Traffic to MuskogeeNOW has steadily and rapidly increased since we started this site in 2009 with no viewers. Today, our viewership averages 48,000 daily, with spikes during the week and valleys during the weekends.
We count as a “viewer” a single IP address in a 24-hour period. An IP address is a number assigned by your Internet provider to your specific device. The first time our server logs see that number, the server records that IP address as one “viewer.” Then, for the next 24 hours, no matter how many times our server sees that same number, it still only counts as one viewer. What all that means is our actual “hit” count is WAY higher, going past 200,000 on some days, and on rare occasions (such as a big story breaking), into the millions.
That kind of traffic is hard for any server to handle, harder still if the site is running complicated programs to ensure Facebook, Twitter and Google get all the information they want to index the site. One of those items all three want is a text description of the main picture that accompanies each article, and our site was providing that information, but it was doing it each time a story was accessed, for each story on every page that was served to someone. What all that means is when the site was getting millions of “hits” in a single day (not viewers, but hits), it was analyzing each picture that appeared on each story millions of times a day, and the server just couldn’t handle it, so it would crash.
We’ve solved that problem, with the added bonus that the site should load a lot faster for everyone as well.
Thanks for being part of a good problem to have.