The Dangers of Centralization

spacesunriseIf we have hooked up on Facebook then you may have seen my update about just taking action regardless of whether the plan is incomplete.

Well I did take that action and whilst the target of this action was completed the consequences revealed a weak point in my online endeavors that I had not fully considered, perhaps you are the same?

Now as a contractor I have worked with many companies and one of those was a satellite manufacturer and this company had identified one of businesses biggest fears.

A single point of failure that could stop everything!

Theirs was the single machine responsible for drilling the satellite panels, if that broke then no panels meant no satellites, thankfully they installed a second machine before their nightmare scenario unfolded.

Unfortunately I was not so lucky.

My Nightmare Scenario

I am a big fan of AdTrackz Gold for outbound tracking and had incorporated everyone of my sites and emails into this service without issue. As this was a self hosted service I was feeling very safe and happy with this solution.

Regardless of what happened to TBIT Design (the scripts creators) I would always have my tracking solution in place.

However lets return to that action I mentioned at the start.

My primary site is which has been in development for the last 2 years due to issues with the membership scripts that I have used to power that site.

Since 2011 I have gone full circle as my first choice, Wishlist Member has now evolved into what it should have been 2 years ago, a secure membership script.

Thus over the weekend the old script and its files were removed and the Wishlist installation was wordpress is down completed. I then set about the task of adding the content back onto the site, starting with my newsletter archives.

With centralized tracking in place all should have been a breeze but the links in the messages did not work.

It transpired that along with those redundant script files, I had also deleted my Adtrackz installation directory, due to the way this tracking service works it did not have an obvious name that hinted at its importance.

The big selling point of centralized tracking is the convenience of having all your stats available in one location, allowing you to compare sites and strategies against each other quickly and easily.

Of course the flip side of having all your traffic going through a single point of failure,  is the nightmare scenario I have just recounted.

The Fallout from this?

Alongside those newsletter archives, none of my blogs, membership sites and sent email links functioned and of course the links in the delivered emails will never function again.

Thus if you rely upon email marketing this could have great relevance to you.

One simple mistake like this could destroy your income and reputation overnight, as your readers get sent to error pages instead of the promised solution to their woes.

The Solution

So its farewell to centralized tracking and welcome back old friend distributed tracking.

Each of my sites is powered by WordPress which makes the availability of a solution a breeze and my choice was the WordPress Plugin, Redirection.

If you combine this with Broken Link Checker you can quickly ensure your site is back up and running whilst ensuring all dead links regardless whether they are yours or visitors are taken care of.

This of course forces you to visit each site on a regular basis which is no bad thing.

Is there a technical error skeleton in you closet that needs airing, trust me I have probably done the same 🙂