The website has been down for abut 14 hours and I am very sorry for that. It is the first time that this has happened to me in 7 years of owning and running the website. The problem is exclusively with the company, Endurance International Group brands (EIG) who host the site. They own many website hosting companies including the following: Bluehost, HostMonster, HostGator, and JustHost. PoC is hosted by Hostgator, one of these companies.
Every website has to be hosted by a business of some sort and not by the person who owns the site. This is the normal arrangement. The reason why a person who owns a website cannot host it himself is because it is complicated and requires resources so nearly all website owners pay a company to host the site for them. There are many such companies.
Some research has indicated that EIG has suffered similar problems in the past (August and December 2013) which is disturbing to me. The current problem originates in what they call a datacentre in a town called Provo, Utah. Hostgator is based in Houston Texas.
A datacentre is a place were many computers called servers are kept in controlled conditions and it is these servers which hold the websites. The datacentre is owned by Ace Data Centers. I do not know whether they are another company that is owned by EIG but that may be the case.
So the cause of the downtime is technical problems, probably mechanical problems in a datacentre in the middle of America. The technical problems prevent this website being seen on the Internet. Update: it was caused by a bug (this means a programming defect)
Our Networks Operation team uncovered a bug in firmware utilized in our vendor’s hardware that caused the network issues, which impacted some of our customers
In addition, I suspect that many hundreds of thousands perhaps millions of other websites were also down because EIG hosts over 10,000,000 websites or more.
This is a massive problem and a catastrophe for Hostgator and their parent company EIG. I am extremely disappointed in them. PoC is held on a dedicated server which is an individual computer dedicated to holding the website. It is expensive. A lot of other websites are held on shared servers. Despite that the problem still existed.
The company promises 99.8% uptime meaning 0.2% downtime. On my calculation that means if the website is down for more than 17 and a half hours in one year they are in breach of their promise. At the time of writing this the site has been down to 12 hours approximately. If this goes on, it is conceivable that they will be sued by hundreds of thousands of website owners for breach of contract. That could be another catastrophe.
Update: the downtime lasted about 14 hours on my calculation.