Just had a mad idea
- prompted by the recent host packet outage.
Is it possible to have some mechanism where if some undefined problem occurs that causes a site to become unreachable a custom error gets displayed?
Keeping things in context I am thinking of budget sevices not high budget ones with layer upon layer of quality process and associated cost.
I can work with the occaisional outage, but I really would like a way to have an error message that is more descriptive. Something that tells my users that there is a problem, but to come back later.
I am trying to figure out the mechanics and to my mind it seems to need an "error server" that lives on a totally different network (something isolated from local problems) that sites are redirected to if a time out occurs.
Of course that raises the possibility of a back up site even if it is running off a day old database. It is better than not at all.
Am I making any sense?
In a big budget site - yes many things are possible, including hot standby, some sort of live polling with automated back up scripts etc. But what can you do on a low budget to improve availability?
You need 2 hosting accounts and full control over your DNS. Create 2 A records for your domain to point to, the second being the one you want the error on. If your site is just basic static html you can also just mirror the site on the other hosting account.