Why we're cool with the fact our website may go down today

As a business owner, these are words I never thought I would utter: "Our website is temporarily down. And we're cool with that."

That shows you the power of great communications. Our site is hosted by Squarespace. They're a great company and their operations have been impacted by Hurricane Sandy (more on that below). Operational disruptions happen. But it's the way the company handles the communications around the disruption that can be the deal breaker in the eyes of the paying customer. A few hours ago, we received a pre-emptive and proactive email from the company letting us know what was happening in very clear and descriptive language and giving us a heads up that our site (and millions of others) might soon be going dark.

After reading the company's email (which I've pasted below), I have to say that my already-solid loyalty for them has grown. On a day when so many people are suffering through the devastation and aftermath of this storm, their proactive and honest communications helped to manage expecations about a potential service disruption and served as a gentle reminder that if your website being down is the worst thing that's happening to you today, you should probably say a little prayer of thanks. 

Here's the company's email. How would you rate their handling of this situation?

Dear Customer,

I have some unfortunate

news to share. Our primary data center, Peer1, in Lower Manhattan lost power

yesterday at about 4:30PM local time. At that time, we smoothly made the

transition to generator power and took comfort over the fact that we had enough

fuel to last three to four days. (Peer1 stayed online during the last 3 major

natural disasters in the area, including a blackout that lasted for days.)

At 8:30PM yesterday, we

received reports that the lobby in the data center's building was beginning to

take on water. By 10:30PM, as is sadly the case in most of Lower Manhattan,

Peer1's basement had experienced serious flooding. At 5AM, we learned our data

center's fuel pumps and fuel tanks were completely flooded and unable to

deliver any more fuel. At 8AM, they reported that the generators would be able

to run for a maximum of four more hours.

Unfortunately, this means

that Squarespace will be offline soon (our estimate being at 10:45 AM today).

Be assured that while this will impact our availability, there is no chance of

data loss or any other permanent effects. We have simply run out of power,

backup power, and cannot access our fuel in a flooded basement.

Our teams have been working

tirelessly on contingency plans. We are working to bring the Squarespace

systems back online as soon as possible. As you have probably read, all bridges

and tunnels into and out of Manhattan are closed and large portions of the city

remain without power. We will do everything in our power to get Squarespace

running as soon as possible, and we will remain online for as long as it is


Squarespace support will

remain available 24/7 during this downtime. We will post updates to Twitter via

@squarespacehelp and urge you to follow us

there. Updates will also be posted to blog.squarespace.com.

Our hearts go out to the

many people who have lost their lives in this terrible tragedy and also to

those who continue to suffer through the consequences of this historic storm.


you for your understanding,

Anthony Casalena

Founder & CEO

UPDATE:  Check out these status updates to see the impresive measures they're taking to keep their servers running.