Digg Effect Destroys Astroengine (But Healing Now)

Wow, what a stressful day! On writing One-Way Mission to Mars: Top 5 Items to Pack last night, I had no idea about the consequences. This morning the article exploded onto the front page of Digg.com, sending a flood of traffic into Astroengine.com. Although my bandwidth is more than capable of dealing with the situation, the server was quite literally paralysed, causing the technicians at GoDaddy.com to pull the plug (can’t blame them, apparently all the other sites on the shared server were knocked out).

I’ll post a more detailed post soon, but should anyone want to know the best course of action when dealing with an uncontrollable flood of traffic, here’s what I had to do:

The first measure was to stem the flow of traffic from the referrer causing the server outage. Once the relentless barrage of Digg users were blocked, the GoDaddy admin staff were reassured the problem wouldn’t reoccur if they put Astroengine.com back online. The second measure is a longer-term solution until I migrate the site to a better server. WP Super Cache creates html versions of Astroengine’s php pages, thus bypassing the execution of php scripts every time someone visits the site (vastly reducing the load on the server).

Thanks to Fraser (my publisher at Universe Today) for helping me out and giving these tips when dealing with a Digg explosion.

So, now I am going shopping. It’s fantastic to have these bursts of visitors, but the time is coming when I’ll need to upgrade. I’m either going to go the route of buying virtual-dedicated or a dedicated server. Any suggestions for which hosting providers have the best service/price? I’m most likely going to stay with GoDaddy, but I’m open to suggestions.

Apologies for dropping offline today, hopefully this will be the last interruption to service!

Cheers, Ian

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6 responses to “Digg Effect Destroys Astroengine (But Healing Now)

  1. I am also running wordpress at http://blog.dotphys.net and had a similar effect. It wasn’t even a hugely popular article, but I got into some trouble with my server for using too much CPU. I am pretty sure that wp-super-cache is helping, I also changed some setting on WASSUP stats plugin. Oh – my service is from lunarpages – no complaints so far. If I ever get really popular (not likely to happen anytime soon), I also will need to figure something out.

    I would love to hear what you decide to do.

  2. Pingback: Carnival of Space Week 77 - Tomorrow is Here | astroengine.com

  3. I had signed up with the bluehost for the wordpress blog but then due to the shared server space i soon realised that it is not what i wanted so i shifted to blogger . blogger blog had google servers which are the best in the world and they have the server load balancing feature, that makes for any traffic outages.

  4. I had signed up with the bluehost for the wordpress blog but then due to the shared server space i soon realised that it is not what i wanted so i shifted to blogger . blogger blog had google servers which are the best in the world and they have the server load balancing feature, that makes for any traffic outages.

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