Great news; your site has been Slashdotted, Dugg, or Stumbled Upon. You get lots of exposure and a flood of traffic like you have never seen. Then it begins to dawn on you that you may have a problem. Will your site hold up? There’s so much to gain and also something to lose with interested readers giving up and going elsewhere if they can’t load the page.
Too much traffic is a fortunate problem to have, yet a problem all the same. I recently read a piece talking about all the programs that can help you survive such a spike in visitors. I must admit, quite a bit of it went over my head. And the thing is that I don’t think I’m the only one. This is something that would be confusing to a lot of people and, not to bring everything back to Squarespace, I think this goes back to the point that web publishing needs to be an easy solution. If you want to tinker with it, that’s fine, but I think most people would prefer not to bother.
I’m not going to learn pages and pages of workarounds so that my site stays up if it gets hit by a lot of people all at once. All this effort may not even solve the problem. Think about it; it doesn’t matter what steps you put in place if you are hosting a blog or website yourself. Most websites only get disk space on a shared server at an ISP, and even in the most reliable systems they can only take so much “throughput”. Going with a hosted solution provides you with the proper load balancing so you don’t have to worry about traffic surges. I want a product that has already taken care of these issues and one where I don’t have to worry about the back end.
I am amazed by the inertia needed for people to switch blogging platforms. Tools have been set up to ease the transition, and the newly formatted pages would be optimized even better than before. While it’s a pain to switch, so is going through all the steps people recommend simply to serve all your visitors. At what point do you look at the process and instead choose someone who has already solved the problem for you like, well, us?