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Ask HN: What is the most amount of people you have had on your site at one time?
24 points by sw007 1609 days ago | hide | past | web | 44 comments | favorite
Mine and my mates site GetInspired365.com has just been featured on BBC Click - http://t.co/0OmbHSSwuk - and were staggered to see we had 250 people on our site at one point. What's the most you've had on your site? Just interested to see as means of a comparison against other sites.

By the way, if you're able to get a small mention on BBC Click, we'd highly recommend it. We've seen some great triffic and feedback since our mention.




Over a hundred thousand. I was the Senior Web Producer (head geek) at Bravo, the cable channel, and we did live voting during "Project Runway" first-run episode commercial breaks, where viewers would respond to on-air questions either through our site or through SMS. Vote tallies were displayed during later commercial breaks, after a competitor had been eliminated. People who voted would also be entered in contests to get prizes and their names splashed on screen during the live broadcasts.

Then we'd do it all again, live, for the West Coast airing of the episode, the same night.

Season finale episodes brought roughly a bajillion people to our site simultaneously, because everyone wanted to "participate" in telling the world which contestant they wanted to win the season.

Thank God for Akamai...


That's awesome! How many people it take total to run the operation?


In LA (Burbank, actually) we had one manager, two devs (me and a slightly more junior person), and two video editors who transcoded stuff almost on-the-fly and kept our online video library humming along. In New York (at 30 Rock) we had about four content and social media people, two designers, and a photographer.

This was about five years ago, so the set-up is a little more robust now. For example, they now have a CMS to manage web content, whereas we used to code and manage all our assets by hand. And back then they were too stingy to buy an extra server to automate a lot of the processes, so I actually had to stay late every week to literally "push the button" to make things go live in sync with the on-air broadcasts. All kinds of crazy stuff, on a shoestring budget.

But yeah, if you're talking about code stuff alone, we only had two actual coders/devs, me and another girl. Fun times!


I'm curious about what you mean by 'most amount of people you have had on your site at one time'. This can mean a few different things...

1) For monitoring applications like Chartbeat, IIRC they count a user as concurrent if they are on the site anytime within the past 30 seconds. 2) I've seen real-time monitoring systems count a concurrent user as any visitor in the last 5 seconds. 3) Lastly, the only real raw numbers that I've seen are the traffic hits through an F5 load balancer to a set of backend servers, and that is the only number that will give you an unbiased # hits per second in real-time. Unfortunately, this amounts to requests (HTML) to the server and may not be a 1:1 ratio with users.

So in terms of what I've seen, it depends on the type of calls and the application. For the EA forums (forums.ea.com) which I was in charge of up until March 2013...

For #1, forums would regularly reach 15,000 on the launch of a new game. We would sustain that for ~12 hours [1]. On just an average normal non-event day, it pushes 3000 concurrents. For #2, I've seen something north of 3000 for EA forums. For #3, the F5 would report peaks of 200 requests per second.

When I built the Campus Wide Login (http://www.cwl.ubc.ca) SSO auth system for UBC about 11 years ago (still in use today) we would have almost 50-75% of the full campus using it at once, which is about 30k concurrents (unfortunately I didn't have access to the numbers over the F5 LB). However, most of these calls were for the HTML which then went through an SOA (XML-RPC, ugh) architecture, so I'm sure the req/s was much higher on the XML-RPC backend.

[1] this is a feat in itself because most of the forum data is not cached because the business wanted the data in real-time, so the read databases would receive a lot of traffic when the web servers spiked.

Edit: formatting


Our company (www.radfan.com) was featured on BBC News Look North for 90 seconds (no web address mentioned so pure google searches) and I watched our google analytics real time climb to 1200 people simultaneous.

We were on BBC Radio 2 Drive Time the Friday before (web address mentioned this time) and we got about the same.

Shopify did an amazing job dealing with the traffic spike.

Good job getting on Click, that's awesome. We got lucky with the bad weather in March making our launch a relevant story.


Thanks very much. And neat site - I actually have used this before!


No probs, good to hear!

For those interested in how an ecommerce site stacks up with traffic spikes, Shopify did a great job, the weak link was paypal. We had a good number of (potential) customers email to us to say that paypal locked up during payment, we were taking several orders a minute for a while there but still annoying that some were dropped.

One of our mailing lists also grew by 1200 names in 3 hours and Mail Chimp coped fine.


From 1 to 20 then down to about 3 on average now. I've had my project (https://writeapp.me) on HN a few times but it really went nowhere. Recently however its been featured on MakeUseOf at least twice, Web Appstorm, and a number of other tech/teacher blogs.

Before the MakeUseOf article I'd get 3 to 10 hits a day with 1 visitor at a time. After the first MakeUseOf article it went to about 20 at a time for about a day. After that the site has been picked up by other blogs (some of them review it multiple times on different days) so the traffic has increased about 100% from pre-review levels and has been holding steady at about 100-ish visitors a day and 3 users at a time normally. Note that there are obviously periods in the day where its 0 because you can't have 100 uniques and 3 visitors on site at the same time all day. The math doesn't add up. I'm just talking about what I see whenever I check my analytics which is pretty often during the weekdays.


My own homepage? 1 (usually me) The last big site I worked on? About 55,000 concurrent users on an average day before I left (now it's about 110,000).


I used to be the tech lead for the UI and much of the infrastructure behind ovidsp.ovid.com. We regularly had 20000-50000 concurrent user sessions active. Each one had a dedicated backend process, so we had an exact count of active users. The UI served over 1 billion http requests per year... using a custom http server I wrote in Perl :)


About 20 on average and 30 in rare occasions. It's a media player app for chrome with about 5k active weekly users.

https://chrome.google.com/webstore/detail/achshar-player/fdd...


Ten people at the same time is my max for a personal project (http://sproutsheet.com or http://sproutshit.com as the haters like to call it) when I linked it on reddit.


Seems this hacker news is kinda popular hihi, who knew. http://imgur.com/NptDeRZ


That's a really cool design! Reddit winds me up!


I really like the design! Nice concept!


Thanks, I found out that grower enthausiasts have a lot of data to remember so thought it would be a cool app to make. I noticed that cannabis cultivation is really big on the internet so asked a reddit community what app they would like. My first prototype looked like twitter but they didn't really care for that. They just wanted an easy way to link data to a certain date. Would also love to have some vegie growers on the site but it's hard to get a foot in smaller communities without looking like a spammer. Anyway it's not really a commercial project but I do get a kick out of people using and enjoying my website.


I wish I could have cannabis cultivation in the UK, but unfortunately it's illegal. I've been pondering whether I should start a basic kitchen garden type thing and your app just gave me a reason to!


I've been thinking of growing indoor stawberries. Can never have enough strawberries. Red Alpine strawberries gives you fruit the whole year through. They are a bit smaller but they look awesome: http://imgur.com/8JzBPVr


I had about 180 according to Google Analytics for http://maxburstein.com/blog/python-shortcuts-for-the-python-...

It was at the top of Hacker News and /r/programming for a little bit. It stayed pretty constant at that level for about half the day.

My first post to get over 120 users at a time was http://maxburstein.com/blog/creating-resume-using-latex/

It was at the top of /r/programming with over 1000 points so it was also getting some traffic from /r/all.


My side-project (http://www.quizme.se) got posted to a decent sized facebook-group and peaked at 400 active visitors. Then the postgres-server stalled at 100% CPU-usage and the site went down. I was at day-work and could not do much about it.

The hourly graph from Google analytics looks like this: https://www.diigo.com/item/p/podoedezbpdaaccrczbabdsacq/05eb...


It depends on where I pull the traffic from: when I post on social networks, like Tumblr, I usually get at most 3 concurrent at a time. If they come from direct source they are usually more spread around the clock also due to their time zones differences. The peak I had was when I wrote a comment on the Sex channel on Reddit right after the launch of my platform (http://www.sexycrets.com) a few months ago.


178K is the biggest I can find a screenshot proof of: https://pbs.twimg.com/media/Aa7f-uvCMAQF1th.png

Thats on one site out of 8 that share the same cluster/platform, so the net total would have been in the mid 200K's.

edit: props to chartbeat for even being able to track such things, I'm just scaling reads, they're scaling writes.


My site made it to #1 on hacker news last wednesday for a couple of hours. It peaked at 287 concurrents. Unfortunately, I wasn't expecting that kind of surge and only had it on a small linode, so it couldn't handle the traffic. Since then, I've moved it to an S3 bucket with cloudfront as a cdn. http://www.appraptor.com


I was one of two developers on a social media network in Norway, at peak hours (from about 20:00 till 22:00) we had 60.000 unique users with activity within the last 10 minutes. This generated about 400 dynamic req/s and about 6000 static req/s. We managed this sustained traffic with a total of 12 webservers (apache + memcached), 4 databases (mysql) and 6 Varnishes.


Main Site: Around 2000 IIRC, before it crashed, anyway. This was back in the days of Digg, and less robust hosting. Average is 150-250 at a time, less at night, more during the day.

Micro-Site: We set up an experimental just-for-fun site with a bit of a viral edge and got 1.1 million visitors in one day, mostly from China - it apparently front-paged on a few major sites over there.


When one of my articles made it to the #2 spot on Hacker News, I was watching my Google Analytics Real-Time stats pretty closely. It got as high as ~700 people on at one point. (Here's the submission: https://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=5062761)


Our recent post on the Webpop blog about a/b testing a puppy photo (http://www.webpop.com/blog/2013/04/16/can-a-puppy-sell-a-cms) got to #2 as well.

Sat at a pretty constant 250 online visitors for hours. Pretty sure the brief peak must have been close to 700 as well.

Fortunately Webpop is built to handle that kind of traffic, so we never had to worry about the site crumbling under the load...


Yeah, I'd be curious to see traffic data from people who got to various spots on the front page and see what trends emerge.

Though, now I'm remembering that the post was also on /r/webdev and /r/web_design, so that skews things a bit.


700 people on the site at one time? Or 700 for the day? 700 at the same time is incredible (to me)! You must have been nervous about your server. When we hit 250 we panicked we would go down!


700 at the same time. 40K in the 24 hour period after it made the front page. Yeah, I was not expecting that.

Luckily, I had recently converted the site from WordPress to Jekyll and was hosting it on Github pages, so I didn't worry too much about the load.


No idea how many at one time however I did get 50,000 hits for a post on my blog that sat in the HN top 10 for most of a day. That's like 34 hits a minute so I can safely assume I must have hit at least 10 at a time at some point during the day.


We had 390 users at one point when we hit the HN frontpage for a very short time for this post

http://statspotting.com/pgs-hidden-message-in-hackernews-alg...


I think somewhere around 6000. Is there a way to see this easily on Google Analytics?

Also you have to precise. I was removing a real visitor after 30 seconds. Some websites I know are doing it after 2 minutes... It changes your numbers a lot.


284 just from someone linking to us on a comment thread on Reddit: http://imgur.com/M6oiypj

my site: http://www.flipmeme.com


4500+ on a small "4 hour venture" project of mine. could ahve climbed to 5 or 6k, but the server crashed before. http://imgur.com/ossUOZR


Clicky's - http://t.co/0OmbHSSwuk (BBC Click) Our site - http://GetInspired365.com


30 at a time from some small subreddits on my site http://poemr.com


Congratulations on the BBC Click feature!

Around 2500 on www.kayako.com after a particular newsletter went out to our customers.


around 3000 for a half hour or so when Blink-182 pushed out content to their social channels (Facebook/Twitter) using our site. Have also had slow build up to 2800 when one page went viral. The site/app is http://backspac.es


Nearly 1500 concurrent visitors on a blog post that got to the top of HN quite a while ago.


Google analytics real time showed 22-25k during its peak daily


~3k when a Facebook app we were working on went viral.


s/triffic/traffic


one




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