208. My hosting company sucks!

This week on Boagworld: Chris Lea talks hosting and customer service. Paul shares his wireframe commandments and we announce the end of Flash ;-)

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I wanted to quickly mention Get Signoff. In case you don’t know, Get Signoff is a web application developed by Headscape that allows you to present designs to clients and get their feedback.

For a long time it was a bit of a side project for Headscape but we have recently taken on Ryan Taylor to move it forward. He has been working hard and on the 27th April we have some fairly significant announcements to make about the products future.

To make sure you know whats going on, visit hello.getsignoff.com and signup for our mailing list.

Web Design News

This week: The dying art of design, the disappearance of flash, tasks not goals, twitters developer tools and google rank by speed.

Read the web design news

Chris Lea on hosting and customer support

Chris Lea works for Media Temple probably the best known hosting company within the web design world. He shares his advice on hosting and their experience of dealing with customer support.

Read ‘Chris Lea on hosting and customer support’

My five commandments for wireframing

When it comes to wireframes I am a fanatic. I believe they are an indispensable part of the development process. That is why I enforce 5 unbreakable rules.

Read ‘My five commandments for wireframing’

  • lovely post…..

  • Just curious – why aren’t you using a javascript, HTML version of an audio player for your podcasts? hey I follow your podcasts, but I’m just not convinced the end of Flash is here.

  • Really enjoyed the last two episodes.
    I learned a ton.

  • Flash is NOT going away anytime soon. It is so entrenched in e-Learning and online gaming, not to mention online video services (so far). There are so many third party tools that rely on Flash technology also.

  • I’m calling “bullshit” on the Chris Lea / Media Temple interview.

    He paints a very one-sided case study where a 20 minute outage causes clients to call in complaining about how much money they’ve lost as a result. He then goes on to say that perhaps a virtual host is better suited for some clients. It was almost as if he is bagging the standard $20/month shared hosting solution offered by MT.

    A few months ago I decided to switch all of our newest clients to MT. The interface for their account manager is amazing and the support is friendly and helpful. In the first month, I had nothing but outages, emails to my clients about system downtime and potential database password changes.

    On two completely separate occasions, I had just published a client’s website live for the first time and the same day, the server went down. This happened twice, within a month and the server was not down for 20 minutes, it was down for half a day. The client had just sent out an e-blast letting all associates know the site is live. My reputation is on the line because I’d convinced the client that MT was the better host and now we have outages?

    In my experience with other hosts, I had never had more than one outage in a month. With MT at the time I experienced various outages, at least 8-9 outages in a 4 week period. My clients doubted my recommendation and these outages undermined my professional opinion.

    I understand that it’s difficult for the call-center staff to be aware of the repercussions of these outages, or multiple outages and the timing of them; however there’s a slight air of arrogance in the way Chris Lea writes off client concerns in this interview.

    In closing, despite the outages experienced during the first couple of months of hosting, the last two months seem to have been reasonably clean of downtime. The service staff at MT are helpful and friendly and there’s not doubt you can’t beat the account centre interface they’ve built. But don’t write off the client in your interviews.

  • Flash isn’t going anywhere. check this out:


    HTML5 in both animation and video is horribly inefficient and once you bring Flash Play 10.1 into the benchmark, choosing flash for your end-users will be a no-brainer! That video is very revealing.

    I am all for alternatives and HTML5 will eventually get uniformly implemented in enough browsers but IE doesn’t seem to be on board yet and they are the #2 browser vendor(firefox in the lead, then IE, then chrome with just over 10% of market share and then sad Safari at under 4% and dropping) So, first, if you want to build cross-browser then it isn’t about what you CAN do in HTML5 but what browsers is your target audience using and can you afford to alienate users?

    I believe eventually HTML5 will perform better, but that will be all about browsers from different vendors getting tighter. At the same time Adobe isn’t going to stop improving the performance of and features in Flash to let HTML5 catch up.