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All websites, no matter how big or important they may be, suffer from downtime on occasion. The big boys usually bounce back quickly by throwing engineers at the problem, but lesser sites can go down for much longer periods of time.

If the site suffering an outage is one of your favorites, this downtime can lead to frustration and resentment setting in. However do you cope?!

Downtime Drama

We want to know, What Do You Do When Your Favorite Website Goes Down? This question was prompted by Facebook recently going offline for around an hour. That’s an utterly insignificant amount of time, and yet it was long enough to prompt people idiots to call the cops demanding to know what was happening.

We’re assuming the MakeUseOf readership is far too intelligent to do anything as moronic as that, but we are interested in finding out what you do when your favorite website 7 Most Important Websites We Can't Live Without 7 Most Important Websites We Can't Live Without The World Wide Web (now more commonly known simply as the Web) has been with us for over 20 years now, and in that relatively short space of time it has unequivocally changed the world.... Read More is inaccessible.

If you, as a user, try to access a website while it’s suffering from downtime it can be an extremely frustrating experience. Especially if the site that’s down is the first one you hit when you venture online. The desire to know what’s going on drives you to keep reloading the page time and time again, but it’s all to no avail.


It’s at this point that you have to give up and do something else instead. But what is it that you do instead? Do you simply visit another website? Do you check to make sure the affected website is down for everyone or just you 3 Ways To Figure Out If Your Favorite Website Is Down 3 Ways To Figure Out If Your Favorite Website Is Down There are a few websites out there that are devoted simply to answering the basic question that you'll eventually ask: "Is this website down?" Here, we have three of these websites, and they are all... Read More ? Do you take to a social network to publicly complain about the downtime? Do you forego the Internet completely and disappear to do something else instead? If so, what?

Your mission, if you choose to accept it, is simply to tell us what you do when your favorite website goes down. Feel free to use one of the prompts above, or comment with something more original. Either way, be honest. And anyone who admits to having called the cops to report that a website has temporarily gone down should expect the snarkiest reply I can muster.

Have Your Say

All comments will be read and most will be replied to, before a follow-up post is published containing the We Ask You Results. One reader will even win Comment Of The Week, which will be included in the follow-up!

We Ask You is a column dedicated to learning the opinions of MakeUseOf readers. This column is nothing without you, as MakeUseOf is nothing without you.

  1. Julia
    November 18, 2014 at 10:28 pm

    Simply go to another site I like.

  2. Jake
    October 9, 2014 at 10:40 am

    If website I need goes down I take a look at if website is really down and follow troubleshooting tips:p

  3. Paul-kristjan A
    August 10, 2014 at 5:11 pm

    Log off, log back on, try everything to fix it, get freaked out, play a game, if then it is still not connected I need to do some serious work to fix it.

    • Dave P
      August 11, 2014 at 12:52 pm

      And what if it's the site's fault rather than yours or your ISP's? That's when the real panic sets in, right?

  4. Ken DeVries
    August 7, 2014 at 11:15 pm

    Sometimes I go outside.

    • Dave P
      August 11, 2014 at 12:51 pm

      Outside? But, but, it's scary outside.

  5. dragonmouth
    August 7, 2014 at 7:06 pm

    If you can't be with one you love, love the one you're with. IOW, go to a different site.

    • Dave P
      August 11, 2014 at 12:51 pm

      Good shout. Most websites have at least one similar alternative. Social networks are a tough call though, as you would need to have an account and have populated friends/followers lists before they're useful in any way.

    • dragonmouth
      August 11, 2014 at 2:54 pm

      "Social networks are a tough call though"
      Only for social butterflies, not a problem for those who do not indulge in social networks.

  6. Sanuja R
    August 7, 2014 at 3:34 pm

    It's just like an old saying goes, "Something doesn't work only when you need it the most." It is the same thing with websites.

    I don't use any form of Social Media, so, for me, the websites that are important (except news sites and sites like rarely update, such as Wikipedia. What I do in the event of a crash is to go to the Wayback Machine (

    In the event of another website that updates regularly, I refresh pages, clean my computer and do hard reboots. If none of these work, I get off my computer and take the crash as a blessing in diguise. I interact with the people around me and do work more productive than refreshing web pages all the time.

    • Dave P
      August 11, 2014 at 12:50 pm

      The Wayback Machine is a great idea for sites that aren't constantly updating. But going out and talking to people in the real world? Are you mad?! ;)

  7. A41202813GMAIL
    August 7, 2014 at 11:29 am

    I Will Come Back Later.

    I Have A Lot Of Other Bookmarks To Visit Every Single Day.


    • Dave P
      August 11, 2014 at 12:48 pm

      What website would you be most upset to see down? If any.

    • A41202813GMAIL
      August 12, 2014 at 2:26 pm

      There Are A Lot Of Online Sports Streamings, I Just Choose Another One.


  8. Salim B
    August 7, 2014 at 10:59 am

    wait for the website to get back to work .

  9. Manny R
    August 7, 2014 at 10:57 am

    Commit seppuku.

    • Dave P
      August 11, 2014 at 12:48 pm

      That's gotta hurt. Especially when the site comes back online halfway through.

  10. Tom W
    August 7, 2014 at 9:58 am

    In certain situations, such as when I'm looking to a solution to a coding problem, I'll just go somewhere else. It's very rare that a single website has the only answer.

    For other websites, ones that I specifically need, the first thing I do is refresh the page. Sometimes the website just had a temporary issue serving the request. If that doesn't work, I'll clear the cache and hard refresh the page. Believe it or not, these two steps work about 90% of the time.

    Beyond this, I tend to just check Down For Everyone Or Just Me, do something else for 5 minutes (there's always something productive I can be doing that doesn't require internet) and try refreshing again. Finally, I'll wait for 30 minutes and try once again. After that, I give it up for a loss and postpone whatever task required the website. No single website is important enough to spend hours refreshing it, and there's always other important tasks that can be done instead.

    • Dave P
      August 11, 2014 at 12:46 pm

      You're clearly one of the sensible ones who will just do something else. Can you believe anyone actually rang the cops because FB was down? How dumb can one person be.

    • Tom W
      August 11, 2014 at 2:39 pm

      I don't believe that people in general are stupid enough to call the police when Facebook goes down, and the evidence weighs against that anyway. Only one single police department reported a call of that nature, which points to either a prank or a future candidate for the Darwin award. I'm guessing that the police department in question wanted to make an example of this caller in order to dissuade similar calls in the future. The fact that it went viral is just the nature of the internet.

  11. On W
    August 7, 2014 at 9:45 am

    Try all browsers on all of my computers/tablets/phones while spewing all expletives in all the languages I know.

    • Dave P
      August 11, 2014 at 12:45 pm

      The expletives make you feel better though, I'm sure. It works for me ;)

  12. Nahla D
    August 7, 2014 at 8:00 am

    If it's a social networking site then it's fine. A break from the online world is nice. Get up and have fun outside. Walk and talk with people from the real world. If my favorite non-social networking site is down though, and it's not that even huge and popular which means it requires a lot of time to return, then I usually try to find an alternative website as fast as I can. The online world is big and there are always a lot of options so yeah you'll find one that'll suit your taste and needs.

    • Dave P
      August 11, 2014 at 12:44 pm

      That's very true, there are certainly no shortage of alternatives. Which makes it even stranger that some people cannot cope when one particular website goes down for a few hours.

  13. Ramamoorthy R
    August 7, 2014 at 7:52 am

    If facebook goes down, I ll thank the god ! . But if any other website goes down like Google or Stackoverflow, then I have no way instead of waiting because no website can replace those. But in-case if I know the alternatives for the unavailable website, I ll use the alternative for a while ...

    • Dave P
      August 11, 2014 at 12:43 pm

      You're a Facebook hater then? For what particular reason?

    • Ramamoorthy R
      August 11, 2014 at 2:25 pm

      Not a facebook hater - But it eats lots my time.

  14. Saikat B
    August 7, 2014 at 6:59 am

    Try the mobile version. If that's down as well, then switchover to something else. The bigger problem is when my ISP goes down -- that's serious downtime!

    • Dave P
      August 11, 2014 at 12:43 pm

      I cannot even think about ISPs going down or I come out in a cold sweat.

  15. Chinmay S
    August 7, 2014 at 6:37 am

    Well I don't know. MakeUseOf never went down since 2012(I joined in that year).

    • Dave P
      August 11, 2014 at 12:19 pm

      Seriously? We have probably just condemned the site to some downtime by talking about it!

  16. quanglnt
    August 7, 2014 at 6:07 am

    Just visit another site

  17. Jacen
    August 7, 2014 at 4:29 am

    Reddit's down? I'll just refresh the front page hoping it comes back.
    Steam's down? I'll just play one of my Desura or GOG games.
    Google's down? Blame my connection and check my router and ooma to see if they are screwed up. Final resort: disconnect and reconnect my powerline adapter.

    • Dave P
      August 11, 2014 at 12:17 pm

      You know you're really screwed when Google goes down!

  18. likefunbutnot
    August 7, 2014 at 4:12 am

    I'm content with the fact that the internet has plenty of other places to find naked ladies and grateful for the opportunity to go look for more of those places. :D

    Or, I dunno. Maybe I write a long email or re-grout my bathroom tile or something.

    • Dave P
      August 11, 2014 at 12:17 pm

      Your bathroom tiles must look absolutely amazing.

  19. Jo-anne P
    August 7, 2014 at 2:54 am

    ps. One day I may actually respond with a comment that is not a novel. No promises

    • Dave P
      August 11, 2014 at 12:15 pm

      I like all comments, whether amusing one-liners or epic novels :)

    • Jo-Anne Pfoh
      August 12, 2014 at 9:55 pm

      In all honesty I don't really am not a huge fan of Facebook I just need it. I dislike the way it is run. Shutting down pages with no warning for violations to rules nobody can find, allowing cyber bullies to torment people with no clear way to stop them or report them the list goes on and on. It is a private company so I suck it up and move through the crap because it's a great forum for contests, communications and fun. I am a facebook user more than a fan :)

  20. Jo-anne P
    August 7, 2014 at 2:53 am

    Ok, no I did not call the cops but only because they could not help me lol. Having a total blonde moment though I did try logging on using all my devices one at a time. For some reason I thought I could sneak in using my tablet app or my cell phone app then the laptop and desktop. I even went so far as to think I was being crafty trying to not use the app and going in via my browser on my devices and typing in the URL.

    When all this failed then I panicked. To be honest it is similar to when I log onto this very site and it tells me that there seems to be a problem logging in and it won't load my account. My pulse races and I try again and again. I NEED MY 30 POINTS LOL . I also need to get to my open giveaways so I can share and beg people to click on my link (yes I am a bit delusional especially when there are 13k entries and I'm freaking out lol).

    Now for a hardcore contestor like myself (250 daily contests and another 200 one time entry contests, and FB and twitter, being out of FB where 85% of the action is or can be found it is stressful. I can feel my anxiety rising each minute I can't access anything that I want to.

    Whether it is this site, FB. twitter, Instagram Redflagdeals or anything that I use. I WANT IT AND I WANT IT NOWWWWW!

    The idea of doing something else never crosses my addicted little mind. I sit here re-sending, clicking, shaking my fist, cursing until all is as it should be. I applaud and respect everyone who can get up and walk away. For me it's just not going to happen.

    • Dave P
      August 11, 2014 at 12:14 pm

      Wow, you are seriously addicted to contests! I'm guessing you have won some nice prizes over the years. Does it bother you that FB is so persistent across the Web? I can understand why any downtime they suffer causes you palpitations.

  21. S Park
    August 7, 2014 at 1:54 am


  22. Zinc Whiskers
    August 7, 2014 at 1:46 am

    Call 911.

    • Dave P
      August 11, 2014 at 12:11 pm

      Oh, so YOU are the culprit.

  23. appledan
    August 7, 2014 at 1:40 am

    Wait or use a alternative.

    • Dave P
      August 11, 2014 at 12:11 pm

      When you're waiting do you keep refreshing the page impatiently?

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