Breaking down how my website went viral

Taking some time away to recharge the batteries when my personal blog went a bit viral. In this episode, we discuss how the different social media platforms sent traffic and how my website withstood the onslaught of visitors.

Episode Transcription

Welcome back to the bite. Brian Christner and recording live here in Phoenix, Arizona soaking up some sunshine while I'm on holidays. But what's interesting is while I've been on holidays, my personal blog, BrianChristner.io went a bit viral while I've been on holiday, which is quite cool. What happened was, I wrote this article about Raspberry Pi and how you use Pi-hole and integrating these two together and how it all works. I talked about Pi-hole in previous episodes and I tweeted out, I submitted it to Hacker News, and it got a tiny bit of traction. I'd say a few hundred people visited the article, and that's typically how my articles go. However, Docker tweeted this out and said, "Hey, check out this article, Raspberry Pi and Pi-hole, how to make your home network more secure," and I received about 1,400 additional hits onto this article.

Very cool. I was like, okay, this is getting somewhere. Then shortly after that, Docker then went to their Facebook fan page and submitted their article on their Facebook fan page, and I received about 2,000 hits from their Facebook community. Just to show, you get about 600 more people from Facebook interaction versus Twitter. I found that quite interesting because typically I don't see much Facebook traction. Finally, somewhere along the line, someone resubmitted my article to Hacker News, and that's when it wouldn't really crazy. It went up to about 13,000 hits just on Hacker News. So 13,000 referrals come from Hacker News alone. Then it somehow transferred over to Reddit and it went on and on and on. But on the 14th of April, I received approximately, let's see what it is here. About 22,000 views in one day and I'll put this into the show notes so everybody can see.

But it's quite interesting because my website just got 27,252 hits in a single day, and there are websites out there getting this every day. But for my personal blog, it's quite big. I'm running Ghost. I have it fronted with Cloud Flair, which I've talked about in previous episodes, and the website just ticked along, no problem at all. I mean, Ghost is a super performance CMS system, and when you front it with something like CloudFlare, it just works right off the bat. But what I found the most interesting is how each social media platform picked up traction on this article, and how much traffic had actually sent to my platform, to my blog post, how a single Raspberry Pi made my home network faster. So Twitter, Reddit, Facebook, they sent you to know together about 6,000 referrals, but Hacker News obviously, that's a totally different ball game, and it went up 13,000.

There's a bunch of other article referrals that also contributed, but I'm just super happy that my, A, my sites handled the load, no problems. I didn't receive like any downtime, and it's just a nice confirmation that this is how things are working. I also shared these statistics with Docker. I said, "Hey, this is what happens when you tweet out on your Facebook community, from my point of view, how people actually interact with my site." And like I said before, my statistics are completely open so you can see this. I'll put the actual time period in there, and you can see previous to the site going viral, it was hovering around 500 and a thousand hits a day, and then it goes from that to about 27,000. This is a huge spike. It really messes up your analytics cause it's kind of really flat, then you have a huge spike in the middle of it.

Now out of that, I didn't have anything set up on my website to actually capture subscribers or anything of that type because I've not interested the capture these things. I'm more interested to share information, but I'm going to share my analytics with everyone so everyone can see what happens when your site goes a bit viral because typically everybody says, "Oh, I went viral," but I'm going to actually show the details, so I will share this in the show notes and everybody can see for themselves. But going forward, I think I'm going to try to promote my company a bit more 56k.cloud, as well as this podcast, The Byte.

Well, thanks for listening. The next episode I'll talk about Ghost CMS, so what's powering my blog and how well it performed, and that's all for today. From Sunny Phoenix, Arizona, and soon one week away from DockerCon. I'll see you in the next episode. Have a great day and talk to you soon.
 
Brian Christner