If you're a website owner, you know what a full-time gig it can be. There's a reason companies hire teams of developers and IT pros to monitor, manage, and optimize their websites. But for those of us who are bloggers, freelancers, small business owners, or hobbyists, there is only one person who cares about our website, and that person is us.
If something goes wrong on our site, we're the only ones who will actually do something about it. It doesn't matter where we are, or what we're doing; we will take the time to fix it. Maybe we're on vacation, or maybe the wifi is spotty. No worries - we will figure it out!
At HostGator we recently polled website owners to hear their stories of the craziest places they've ever worked on their website, and we guarantee some of these will surprise even the most imaginative of our readers.
Take a look and let us know if you've ever found yourself in a similar situation!
Trains, Planes, and... Songthaews?
Travel has an uncanny ability to make things complicated. When you're in a different time zone, life is a little bit less in your control. These valiant travelers got resourceful and didn't let the poor weather or crowded conditions cramp their style.
"I took a working vacation to the Bahamas and my flight home ended up being delayed due to Hurricane Sandy. Because the best place the resort had for WiFi reception was outside under a palapa, I found myself struggling to work in the middle of the storm, while everyone else was huddled inside probably laughing at how ridiculous but dedicated I was!" - Nedalee Thomas, CEO of Chanson Water USA
"The craziest place I've ever written an article for my site was on a 4 hour songthaew (a pick-up truck that's been turned into a shared taxi or bus) ride from Pakse to Si Phan Don, Laos. I was packed in with about 12 other people, my feet literally resting on top of a box with live fish in it." - Stefanie Parks, travel blogger at The Stave Diaries (If you were wondering what the title image was all about, now you know.)
"We had a production outage once while I was on a bus returning to NYC from Boston. The bus wifi didn't work, of course, so I connected to my phone's network and fixed the bug while fighting the low 4G data the entire time. That was fun!" - Ivete Tecedor, co-owner of Gotham Quilts
Life's a Beach
Screen glare, sunburn, sand particles... Having to work on your website during your vacation is reality for many dedicated entrepreneurs. Many of these stories sound like scenes straight out of a Corona commercial, though, so we don't feel too bad for these folks.
"Not long ago, I was taking a weekend vacation at the beach.. I was laying out on a towel, three beers in. Then my phone goes off. It's my business partner saying our website was down. Since I'm the guy who handles the WordPress end of things, I had to take care of it, vacation or not. I checked my phone, and sure enough-the site wasn't working. I wasn't even able to access the WordPress backend from my app. So I was forced to call my hosting company. Luckily, they were able to handle it on their end. However, I was on the phone for a good 30 minutes before the site went back up. Talk about a buzz kill!" - Eric Brantner, founder of Scribblrs.com
"I worked on my website while I was on vacation on the beach. I sat on the towel with music blaring around me, put a towel over my head so the glare wasn't too bad, and I got to work. Nothing like beach Wi-Fi!" - Danielle Gallagher, founder of Wearable Therapy
Places of Worship: Good for Inspiration and Free Wi-Fi
Sacred places aren't just for seekers of spirituality and inner peace. For solopreneurs, they offer a lot of the same perks as your local coffee shop - quiet, a virtual office, even the free wi-fi - but with a lot more beauty.
"The craziest place I've ever worked on my website (online) was on the top of Emei Shan, one of the four sacred Buddhist mountains in China (outside of Chengdu). We had just hiked all day and were staying at a guesthouse on the top of the mountain, where we amazingly were able to get an internet connection." - Stefanie Parks, travel blogger at The Stave Diaries
"My EA is in India and therefore is 9.5 hours ahead of me. I had promised to do some revisions to an area of the site so the promo could go live by the deadline and church was running long...so I whipped out my iPad, adjusted the verbage and made the changes. I'm sure people thought that I was taking some SERIOUS sermon notes!" - Camille Jamerson of The Kaiserin Group
The Farthest Reaches of the World
If you're a workaholic who can't bear to be separated from the internet, you may want to plan your next trip to one of these exotic remote locations. Surprisingly, they all come with free wi-fi.
"The craziest place I've worked on my website (to date) was in the middle of the Sahara in Morocco a couple of weeks ago. We were at a tented camp and while I didn't have wifi, I was able to do a few things using my cell phone. However... in about three weeks, I'll be working on my website from an even more wild location. I'll be on a ship in the Arctic (Svalbard, Iceland, Greenland) and will be using very expensive shipboard wifi to keep the site up to date!" - Antonella Pisani, founder of Official Coupon Code
"I think my favorite was when I was staying near the Salar de Uyuni, a giant salt flat--actually, the world's largest salt flat--in Bolivia, near the town of Uyuni. It's about 12,000 feet up, and it's so remote that most of the hotels and establishments are built with blocks of salt. It's even been the setting for an episode of Ice Road Truckers. So suffice it to say that hopping onto wifi and logging into the back end of my site while staring out at a few thousand square miles of high altitude salt flat was a strange but memorable experience for me." - Chris Post, CEO of Post Modern Marketing
Taking Care of Business
Others who visited exotic places weren't as lucky.
"I lived in Morocco for 3 years, and the first few months were pretty hellish - mainly because the change of diet and climate was playing havoc with my stomach. So, quite often during those first few months I'd have to work while I was squatting over the toilet (by 'toilet', I mean hole in the ground). It's lucky I brought my laptop with me, not sure a desktop would have worked!" - Sam Williamson of Fish Tank Bank Ornaments
The Craziest Story of All
When you run a travel website, you end up working on your website all over the globe. Freelance writer Elizabeth Aldrich has a story that beats them all.
"I'm a freelance writer and digital nomad, and I own travel and culture website Temporary Provisions. I travel constantly while working on my website, so I've found myself in some crazy work situations!
"The craziest place I've ever worked on my website was on the Costa Rica/Nicaragua border while being temporarily detained by Nicaragua's border police. This was in November of 2015. I happened to cross the border from Costa Rica into Nicaragua at the same time as hundreds of Cubans who had been on a trek to get to the United States and be granted citizenship.
"They fly to Ecuador, where they don't need a VISA, and then trek by foot and bus all the way up through Central America and into the southern border of the United States. While Costa Rica granted them entry at their southern border and gave them 7 days to cross into Nicaragua, Nicaragua decided that they were not allowed to enter. Hundreds of Cubans crossed the Nicaraguan border illegally around the same time as me, and as soon as I tried to cross I saw them running out of the forest being chased by Nicaraguan military and police back into Costa Rica with tear gas. The border was shut down, and I was forced to wait near the tiny customs office in a plastic chair at a bus stop in Penas Blancas, Costa Rica for 5 hours before I could cross.
I had already had my passport stamped by Costa Rica and my visa was going to expire if I didn't at least set foot in Nicaragua, so I couldn't leave, but the Nicaraguan customs office shut down and refused to stamp passports (all I needed was a simple stamp and I could have crossed back into Costa Rica with my visa renewed). After it calmed down a little, I figured I was going to be waiting a while, so I opened up my laptop, grabbed my hot spot, and started to work on my website!"