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The Flood and Bloghosts

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As our writers know, I have been very pleased and even proud of our progress as a site, developing a very steady and dependable readership of about 10,000 people in the course of our first year-and-a-half.

Part of that success has been predicated upon technical know-how. As I learned in my years of mobile and club DJing, nothing kills a party more quickly than equipment problems, and the fact that I haven’t even had to think about our site hosting company, Bloghosts, since we moved to them several months ago is the best possible result.

Not even thinking about your hosting company means nothing is happening to interrupt the flow of information from your site out to the people who may be interested in partaking of that flow. It means the “how” is talking care of itself, and all we have to worry about is the “what.” This is gold.

I don’t even really know how this stuff works: I just know I enter words and symbols and numbers into our Movable Type software and it comes out on the other end for the all the world (well, all the world with an Internet connection) to see.

So, here we were, plugging away, gradually inching our upward toward the magical 10,000 per day mark, tantalizingly close to adding that sweet fifth digit when Janet Jackson popped out of her wardrobe Sunday night around 8:30 and the nation couldn’t believe its eyes and sought confirmation on the Internet.

As I said here, after the halftime show, I ran downstairs to check in on the site – as I habitually, perhaps obsessively, do on a regular basis – and rather than the usual 300 or 400 hundred visitors an hour we would normally be getting at that time, we were getting 5,000 an hour. We ended up with about 23,000 Sunday and had that many on Monday by 7AM – it continued thoughout the day, rising to 10-, then 12-, then 14-, then 20-thousand per hour until we reached 250,000 on Monday.

After sending a brief note to Bloghosts – our pal Jace to be specific – Sunday night to please keep an eye on things as the traffic was deluging, nothing whatsoever happened to make me think about our hosting company again throughout Monday’s insanity, Tuesday’s 100,000 visitors, or Wednesday’s 90,000: no collapses, no glitches, no slowdowns, nothing but smooth sailing and a shitload of traffic breezing through.

For all I know, Jace had a team of bare-chested, perspiring engineers hosing down the server so it wouldn’t melt, or he had it packed in dry ice, or a host of sheperds watching over it by night – I don’t know – but I do know he did whatever he had to do to keep us up and running and that it was only after the fact that he mentioned that we had used more bandwidth in ONE DAY Monday than we had used in the previous month.

Now THAT is a hosting company – consider this the highest possible recommendation.

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About Eric Olsen

  • http://www.filteringcraig.com Craig Lyndall

    I am happy your host was dealing. My host was certainly not challenged quite like yours, but for the last four days my traffic has been the following.

    Sunday – 24,311
    Monday – 72,613
    Tuesday – 22,403
    Wednesday – 3404

    Anyway, it was fun while it lasted. I wonder if a little guy like me has any retention from such an event. I think most people clicked in, saw that there were no pictures and left as quick as they showed up.

    It made for a few exciting days.

  • http://www.makeyougohmm.com/ TDavid

    Since I already congratulated on the traffic increase in another thread then let me address the other, business angle to this.

    The bottom line is did the increase traffic equal more $$ dollars $$? If it was a bunch of traffic that didn’t increase revenue accordingly then at the end of the day it was just an expensive traffic surge :( I hope that it increased Amazon revenue and/or attracted new sponsors.

    If memory serves, blogcritics hasn’t been using bloghosts very long which makes the circumstance more impressive, IMO.

    The hosting game changes and I learned years ago that once you find a good, reliable host that charges fairly, it’s well worth staying with them. Some people change hosts like they do underwear foolishly in search of the ultimate cheapest deal. It’s glad to know that the blogcritics host change didn’t result in inferior connectivity when it mattered most.

    Chasing price is very dangerous when it comes to hosting.

    But, back to the bottom line, hopefully it generates increased business for all involved.

    BTW, I am not expecting an answer to this because it is none of my business, but I’m throwing this out for those who think that traffic is the only thing that matters on the web. No, actually, it’s traffic that rings the cash register that matters most. Otherwise, well, wait until the bandwith bill comes a’knockin.

    I hope Sunday/Monday was a profitable day for all involved :)

  • http://www.filteringcraig.com Craig Lyndall

    Seeing as I have not a single revenue generating item on my site, I have a 0 net gain. Maybe I should sell t-shirts?

    Oh yeah.

    Nobody would want one. :-)

  • Eric Olsen

    I would, Craig. I wear my “Cornfield Commentary” shirt that David Hogberg gave me all the time.

  • Eric Olsen

    TD, excellent points all. The most important figure will be where we are a week from now – I am certain this will be a net gain for us regarding advertising, but if we are still well above where we were before the flood by a week from now, then it was a BIG gain. We will see how many of the visitors “stick.”

    I am very encouraged so far: the Google traffic is way down today – people are wearying of Janet – yet we will still come in somewhere between 25-30K uniques today.

  • http://macaronies.blogspot.com Mac Diva

    Craig, you can get an overview of visitation times from Site Meter. It also has averages and origination data. Even what ISP and what kind of computer, if you want that.

    I’ve not sold anything on my blogs, despite offers, either. If I go into a second year with them, I may reconsider. A little income, beyond PayPal and gifts, could offset the time and energy I put into them.

  • http://www.needlenose.com Green Boy

    Hmm, I don’t know how you got such great support out of Jace. Our site suddenly spiked to 4,000 hits in one hour, and Jace pulled the plug on us. I only became aware of the fact that we were down when I brought up the site and found an error message that said ‘contact billing.’

    According to bloghosts, our site (based on pMachine) starting hogging the CPU and MySQL server and he was forced to shut us down. Being shut-out of the site, however, I was unable to determine what exactly was causing the problem, and was unable to remedy the situation.

    It took 48 hours for bloghosts to finally agree to put us back up, on a different server, so that we could look into the problem. Disgusted, I switched the DNS entry back to my former hosting service (which ran our site for more than a year, through numerous visit spikes) and am trying to figure out what to do next.

  • Eric Olsen

    Green Boy, have forwarded your comment to Jace.