From the BlogSubscribe Now

Bluehost goes down for the big one–9 hours on 08/02/13

Bluehost goes down for the big one 9 hour outage

Bluehost goes down for the big one, a 9 hour outage


I have used  Bluehost for my webhosting  for almost 2 years and during that time, I have never experienced any downtime.  This ended on the 2nd of August when Bluehost took a major outage that lasted the entire day.  My two main sites were both offline for over 8 hours but when Bluehost finally got things fixed, I experienced no data loss that I could tell.  Overall I have to give Bluehost  a “F” on this situation.  Their non-ability to handle this size of an outage became quite clear.

What was interesting was that Bluehost’s main site, was also down and they were not answering their phones.  The phone part may have been because they were overloaded with calls, but they should have been able to have at least a recording, so that callers knew they knew something was going on.  Instead they tweeted all day long about possible fixes and when things might be fixed. As I am not a member of the tweeting generation, I did find this a bit distracting, but I guess it’s just how things work now.

I never did hear if Blue Host was hacked or not, but for my sites, the total downtime came to over 9 hours.  There was no loss of information on my sites and I did not have to bring up a site backup.  What seems interesting is how no communication from Blue Host was ever generated.  I received no email notice, or phone calls, even a a recorded phone call.  This is the normal way a company should handle a total outage that take them down 100%, so much so that their main website is down also.  Please don’t just respond via Twitter, that is a very non professional way of doing business.   Twitter is used by a younger-me now generation and I don’t believe it’s a very professional way to handle a business i.e. your only way to communication to the outside world for over 9 hours. 

My websites are my e-commerce venue for selling both my photography, and my printing services.  Taking a 9 hour downtime without any proactive communication from my hosting company is not what I expected.  I have used Bluehost’s technical support several times in the past and not had any issues.  However in regards to this outage, it’s given me enough concern that I am again looking for a hosting company and most likely will move my business.

07/10/13 An example of Breathing Color’s excellent customer service

800M canvas print from Epson 9900 and Matte Ink with Breathing Color Profile

800M canvas print from Epson 9900 and Matte Ink with Breathing Color Profile

Breathing Color, is a Canvas and Paper company based out of Austin Texas.  They make a wide range of paper and canvas solutions for both solvent and inkjet printers.  I have worked with Breathing Color products  now for over 7 years and the results have  been excellent.  In a world where an issue with a product tends to get pushed to a long waiting list that requires a series of conversations back and forth, Breathing Color on the other hand can address issues immediately with a  working solution.   Here are a few examples of this:

  1. Recently I started moving my matte printing over to the Epson 9900 from my older 7800 as most of my jobs were moving to sizes that the 7800 could not handle at it’s maximum width of 24 inches.  If you are using a Epson 7900 (24″) or 9900 (44″) print with canvas, one of the biggest issues has always been getting the running length of the print to come out correctly.  For some reason Epson printers can’t handle the flexibility of canvas, so on all prints, you had to add to the dimension that was the running length of the print.  (on a 40 x 60 inch print, 60 inches would be your running length)  In the past with canvas, most profiles were generated with the Water Color Radiant White (WCRW) media setting.  This made an excellent image but the Epson printers with WCRW media setting for canvas would never get the running length correct.  With the advent of the 9900/7900 series, Epson addressed this with the “canvas” media setting.  When you select canvas, the running length on most prints will be exact or withing 1/16 of an inch which is totally acceptable.  This is true on longer prints like 36″ x 72″ and anything shorter.  The only drawback to the canvas media setting is that has a different ink density.  So if you use the canvas media setting with a profile generated with WCRW media setting, the colors will  tend to look washed out.   So the key is to get a new profile generated with the canvas media setting.  Breathing Color over the past 2 months has been releasing some excellent profiles, they are so good, that I have pretty much stopped trying to use my i1 profiler to generate the custom profiles.  Breathing Color had released profiles for the 9900 matte ink set for their Lyve canvas but had not yet generated one for 800M matte.  I was working on a big job that required canvas prints ranging from 24 x 36 to 40 x 60, but due to the amount budgeted by the customer I had to bid with 800M canvas.  The results I have been getting with the new Lyve 9900 profile have been nothing short of spectacular, especially  details in the shadows.  I wanted to be able to get the same results from 800M, but the Lyve profile is not a good profile to use on 800M.  I contacted Justin at Breathing Color as asked if he could generate a new 800M profile for the 9900 matte.  Justin agreed to do this an was able to turn it around within 4 hours.    I was running on a short timeline and needed to get the prints off, so I was very pleased with this type of customer service.  The profile generated excellent prints and hopefully it has been added to the Breathing color website for general use.
  2. With modern profiling you now have the option to generate a Bradford icc profile in vr 2 or vr 4.   With CS3 and CS4 I have noticed a problem with the profiles generated as vr 2 on one machine, not transferring well to another machine if they are generated on a windows platform.   Most commonly when this problem occurs you and you soft-proof, with a vr 2 profile the image seems to look inverted or almost like a color negative.  However if you generate all the profiles as vr4, this does not seem to be an issue.   The only way to fix this is re-generate the profile as vr 4 then it seems to work fine.  The issue is that most people now seem to be using CS5, CS6 or Lightroom for their printing not CS3.  I still prefer to use CS3 for certain prints as I like the workflow and CS3 still allows for the transfer selection.   The first version of the Breathing Color 9900 matte ink profile for Lyve came in a vr 2 variant and thus would not work on my CS3 prints.  I contacted Breathing Color on this issue and within 2 hours I had a new vr 4 variant of the profile.  This profile worked perfectly and I was able to get the job finished on time.

Breathing Color has always handled typical customer service issues like damage shipping, or defective product in a very professional manner, however issues like profile generation  tend to be beyond day to day customer service and quick turn a rounds.  With the high quality prints I am now seeing with the 9900 matte ink set on both Lyve and 800M from these new Breathing Color profiles  I am now very confident to take on any canvas printing job.

This type of customer service is what I like to term “added value” and Breathing Color delivers on it.  I hope that other photographer/printers etc.  will discover this aspect of Breathing Color and take advantage of it.

You can find out more about Breathing color from their website.  They offer a sample program for all of their products and I highly recommend it to anyone interested in fine art printing on inkjet or solvent printers.