Yesterday, NowSourcing hit the Digg homepage with this post on the difference in negative remarks on StumbleUpon and Digg for about 2 hours. I quickly found that the blog wasn’t ready for the traffic spike. (for those Diggers reading this, here’s your chance to complain with your lame, fail, old news babblings) :).
Here is a list of some good lessons learned the next time you find your blog in a similar predicament:
1 – Install and configure the WP-Cache plugin (For WordPress Blogs). WP-Cache is a brilliant plugin that keeps most of your stuff that will load in a static file rather than loading and compiling the PHP on every page request. For the more tech savvy, feel free to tweak to your heart’s content:
h/t to Lyndon for making me think about WP-Cache.
2 – If your site does go down, check out data on all the mirror sites. One such site is Duggtrends. For those of you not familiar with Duggtrends, it’s a great service that people can link to so that the story can still stay alive, and also has some pretty nifty traffic graphs showing before and after your site went hot:
Another great site is Duggback. They aggregate all of the places that your site would have been cached such as Google, Dotcache, and the WaybackMachine. Here is what my story looked like on Duggback. Something else pretty cool that I did was put up a mirror on my wordpress hosted blog. This at least saved some RSS readers, which went up over 60% in one day, an impressive showing.
3 – Tweak your server. This runs on a Linux box, and I did some performance tuning. Won’t bore you with tech details, but there are fewer services running and I also added more RAM to the box. You might want to just go ahead and get a reliable dedicated server if you’re serious about traffic.
4 – Didn’t make the Digg homepage this time? Don’t feel bad. Most sites never do. Something that may help push you over the top next time around is use of the new shout feature (here’s some helpful info on how to use, also an overview on the new Digg features). But please, be kind and only use sparingly: it may cause Diggers to want to reach through the computer screen and strangle you 🙂