mad:

July 18, 2012 at 4:20 AM Flag Quote & Reply

Site Owner
Posts: 13496

And again this afternoon from about 2:30 - 4:30pm UK time !!! :mad:

Yes, I have seen this thread on TZ-UK:

.... and I have asked the question. ;)

July 18, 2012 at 11:57 AM Flag Quote & Reply

Site Owner
Posts: 13496

It's not a lot better today !! :mad:

Whereas Webs might not actually be 'down' as such, trying to get onto the forum, at times, to read or post has been a real struggle.

Both Simon and I noticed it around lunchtime, and it happened again earlier this evening.

I've lost count of the number of times I saw this (standard) Webs error message today:

Unbelievably, I also got this at one point ! :o

Trust me - our domain name has NOT been purchased - but it may well be moving soon, unless Webs buck up their ideas ! :(

July 19, 2012 at 3:45 PM Flag Quote & Reply

Posts: 169

It's into the night here in the UK and it's still, well, unreliable

July 19, 2012 at 7:53 PM Flag Quote & Reply

Site Owner
Posts: 13496

According to their (total lack of) support forum, Webs latest excuse was that they were under a DoS attack:

Caroline (Official Rep) 9 hours ago

The engineers are still working on this issue of sites going down periodically. We understand you are frustrated.


DOS attacks are not fun for anyone, and the engineers are working diligently to fully resolve this.


This means you may be experiencing any of the following problems with your site:

1. The site doesn't show up at the address, or only shows up sometimes.

2. The theme or template may not appear.

3. Images may be missing.


Your content should not be at risk, but due to the way a DOS attack can hit the servers, the images might not show up while we sort out the issue. This does not mean the images are deleted. The theme/template also can be affected, due to the way the CSS codes are delivered to the visiting browsers.


At this point, you do not need to report that you are having problems as a result of these issues.

The engineers are aware of the problems and are working on resolving them.


I apologize for the inconvenience.


Just to reiterate, we can't send out notices to 40 or 50 million website owners when there is a problem like this, because it actually takes days to send out that many emails, and once the process begins it can't be stopped easily. The best thing to do if you need updates, is to check here.


We are putting all our resources into resolving the problem, and it takes engineering resources to send out mass emails.

We're focused on the solution to the DOS attack, as we want to get your sites reliably available as soon as possible.


If you are a premium member, you also have access to the live chat support, providing you can get into the support system. If not, you could reply to an email from an earlier support ticket, if you've made one, and write to the premium support department that way, but honestly, in a situation like that, it will only slow down our ability to help everyone.


For something like this, getting an email to us or a live chat won't resolve the problem faster.

We know you're having issues, this is of course the highest priority, and the engineers are working overtime to get it resolved.


Thanks for your understanding.

So it took them nearly a week to suss that ? :o

10:00 Friday morning, and everything seems OK, or at least back to something like normal. :roll: Let's see what the weekend brings. :|

July 20, 2012 at 5:08 AM Flag Quote & Reply

Site Owner
Posts: 13496

With very little googling on the subject, guess what I found ? :o 

Home - Free DoS Attack Lessons - Webs

Note: If you have a VPS and use it to denial of service attack you take the risk of it being caught by your VPS host and suspended so please don't attack off of it ...


We're sorry, this site is frozen.

If you are the site owner, please contact our abuse team regarding the status of your website.

Talk about landmines in your own backyard ! :roll:

July 20, 2012 at 12:12 PM Flag Quote & Reply

Site Owner
Posts: 13496

In case you didn't notice, the whole website (not just forum) disappeared for about 45 minutes from 16:30 - 17:15 UK time today. :mad:

Apparently Webs were 'experiencing technical difficulties' (yet again). I couldn't even get a reply from their live chat tech support. :roll:

Edit: By 17:45 everything appears to be back to normal. :)

October 22, 2012 at 12:22 PM Flag Quote & Reply

Site Owner
Posts: 13496

Gentlemen ....

To those of you who may have attempted to post anything this afternoon, today appears to have been another of those Webs days ....

My apologies on behalf of our host. I use that term advisedly. :roll:

If it's any consolation, it took me nearly an hour to write / upload and edit that most recent post in the Ferrari Formula thread. :mad:

When I wasn't getting the standard Webs 'Hmm... we've failed again' error message, above, I was getting this variation instead:

So when you 'normal' members have only a 10 minute post editing timeout window, I understand your frustration, believe me ! ;)

October 27, 2012 at 12:33 PM Flag Quote & Reply

Site Owner
Posts: 13496

Yes - it was down (yet again) from 10:00am UK time to around 11:00am - not just this site, but all Webs sites. It's still a bit sporadic. :roll:

Now I'm going to attempt to re-write the post I'd just composed before it froze on me ! :mad:

November 21, 2012 at 5:52 AM Flag Quote & Reply

Site Owner
Posts: 13496

Apologies on behalf of our Webs host to anyone who has been unable to access the forum at various times during the last 24 hours. 

It was down yesterday afternoon / evening and again for a couple of hours this morning, from around 10:00am through to Midday.

I received various error messages at different times, including the usual:

.... and even this (again) a couple of times ! :mad:

But most of the time it was this:

If it happens again (as I suspect it may), here's a link to Webs (total lack of) Support page:

And today's yesterday's specific problem:

Needless to say, the issue obviously wasn't resolved first time around ! :roll:

August 16, 2016 at 6:56 AM Flag Quote & Reply

Site Owner
Posts: 13496

In case you hadn't noticed, the website / forum has been up and down (like the proverbial whore's drawers) since mid-afternoon. :mad:

Various server error messages: mostly # 521 and 524 (Web Server is Down / Website is Offline).

I chatted online to to the lovely Angee, who's one of the more helpful operators on Webs (total lack of) Customer Support desk ....

She directed me to the usual link:

One of the comments there, by a disgruntled website owner reads:

Is down. This has been happening frequently since the web builder upgrade. So far, I am REALLY disappointed with the new builder. Updating yesterday took me FOUR hours, when it is normally a 30-45 minute task. I don't think that is acceptable, at all.

Thank you for getting our sites back up. Who do I talk to about my issues with the *new* builder???

*frustrated* :(

January 5, 2017 at 1:35 PM Flag Quote & Reply

Site Owner
Posts: 13496

Problems with Webs servers have continued into the weekend. That's 4 days now ! :mad: Those of you who haven't given up trying to access the forum altogether will probably have noticed that the error messages you are seeing are different from before.

Or at least some of the time. :roll:

It appears that in an effort to solve their problem, Webs have migrated hundreds of websites, including ours, to Cloudflare hosting.

Which is why, if you come to post something, you may find yourself having to complete the rather childish Cloudflare Captcha challenge. I say 'may', because it possibly depends on whether your IP address has been black-listed by Cloudflare at some point. My ISP uses proxy IP addresses and clearly a good few of the multiple IP addresses I use have been - for reasons unknown.

Anyway, to warn anybody contemplating posting, this is what you may encounter after writing your post content and hitting submit ....

You click in the empty square and something like this pops up:

Check the relevant boxes and click the 'Verify button at bottom right.

If you've got it right (they're not difficult), the screen will refresh, with a green tick in the checkbox and hopefully you'll be re-directed to your post. Store fronts and street signs seem to be the most popular (though I've seen rivers, trees, grass and construction vehicles).

Ensure to select all the squares containing parts of the sign - including the post ! :roll:

Just as a test, to see if it would give an error message, I deliberately failed to select obvious squares - and it does (most of the time).

However, there is another variation of the Cloudflare 'Street Sign' Captcha which is probably best avoided - unless you fancy yourself as an artist. Instead of selecting squares, it expects you to draw an outline around the street sign(s) - FFS !! :o

Having gone through the Cloudflare Captcha bnllsh!t, what may happen next, instead of getting a green tick confirming you're not a robot, and being re-directed to your post, is that instead, you find yourself presented with this erronious Webs error message ! :mad:

It's happened to me over a dozen times now  - so perhaps readers will forgive me the odd inferred expletive.  

All is not completely lost though. If you use the back arrow to page back through all the Cloudflare Captcha crap, you can sometimes get back to your post - rather than having to start all over again. That's if you're going to bother trying again. :roll:

January 8, 2017 at 11:35 AM Flag Quote & Reply

Site Owner
Posts: 13496

Yesterday morning, having got more than a little fed up of playing this stupid game, I raised a call on Webs Tech Support to have this new 'feature', which I didn't request removed. No reply from them as yet - and I know the reason why - the change to Cloudflare.


This afternoon, the forum had another spate of ups and downs and for the 3rd time this weekend I started an online chat.

Once again, the poor hapless Webs helpdesk operator posted a link to the same topic as before.

There's still no resolution date / timeframe given. 

The difference being, it now extends to 6 pages including 170 plus (mostly extremely adverse) comments by irate website owners.

I think this guy, who commented earlier today, has hit the nail well and truly on the head:

January 8, 2017 at 12:43 PM Flag Quote & Reply

Site Owner
Posts: 13496

I know forum member Don saw it, because he sent me a message, sympathizing ;) but in case you didn't notice, the site was completely down (again) from around 3:15pm UK time today. :(

Problems began with intermittent HTTP 500 errors around 11:15am (UK time). By 3:15pm, the screen was completely blank ! 

No error message, just a blank screen FFS !! :mad: By 5:15pm, Webs finally managed to load their usual Page not Found screen.

January 20, 2017 at 1:06 PM Flag Quote & Reply

Site Owner
Posts: 13496

There has already been a considerable and totally unacceptable amount of mostly unplanned and sometimes sporadic downtime this month, which started on 5th January and clearly appears to be still ongoing. Although according to Webs (total lack of) Support:

It was allegedly resolved / completed, when that Community topic was locked, preventing any further comments a week ago ! 

If you're wondering why I haven't bothered updating this thread, in the interim, it's simply because I've been concentrating on documenting the Cloudflare Captcha issue, which is constantly bugging me - when the forum is actually up and running. :roll:

However, I have been keeping a log of all the downtime - offline, which I will publish in due course. 

Oddly enough, today is the 5th anniversary of the day I registered with Webs (20th January 2012). Hindsight is a wonderful thing.

If only I'd realized what a useless bunch of tw*ts they were, when I first started seeing problems like this, back in July 2012. 

January 20, 2017 at 1:21 PM Flag Quote & Reply

Site Owner
Posts: 13496

Thanks to recent continued spate(s) of downtime of  Webs servers (and I suspect the ongoing Cloudflare Captcha challenge issue) almost everyone, including our few regular posters, seem to have given up trying to post anything in the forums. :(

It appears that Webs incompetence / unreliabilty as a host is also having another hidden detrimental effect on site traffic. :mad:

I still use AOL email. Call me a dinosaur if you like, but I prefer it to GoogleMail. :P However, I do have a matching GMail account for each of my AOL accounts. I don't check their inboxes that often - usually only every couple of weeks, just to clear out any SPAM email. Logged into one of them earlier today, to find a number of messages from Google. This particular GMail account is connected to my Google Webmaster tools for this site. The messages were mostly repetitions of these two, which first appeared on 8th January.

This deeply concerns me, because (top) Google rankings are very high on my list of priorities. I've forced Google to re-crawl the site once before and will do it again as soon as practicable, but not before I see some evidence of stability in Webs servers. 

January 21, 2017 at 10:26 AM Flag Quote & Reply

Site Owner
Posts: 13496

Nothing new. :roll:

The forum (only) was down for 5 hours today from approx 3:00pm GMT (10:00am EST) to 8:00pm GMT (3:00pm EST).

(FWIW, the rest of the site was actually up and running O.K., the whole time). Usual Webs Fail Hmm... error message:

February 8, 2017 at 3:12 PM Flag Quote & Reply

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