Why we Launch a Website at Night – aka “Why the New York Times is Dumb”

Yesterday the New York times website was down for more than two hours from 11:10am to 1:15pm. This timing was, by their own admission, during peak hours for them.

Additionally they claimed the cause was a failure in a routine scheduled maintenance update:

New York Times website outage due to scheduled update

This is a great lesson in why all updates, site changes and launches should occur during LOW traffic times. Often in the middle of the night (unless it is an insomniac’s discussion board) or on the weekend. But we don’t need to guess on these, tracking like Google Analytics can tell us exactly when to launch a website.

Now I’d love to say that, here at Spotted Koi we’re just a whole lot smarter than the New York Times, but that just isn’t true. For years this has been standard web practice. It is even used in other industries, have you ever seen road crews working on a highway overnight? It’s because the traffic demand during the day is too large to interrupt.

Sorry NYT, we love your content but you need to seriously reconsider your technical practices.

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