If you happen to be perusing some top news sites like TechCrunch, Quartz, Rolling Stone, and 9to5Google, you may notice some weird quirks. Most of them seem to have the same scaled-down aesthetic now, akin to someone’s very first attempt at a blog, featuring the same succulent plant as the background image. Or, in Quartz‘s case, the site may simply not be loading entirely.
It seems this is because of an outage impacting WordPress’s VIP Go users.
Ok… something’s wrong with WP[.]com… like really wrong
Sites were down for 30 minutes, now some of them have default themes.
Check out TechCrunch’s “new” look pic.twitter.com/LfItE6G9nI
— Catalin Cimpanu (@campuscodi) June 11, 2019
VIP Go is a cloud-based hosting platform for publishers. It is supposed to make running a popular website easier to handle. But the one big problem is that WordPress does the hosting itself, so if some unknown problem happens, it could impact numerous clients. And, indeed, a bunch of sites are essentially not functioning properly as a result of some VIP Go issue.
WordPress, in a blog post, admitted to a technical problem. It’s described it as an “availability issue,” and has said it’s been working on a fix for the last hour. The company’s most recent update:
Update 18:28 UTC: We’re implementing a fix to address the current availability issues on VIP Go. We’ll continue to keep you updated as this fix is implemented across the platform.
For now, the affected publishers have to wait until the problem is fixed. Some are making light of the downtime:
We know you’re wondering, so no, it’s not a wild new succulent-based design direction, we’re just experiencing some site issues. Hold tight.
— TechCrunch (@TechCrunch) June 11, 2019
TechCrunch, in fact, has written a blog post about the outage about it but posted it to Tumblr. Very crafty!