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Last updated: 29 Apr 2024

Post a message on the status page

When something goes wrong on GOV.UK, we follow our incident management procedure. As part of that, we update our status page

The page is managed using a third party service called Statuspage.

Access StatusPage

Use to post messages.

You should be able to log in using your Google account.

If you don’t have access, ask on #govuk-2ndline-tech for help.

Create an Incident

Remember: government publishers are the main audience of the page, although it may also be used publicly depending on the incident. Users will want to know what isn’t working, and how long it will take to fix. Write in non-technical language. Use the pre-written templates below: they’ve been proof-read and can be customised to most situations.

Avoid using internal acronyms, e.g. write “” instead of “DGU”.

Incident Name

This is to say which application is affected and what the fault is. You can update the name, but make sure it’s consistent enough to track throughout the stages of the incident.

Example names:

Delay in publishing content

Attachments aren’t uploading

Search isn’t working on GOV.UK

If a non-user facing part of the system (e.g. Publishing API or Content Store) is the affected application, don’t include the application name in the status. Instead specify how the issue affects users. For example “Delay in publishing content” instead of “Publishing API is processing items slowly”.

Incident Status

When you list an incident, you’ll need to select an ‘incident status’.

“Investigating” status

Provide reassurance to publishers that we know about a problem and are working to diagnose it.

Example messages:

We’re looking into an issue with Whitehall Publisher which is causing attachment uploads to fail. We’ll update this page as soon as we know what’s causing it.

We’re looking into a delay that’s occurring when trying to publish new content. Your content may appear on the site later than usual.

We’re looking into a problem that means email alerts aren’t being sent out as quickly as they should. We’ll update this page as soon as we know what’s causing it.

“Identified” status

This is where we state that we’ve found the problem. Explain what the problem is in as simple terms as possible, and an estimated time to fix.

Example messages:

We’ve found the problem causing the delay in publishing content – it’s caused by the server running too many tasks. We’re working on fixing it and expect it to take approximately 3 hours to fix.

We’ve found out what’s causing the delay to email alerts. There was an error which made the email queue artificially long. We expect it to take one hour to fix.

“Monitoring” status

We’ve fixed the issue - but are keeping an eye on it to make sure it’s properly resolved. State whether there will be a delay to the fix being visible, e.g. “This should start functioning normally again in 20 minutes”.

Example messages:

We’ve fixed the problem that was delaying publishing. We’re going to keep an eye on it for the next hour to make sure it’s resolved.

We’ve fixed the problem that was delaying email alerts. We’re going to keep an eye on it for the next 2 hours to make sure it’s resolved.

“Resolved” status

We’ve fixed the issue and everything is back to normal. The incident is closed.

Example messages:

The delay in publishing content has been solved. Content will appear on the site as normal.

The problem with the email queue has been fixed. Email alerts should now be working normally.

The problem with the server running too many tasks has been fixed. Attachment uploads should now be back to normal.

The issues we were having with search on GOV.UK have been fixed. Everything should now be working as normal.

The invading alien army has retreated. Everything is fine again.

Posting a status update retrospectively (“Backfilling”)

Sometimes it may be necessary to post a status update after an incident has been resolved.

  1. Tick the backfill option
  2. Add the date of the incident and a suitable description. Bear in mind when writing the message that it will automatically be marked as resolved.
  3. Click create

When backfilling a status update, subscribers will not be notified. It will update relevant Slack channels though.

Example message:

On 30 to 31 May 2022 users of GOV.UK were unable to subscribe and unsubscribe from email alerts to page changes.