How Reddit and Hacker News Took Down My Blog, and How I Got It Back Up
When I was writing my article about NameCheap out ranking Go Daddy in Google for the key term “domain name,” I knew it would draw significant interest from NameCheap’s enthusiastic customers, but I had no idea how much traffic that would mean. As soon as I saw a few vote ups on Hacker News, I knew my blog was going to be hit with a sh*tload of traffic.
On a typical day where I write one to three articles, my blog draws anywhere from 1,500 to 2,500 visitors, give our take. Shortly after posting the NameCheap article, my blog was receiving dozens of visits a minute. In addition to the Hacker News vote ups, the article was voted up in the technology section of Reddit, which drew even more visits.
By late afternoon, my blog’s server (a VPS from Liquid Web with just one site) was struggling to keep up and had severe lag. When my server went down, I contacted Liquid Web to see if there was something they could do. Luckily, they have 24/7 support, and they were able to help me. Technical support staff explained that with the Smart VPS I had, I could re-size my server, allowing it to function smoothly despite the surge in traffic. They immediately re-sized the server for me, and within 30 minutes, it was back up and running without any problems or lag.
The nicest thing about the Smart VPS was that I could downgrade as soon as the traffic subsided, allowing me to pay only a pro-rated amount based on the amount of time at the upgraded level.
One other thing I learned from this experience is that if I expect to receive an onslaught of traffic to my blog, I can proactively re-size the server in advance, to avoid any downtime during a huge traffic spike. I really appreciate Liquid Web’s support and assistance, and I am glad I am using the Smart VPS.