PC Construction Launch: Handling Roadblocks in a Partnership

Occasionally, as Bluehouse Group works with our clients, we encounter a unique roadblock that none of us has ever recognized before. When a new roadblock presents itself, it’s reassuring to know that every party involved is composed, acts quickly, and operates blamelessly. This is how partnerships flourish.

Enter PC Construction

In November of 2021 Bluehouse Group’s web design proposal was accepted by PC Construction and we kicked off the design. PC Construction is an employee-owned company that constructs buildings, facilities, and infrastructure that strengthen and connect communities.

The design and development of the site went smoothly. It was not until our website launch day that things got a little rocky. 

What happened?

The issue we encountered was a little bit complicated. Essentially, prior to launch, PC Construction was previously hosted in BlueHost. The new site would instead be hosted under Kinsta. Both of these hosts use invisible CloudFlare integrations that are outside of our control. Prior to the launch, CloudFlare was not a go live variable, and they controlled the DNS. 
 
When we attempted to launch the site, users could successfully arrive on the site by typing “pcconstruction.com". But if users typed. “www.pcconstruction.com”, utilizing “www.” before the domain, this version of the site continued to display the old site, even though DNS spot-checks indicated an A record to the new site. Eventually, the “www.” site just stopped working entirely and began giving us this error message:

pc contruction launch 1Because PC Construction uses “www.” in all of their marketing materials, it was imperative that we find a solution.

Searching for a Solution

In researching solutions,  we only found one other person who had a very similar CloudFlare issue.

Cloudlfare bug issue

Their issue never got resolved by CloudFlare, and they had to revert back to their old website.

Even though there were new hosts involved, the DNS within CloudFlare was still pointing to the old server. Essentially, the old server was like a black box from a lost and forgotten plane.

Finding a solution to this issue was an all-day endeavor. Getting someone from CloudFlare on the phone in a timely manner was challenging. We had all hands on deck, and looped in ClearBearing – an internet engineering consultancy network in Burlington, Vermont, for backup. We were making 2 calls at once and managing 4 companies in concert.

Around 4:45 p.m., we were halfway through standing the site up on one of our Bluehouse Group servers in case we needed to temporarily host their site to get PC up and running. But in the end, there was hope.

The Solution

Heading into the evening, the team took a chance knowing we had a contingency plan in place. PC deleted their old CloudFlare site, which indirectly purged the internal CloudFlare DNS pointers away, allowing the fresh requests to get routed properly, bypassing CloudFlare entirely.

We greatly value CloudFlare, yet the only inconvenience is that companies may enable CloudFlare without any way to control it via partnership integrations.

PC Construction’s Response

In any situation where a launch does not go as anticipated, we may expect the client to be unhappy. However, PC remained a pleasure to work with.

Crystal DelleChiaie, Director of Marketing and Communications from PC Construction said “We work with a lot of partners, and not all of them are as responsive and accessible as Bluehouse Group. We felt confident that we’d find a solution despite the go-live challenges. The fact that they instantly developed backup plans to host our site locally made all the difference. We knew we were in good hands.”

Randy Lessor, PC Construction’s Chief Information Officer, said “People who didn’t find a solution clearly didn’t have Bluehouse Group as a partner. My hat’s off, because we made it work.”

pc contruction launch 5

This relationship is what Bluehouse Group strives for. Everyone cooperated with each other, and we worked together to quickly resolve the issue. That is what we love about our clients and the industry.

Challenges always arise in a launch; it’s inevitable. But how your consultants respond and the collaborative problem solving that follows is what’s key. The way Bluehouse Group and PC Construction handled this problem raises our spirits and has us confident and excited to take on anything.