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I've been a fan of static websites for a long while now.

In addition to page load issues, they also more or less completely solve the Slashdot effect (aka the Reddit Hug Of Death, these days). A competently-configured Nginx server on a 512mb VPS, serving static-only content, will handle ridiculous amounts of traffic without flinching.

Ever since a front-page mention on BoingBoing took down my feature film BloodSpell's site immediately after release in 2007, avoiding server load on a site has been high-priority for anything I'm launching that is likely to have bursty traffic.

It's nice to see usable tools for managing larger sites with a static generator developing and becoming popular.




But setting cache headers and letting nginx cache your site would also take care of load, right?


Do you - or anyone - have stats about the possible traffic demands of Slashdot/Reddit/HN front page stardom?

I'm very much in the Nginx/static camp, but it would be useful to know how bad the spikes can get.


I spoke with Alan Bellows from 'Damn Interesting'[0] on Reddit after his site hit the front page via a TIL post and he revealed a little about the traffic load.[1]

It was very interesting to see and was quite a lot of traffic for sure.

Bear in mind that the screenshot he posted is for concurrent visitors too.

[0] http://www.damninteresting.com/

[1] https://www.reddit.com/r/todayilearned/comments/3d3vct/til_a...


I had no expectation of encountering my own name in this context. If there is a German word to describe the thing my neurons just did, I'll bet it has a lot of umlauts.


Ha! Sorry! I know the feeling too, there's a guy who keeps a mighty big interest in a website I run and I stumbled on his catalogue of its/my goings on.

Hopefully this doesn't reach that level of awkward and your info was really cool to see in that Reddit thread.


No apologies necessary and no awkwardness implied--it was merely a surprise. A bit like being far from home and hearing someone shout my name.


Good lord. That's a lot of traffic.


I got around 50k hits to my "stupid cert tricks"[0] page from a combination of twitter, reddit and hackernews over a period of 48 hours. My site is static content generated with pelican[1], served by nginx and hosted on a $10/mo VPS. The page has one image, one stylesheet and a favicon. Peak rate was around 1.5 views per second (loads of the actual page - this does not include requests for assets). CPU usage was negligible, I'm sure it could have handled at least 25x that no problem.

0. https://rya.nc/cert-tricks.html

1. http://blog.getpelican.com/


Here's one for HN, though Reddit can get much worse: https://levels.io/hacker-news-number-one/


HN throws about 20k - 40k visitors over a day or so, in my experience (off the top of my head, without looking at stats). My stuff tends to be tangential to the primary interests of the userbase, though, so if you were very codey / techie you might see a lot more.

Reddit depends wildly on the size and activity of the subreddit you're featured on. Imgur shows view stats, so you can get some idea from that.

For scale on whether nginx can handle that sort of load, I've had tiny VPSes sitting there happily handling 200 SIMULTANEOUS users serving static files, which translates to between 500,000 and 3 million uniques a day, maybe more depending on your site design.


A TechCrunch article used to get you about 15-20K in a day. Might be less these days.




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