Why every webmaster needs to remember Murphy’s Law

MR MurphyYou all know Mr. Murphy. He’s the man who gave his name to the infamous Murphy’s Law, the one that states that “if anything can go wrong, it will.”

Murphy’s Law is behind 99% of all downtime on the internet.

Why? Because assumptions are made every day that invite disaster. Leave a window of opportunity for Mr. Murphy, and chances are that you will regret it sooner or later.

Famous last words

Do you recognize any of these?

“Restarting the server will only take two minutes.”

“I’m just going to upload a tiny change to the production server.”

“Don’t worry, it’s really easy to configure this firewall.”

“The risk for my servers going down in the middle of the night is minimal. No need to worry.”

And it doesn’t even have to be your fault. Your ISP or hosting provider could have made similar assumptions that end up affecting you.

Another way Murphy’s Law applies to the web, and especially web development, is that users always seem to find ways of using a website that the creators never thought of.

Murphy’s Law can be your friend

Murphy’s Law is your worst enemy. But awareness of Murphy’s Law can be your best friend.

Whenever you are about to do something that could in any way potentially affect your website or your servers, try to think of every possible way it can go wrong. This kind of thinking is invaluable to web (and software) developers and can save you from a long line of head aches.

To find out every little detail about Murphy’s Law and its origin, check out the very detailed entry in Wikipedia.

NOTE: Man in the picture is not Murphy or is not related to uptime in any way. He just looks cool.

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