I’ve used the website Upwork a few times over the years. It’s essentially a go-between for freelancers and those who are looking to hire them. It’s not a bad site, and overall my experience with Upwork has been fine. But I don’t use it a lot, so when the site began having issues earlier this month, I wasn’t aware.
That’s why I was surprised to get a mass e-mail last week from Stephane Kesriel, Upwork’s CEO, explaining the reasons for Upwork’s recent website issues:
Upwork experienced an unprecedented amount of site slowness and outages September 7-10. Many of you who rely on us for your business and livelihood were understandably frustrated. I’m writing to apologize sincerely for the disruption and to renew our vow to make Upwork the high-quality platform you expect and deserve.
I want you to know that the recent site performance was completely unacceptable to us. The situation was a major wakeup call to re-think how we operate the site, as well as how we communicate with you about what’s happening on our platform.
For those wondering what happened, unusual spikes in traffic stressed our services and caused slowness on the site. These issues were compounded by the fact we have been re-architecting Upwork’s systems. This forum post by our VP of Product Hayden Brown gives more detail about the issues and measures we’re taking to make the site faster and avoid future disruptions.
In the wake of these issues, Upwork has created a status page that shows how the site’s servers are doing. The status page currently shows that all systems are up. There’s also a log of recently resolved issues as well as an e-mail opt-in box for system updates. Hopefully, in keeping this status page on a subdomain, Upwork has it completely isolated from its main servers, so it can properly report on potential outages in the future.