Panic is what we feel when an Umbraco website starts behaving strangely. We get that dreaded call from a client who says, “The web is not working”. First there’s a sudden increase in heart rate, then an onset of cold sweat and, after gulping, we answer, “We are on it”.
But what to look at first? Here are our two cents on the most common issues:
- Permissions. Umbraco requires certain permissions for each folder to work properly. It might be possible that, due to manual or automatic deployments, these permissions have been overridden, losing the original configuration.
- Caché. Umbraco is great because it can have many levels of cache. Umbraco is dangerous because it can have many levels of cache. Abnormal behaviors can often occur because of cache problems and rebuilding it usually solves most of the problems. Doing it is fast and easy.
- Index. Lucene is incredible: fast as a bullet, but it is a delicate piece of engineering, and sometimes we can lose synchrony between index and database content. If we think that this might be the source of the problem, we need to rebuild our indices.
- App pool is stopped. You get desperate. You start it, and it stops again. This occurs when the process has crashed too many times in a short period. It's a defense mechanism. You should look at the event viewer to find out what is happening.
- Out of disk space. Not really common but I’ve seen it, mostly in small (and not sufficiently monitored) servers. IIS is still working properly but there are critical files in Umbraco, like Umbraco.config, that can't be overwritten. You get a nice crash here.
Being able to execute these kind of checks as fast as possible is crucial to get your website running again. That's why in LECOATÍ we made an extension for uMobile that checks different possible error sources and allows you to correct them. We called it Medikit and you can find it included in the standard uMobile package here: http://our.umbraco.org/projects/backoffice-extensions/umobile
If you give it a try and want to give us feedback it will be much appreciated. And if you have any suggestions about checks that can be automated and added to the extension let us know, we will include them in the next package versions.