This is an old post related to a change we made during the weekend of June 17-19, 2011. All of these issues were resolved by Monday, June 20. Thanks!
Hey folks! First off, thanks so much for being part of Rafflecopter these past several weeks. We’re thrilled about the response we’ve gotten to and we’re working night and day to make it even better. Thanks to you, we’ve been growing and growing steadily since we launched just a few weeks ago. And we want to be able to keep growing, and to keep working with more and more bloggers and having more and more fun :P
In order to do that, we’re making frequent upgrades to our behind-the-scenes infrastructure to make it faster and more reliable for everyone. Over the past 24 hours, we made a big leap and switched our hosting provider to a service that will be able to easily keep pace with us as we grow, and provide us with the flexibility to add a bunch of the awesome features we have coming down the line.
Unfortunately, the change seems to be causing a few issues today. If you’ve had problems entering a giveaway today (the vast majority of people have been just fine), this next part will explain what’s going on and when/how it will get better.
The issue revolves around what’s known as DNS Propagation. The full technical explanation of DNS is crazy-boring, but you can think of DNS as the phonebook of the internet. Your browser looks up a name in the DNS phonebook (in this case “rafflecopter.com”), and DNS phonebook gives you back a “phone number” (really an IP Address), where you can reach that name. When we changed hosts late Friday, we changed our IP Address (our “phone number”) as well, and now the phone books need to be updated. But………
When a new phonebook comes out, I may already have the new one while yours has yet to be delivered. So if we look up the same name in different phone books, we might get two different phone numbers, one of which won’t work anymore.
That seems to be what’s causing the issues we’ve been hearing about today. The phone books have been updated, but they’re still in the process of being delivered to everyone, and a small percentage of people still have the old copy. Most of the time, a DNS change only takes a few hours to take effect, but sometimes (and for some people, depending on your location) it can take 24-48 hours for the update to fully take effect.
Mostly, that means that we just have to wait for it to work out. Everything should be sorted out by Monday at the latest. In the meantime, there are a couple of things you can try to speed things along. These may or may not work, but if you don’t want to wait (and we don’t blame you) they’re worth a shot:
- Clear your browser cache – You could have an old version of some Rafflecopter files that need to be updated since we made the change.
- Flush your computer’s DNS cache – This is the “old copy” of the phonebook, and if you throw it away, you might start using the new edition (unless it hasn’t been delivered yet, in which case you’ll keep using the old one)
We’re very sorry that anyone at all is having issues, and I wish there was more we could do to fix the problem immediately. The silver lining is that these are but temporary issues on the way to a much more stable and speedy Rafflecopter for everyone!
Thanks so much for your understanding. If you have any questions, you can leave a comment or contact us outside of the blog. We’ll be happy to answer and help as much as we can.
Until next time,
— J.R. (@runningskull)