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What to do if your NEW forum suddenly is a HUGE hit?

Discussion in 'Manage your Site' started by Floris, Mar 3, 2010.

  1. Floris

    Floris I'm just me :) Hi. Staff Member

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    What to do if your NEW forum suddenly is a HUGE hit?

    A thread about what to do when you start a community and before you know it you have 2500 online users making too many posts in a day, and your forum crashed, crawling to a halt. And your hosting provider isn't too happy with you because you're sucking up all those cheap resources such as RAM and CPU. And your forum has issues posting new content because the cheap HDD quota is already full.

    Post your tips.

    A simple question: You have scheduled and budget in your license fees, hosting fees, domain fees, etc and spend money on advertising, and expected to get 100 users tops, and slowly grow over time. But then you have the above situation. What do you do?

    Let a potentially successful forum go down the drain and let it die? Or do you start spending $500/month on dedicated hosting, without knowing you are going to earn it back?

    Incorrectly anticipating your audience and having no short and/or long term business plan can cause a great concept to go down hill.
     
  2. Mikey

    Mikey :mikey: Staff Member

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    I always started on shared, and moved it up to dedicated (unmanaged) when we got too big, never used VPS, if my forum becomes a huge hit, I'll be thrilled, but also I would put ads up and capitalise on the success of it, pay for the hosting out of my own pocket, and use the ad revenue to gain it back.
     
  3. Scalene

    Scalene OMG Member

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    This EXACT thing happened to me. I had a website that had about 2 posts per day - at most. I also administrator for a very popular site that got about 2 million unique visits per day. One day the admin of that site decided to close the doors. He put a message on the front page telling people to go to my website instead.

    At the time my website was hosted out of my own home on a single core 2.4ghz 1gb ram POS box. Worse than that, it was hosted on standard Road Runner cable.

    On the first day we had 2000 users register. The second day 5000. From there it dropped to a few hundred each day, but we still had a LOT of traffic. Within seconds of realizing our increase in traffic I made arrangements to get a new host. We were offline for a good 6 hours while the transfer went through.

    Since my friend was hosting the site he cut us a discount - we only paid 60 bucks a month for a full dedicated server.

    Now, on average we'll get 20 registrations per day and about 10-20 thousand unique hits per day.

    Tips?

    If your website is getting this many hits, ask for donations. If the members are dedicated they will donate. I offer a slight incentive - if you donate 5 dollars you get a little star next to your name. We also toyed with the idea of allowing members to pay for standard forum features (like the use of avatars, custom user titles, etc).

    It's also VERY key to make sure the website has as much uptime as possible when it first starts getting this many hits. Many of the users will be first time visitors and if the site doesn't work they won't try coming back.
     
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