After crashing, Oak Park's website restored

Outages coincided with shelter-in-place announcement

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By Stacey Sheridan

Staff Reporter

People can smoothly access the Oak Park village website again, after experiencing periods of unresponsiveness that coincided with the village's announcement of its shelter-in-place order March 18.

An increase in the number of people trying to access it likely crowded the server, negatively impacting response time. However, the blame may fall on inconspicuous underlying issues in the system. 

"The traffic likely played a role, but we are examining other possible causes to make sure we don't encounter the same issue again," said Oak Park Communications Director David Powers. 

The number of village staff working remotely may have also affected the website's responsiveness.

"The website is hosted in house. We also have many people working from home, which could have had an impact," Powers said.

In his capacity as communications director, Powers has made changes in his own operations to accommodate the website and prevent further outages. 

"I am making messages distributed via email self-contained, whenever possible, with fewer links back to the site," he said.

As the website had operated smoothly prior to the announcement, Powers said he immediately blamed the website issues on increased traffic under the assumption that people wanted to read the shelter-in-place order. 

Not a developer himself, Powers said, "Others, better versed in the technical side of the site, are examining configuration settings, potential conflicts with other services hosted at Village Hall and options for mitigating the chances of it happening again."

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