Prepared for StumbleUpon high traffic spikes?

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We love high traffic spikes at our site and thanks to you, our postings/photo blog reviews are regularly Stumbled. The use of StumbleUpon generates a large influx of new viewers who are introduced to the many great featured photographers. Here is a snapshot of our traffic from the other night…notice the number of users trying to access the site!!

274 visitors currently on site

After a closer examination of my traffic sources, that I found out many of our visitors are getting an error message like the one listed below:

“Your Web server is currently unable to handle the HTTP request due to a temporary overloading or maintenance of the server. The implication is that this is a temporary condition which will be alleviated after some delay. Some servers in this state may also simply refuse the socket connection, in which case a different error may be generated because the socket creation timed out”

At the time of the error, there were 274 visitors trying to access my site at one time! In speaking with my hosting company, they informed me that my shared hosting plan would only support 50 connections at one time. That would explain why the average StumbleUpon visitor is only on my site for 8 seconds…they are never able to access it…Damn! …and I was thinking they were just passing through. While our traffic is growing, it is dominated by daily spikes as opposed to a slow rolling curve. Here is a snapshot of our traffic over the past seven days.

ilovephotoblogs-visitor-details-wordpress

I am presently looking for a web host provider who has flexible grid plans to deal with the bursty traffic patterns frequently encountered with Digg and StumbleUpon and experience dealing with WordPress migration issues, if the site needs to be moved to a different server. There are a few dedicated hosting plans I would love to purchase and would serve us well into 2009, our revenue stream is not in a position to support the expense.

I am amazed at the number of web hosting companies which have no expertise or knowledge in working with WordPress related issues. One hosting company stated that I needed “to call WordPress for support”..WHAT?…Want more, both reps I spoke with (company shall remain nameless) had never even heard of Digg or StumbleUpon…WTF.

At this time…yes, on turkey day…I’m looking for a hosting company that understands the blogging world of 2008-2009…and can provide technical support beyond password resets.

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