Case Study

(this page created 5/30/08)


My silly personal vacation photo webpage (Amsterdam Bicycles) got picked up on "" (, rose into the top 10, and the traffic hits on my servers went crazy.


Traffic Spike Graph because of Reddit

I use "Google Analytics" (a free service from Google) where you put a little java script code on each web page and Google can then track and graph lots of interesting statistics about your web pages.  Below is a screen shot from Google Analytics showing the traffic spike on May 29, 2008 when suddenly I got into the top 10 on

Below is the "longer tail" version of the graph above, it shows how the load only lasted for a couple days, then dropped:


Below is a graph from the "Godaddy" admin page showing bandwidth usage:


What the load did, how Godaddy handled it

My website is hosted by Godaddy, because it's cheap (starts at $3/month).  I have a "Premium Hosting" plan which is a shared server but up until now had handled the load fine.  The day of the article (ranking?) the only way I knew there was any problem was that when I tried to visit my own website, I would get "error" messages like "503 error - Service Temporarily Unavailable - The server is temporarily unable to service your request.".  Even worse, sometimes the website WOULD load, but not all the images would load, people thought I had broken links.  When I called Godaddy support, they said there was nothing they could do for me!  At least nothing that would have any effect for the next 24 hours!  There was no way I could pay more money and get my site to keep up with the bandwidth.  Godaddy offered to move me to the next level of service which was a "managed dedicated virtual server" or something like that, but it would take at least 24 hours to setup, and it would cost me around $400 / month!!   Even worse, it would mean I would have to do a whole lot of system administration -> I'm capable of this, but I don't want to spend the time doing it, that's why I pay for hosting, I just want to serve up simple HTML page with simple pictures of my vacations. 

Here is a screen shot of what happens when you exceed your hosting plan's bandwidth at Godaddy.  I feel this is just unprofessional, why not contact me or give me the option of paying more money for more bandwidth?


Below is a screen shot of when this web page was #2 on

That's it.


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