As most of you will have noticed, this blog has been down for the past 48 hours or so. I did manage to throw up a few plain html pages just to keep things ticking over.
Anyway, it all came out of the blue… for some reason, my 2 week old article 21 cool webmaster resources hit the spotlight on stumbleupon.com. That then had a knock on effect, which saw the article make it’s way in to del.icio.us and get almost 60 saves there.
For those of you who are wondering what stumbleupon and delicious are, they’re two of the largest social media / bookmarking tools out there, behind digg.
Millions of users, huge communities and tonnes of traffic 😉 In 24 hours, the site got as much traffic as it would normally get in 4 months – over 20k unique visits.
Of course i’ll never know the real amount – it was probably closer to 25k unique visits, possibly more, but due to the site being down and my back to basics plain html pages, google analytics was out of action for a good while.
I’ve never experienced that sort of traffic before on ANY of my sites. JPEGr (one of my old sites) touched 1k unique visits in a day, i’ve had this blog hit 700/800 visits a day, but to smash all that with over 20,000 visits is incredible.
Incredible due to the fact it’s a personal blog and the article wasn’t fantastic, but more incredible the fact that the site could handle that sort of traffic on a shared server
I did have wp-supercache enabled and i had optimized the article itself for a digg effect (i shrunk the images down to as small a filesize as i could get them). Apart from that, i didn’t do anything else…
Of course once the site was disabled by my host (understandably), i was forced in to tinkering about with things. First of all, i re-directed all traffic from my 21 cool webmaster resources article to this page. I then thought, well, the whole site is down, so i may as well direct ALL traffic to that page. So if you entered smemon.com you would also arrive at that page.
I did this using a ‘301 redirect’ – what the hell is that? It’s just like diverting a phone call to another number. It’s done using a .htaccess file, just adding one line of code… i’ll dedicate a full post to that later as it’s very useful to know.
So i’m just glad to have things back to normal now… it’s a great experience and has resulted in plenty of exposure for the blog. Although it’s killed short term traffic and RSS subscriptions, i’ve gotten a few backlinks from it, plus i’m sure i’ll have gained more readers – we should see the RSS subscriber count rise steadily over the next week or so…. (currently at 31, normally it’s about 70).
I’m now walking a tightrope with my host – one more strike and i’m out 🙂 So whatever you do, don’t digg or stumble any of my articles 🙂 It’s a nice situation to be in though – having a blog so big it needs a new server… next step will be a VPS server – it’ll give me a bit more room to play with. One of them will cost about $40/month.
The blog normally gets about 150 unique visits a day, it has been rising slowly but surely. Although my current shared server can handle that no problem, ‘spikes’ are a real problem… a shared server can’t handle spikes in traffic. A VPS would be more flexible.