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Increased Readership and Traffic Woes

by Michael Chu
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All I can say now is: WOW!

On Wednesday, my readership started to increase from 20-40 hits per day to over 150 hits. I was starting to approach 1000 total hits and was pretty excited about that, when on Thursday I received almost 2000 hits. Right now, (a little past 2:30pm Pacific Daylight Savings Time) I have received almost 6000 hits for Friday.

Yesterday, with less than 2000 hits I exceeded by bandwidth traffic limitations for the MONTH. Thursday's transfers were in excess of 1 GB. I immediately upgraded the service from doteasy.com's free service to the highest tiered pay service, but that only gives me 20 GB per month. So, I'm in a bit of a pickle. I'm guessing the 20 GB will last only through the weekend.

So, I need suggestions on low cost HIGH traffic (I guess I'll need about 10 GB per day) servers that I can move my website to. I don't need too much space (100 MB will last a long time) because the site is currently only 8 MB.

As a warning this website might go down, but I'll do everything I can to keep it up and running.

I'm also thinking about putting up a paypal donation thing, but that isn't going to help unless I can find a host that will be able to allow enough monthly traffic for the website to survive.

You can post comments here or e-mail me at cooking@cookingforengineers.com.

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Written by Michael Chu
Published on September 10, 2004 at 02:37 PM
21 comments on Increased Readership and Traffic Woes:(Post a comment)

On September 10, 2004 at 06:39 PM, an anonymous reader said...
You can probably shave a few GB off by removing full text from the atom feed and including only titles or only titles and summaries. I also noticed that about a big chunk of the home page and the individual entry pages is taken up by the inline stylesheet. Moving that to an external CSS file would save a few bytes.


On September 10, 2004 at 06:39 PM, Erwocl (guest) said...
Might be overkill, but if I remember correctly, Serverbeach.com offers 2000gb per month of bandwidth for as low as $99 a month. Also, sometimes they run specials for like $80 a month. Worth checking out.


On September 10, 2004 at 06:39 PM, an anonymous reader said...
Guess this traffic is somehow increased by Waxy Links (in english) and O Velho (a brazilian tech/geek blog), maybe by Ueba in the next few hours (another brazilian tech/geek site)... it'll take some time before the traffic stabilishes, I guess.

...and not that I'd like to see the site down, but it already deserves being slashdotted :) Keep up the great job! I'd like to see some curry-powered recipe, if you could... thanks!


On September 10, 2004 at 06:39 PM, dmaduram (guest) said...
I'd suggest using Surpass Hosting (http://www.surpasshosting.com/), which offers 30GB


On September 10, 2004 at 06:39 PM, an anonymous reader said...
Have you considered putting a paypal donate button up?

Perhaps rethinking your adsense placement too?

Move your Feed to FeedBurner?

Definitely move the CSS to an external file.

Good luck,


On September 10, 2004 at 06:39 PM, Phil Wolff (guest) said...
http://websiteoptimization.com/services/analyze/ tells some of the story.

Your home page includes HTML: 77,914 bytes of html and 489,365 in images. Among other things, every time someone comes to your home page they are trying to get 500K+. Over dialup, still a huge part of the Internet, that's about two minutes just to load.

Things you can do right now:

1. Cut the number of posts on your home page. From 10 to 5 could save as much as a third of the current bandwidth.

2. Cut the payload of the photos. Tighter cropping. Smaller scaling. And harsher jpeg compression. Without resizing, I was able to cut nearly half of the size of the photos without a perceived loss of image quality.

I don't know how much of your traffic is coming from Atom/RSS but there are a few tweaks of the web server that tell most newsreaders to take the latest file only if it's been updated. This can cut that traffic by an order of magnitude.

btw, you're probably ready for a deal with FoodTV, by the way. Your blog is half Alton Brown and half America's Test Kitchen.


On September 10, 2004 at 06:39 PM, Lisa B. (guest) said...
895.com has 800 Megs of Space, 10 Gigs Transfer for $8.85/mo.

http://www.8-95.com/


On September 10, 2004 at 06:39 PM, itchy (guest) said...
i'm not surprised you're being overwhelmed, with Blogger.com featuring you on their homepage.

powweb.com offers 5GB/day for less than $8/month (yes, you read that correctly. I just started using them for my blog, and to host image files that get too many hits to put elsewhere.

Itchy


On September 10, 2004 at 06:39 PM, Gary LaPointe (guest) said...
Definitely swap your adsense for the most recent posts. See http://www.poynterextra.org/eyetrack2004/viewing.htm on reading patterns.

Move the CSS to another file.

You've got a lot of comments in your HTML and a lot of double and triple spaces which do nothing... (1200 extra spaces every time someone hits your home page, and probably as many comments and a bunch of extra return characters [surrounded by spaces])

Your atom file is 26,000 bytes alone, who knows how often people refresh that. To get a good feel, just turn it off for an hour and see how your bandwidth changes.

Another consideration is storing your images (or feeds) on another server. This would prevent you from moving servers and if you use all the bandwidth up that site, at least your main site stays up. Technically there probably isn't anything stopping you from putting your CSS file somewhere else, the web client sure wouldn't care...

Good Luck,
Gary


On September 10, 2004 at 06:39 PM, an anonymous reader said...
Slashdotting is iminent... story is in the "mysterious future" as I post this... better batton down the hatches and put on your suntan lotion, your server is about to bake... :)


On September 10, 2004 at 06:39 PM, an anonymous reader said...
Yeah, this place is about to get /.ed. Great site! Loved it!


On September 10, 2004 at 06:39 PM, an anonymous reader said...
Go to

http://www.free-webhosts.com/search-webhosts.php?ADV=0010000000000000000000000100000000000000100

It's a list of free webspace providers, ones that don't force ads and have FTP so blogger still works. And the important thing: Unlimited bandwidth.

-Bave fun.


On September 10, 2004 at 06:39 PM, an anonymous reader said...
I'm surprised no one else has said this yet - you're not going to need to move the site permanently. I'm not sure if you were planning on just moving it for this month or what, but within a week or 10 days (if that long) the traffic will drop significantly. Once you're off the /. front page, Blogger's Featured area, etc., you'll end up with quite a few more readers than before but I doubt you'll even need the 20GB you've upgraded to at that point.

Keep that in mind before you make any big decisions and waste a lot of money. :)


On September 10, 2004 at 06:39 PM, an anonymous reader said...
You're welcome to an account on Irth Networks, http://www.irth.net. Free hosting for worthy causes with FTP, PHP, etc. We could have you setup at a temporary domain such as http://cooking.irth.net in minutes and your current site could redirect.

Drop us a line, we look forward to hearing from you.

- IrthNet proprietor, support@irth.net


On September 10, 2004 at 06:39 PM, an anonymous reader said...
I really don't think surpasshosting.com is a good option. I've had an account with them for a month and canceled because they don't offer what I expected and their support is horrible :(

I then found TotalChoice Hosting (totalchoicehosting.com) which has outstanding support and also good prices - for $4/month (or $44/year, if you pay yearly 1 month free) you get 10Gb of monthly traffic, 250Mb of disk space and unlimited e-mail and FTP accounts, unlimited databases, aliases, forwarders, spamassassin, etc, etc.

Give them a try, if you don't like the service, you'll get a full refund if you cancel within 30 days.

But don't just take my word for it. Visit their family forums (http://www.totalchoicehosting.com/forums/index.php) and see what findmyhosting.com has to say about them (http://www.findmyhosting.com/listallplans.asp?host=5330).


On September 10, 2004 at 06:39 PM, an anonymous reader said...
Hostsave.com or Valueweb.com. Good prices...lots of bandwidth


On September 10, 2004 at 06:39 PM, an anonymous reader said...
I am using www.b-one.net for my web hosting needs. 125 MB space in the smallest package and no limit in the bandwidth.

It's about 20-30 dollars to get started and 1.45 dollars a month.

You get PHP, ASP, MYSQL Unlimited number of pop3-mail accounts and much more.


On September 10, 2004 at 06:39 PM, AZMike (guest) said...
Hey, Great site.
Where do you get all your recipes' recipeland.com ? I was thinking if you needed a little site revenue to keep the site afloat why not have all your visitors click on half a dozen google ads on the edge of your board. They do generate income for you, right? NetProHosting.com looked real promising from another poster. That cookbook idea would be simple enough to do, and why don't you sell it with an opt in recipes' of the month membership where you send out a dozen new recipes each month to those that order it? Sorry to cram this all in a run-on sentence but doesn't that save space? =*) AZMIke


On September 10, 2004 at 06:39 PM, Greywulf (guest) said...
I recommend http://www.epfarms.org. Easily the lowest cost and most capable webhosts I've ever know. Ever. Period. Talk to them. Tell them Greywulf sent you.


On September 10, 2004 at 06:39 PM, Soundfx4 (guest) said...
I am so sick of this. Everybody except myself can get traffic to their website or blog. How can I be seen on the internet? How can I push myself ahead of all the losers (like myself). Somebody isn't telling me something, and it's pissing me off.


On September 10, 2004 at 06:39 PM, an anonymous reader said...
http://www.readyhosting.com/ offers unmetered data transfer for $99 per year.

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