The Idea Dude

CONNECTING THE DOTS ONE AT A TIME

Wednesday, March 21, 2007

One reason why you should not host your own blog

So you have a blog and it's generating a few hundred views a day. You like to control your destiny so you download Wordpress or something similar and host your blog on a machine that's gathering dust in the corner. It feels great to be able to change files, test and try things without the restrictions of which plugins you can use etc. So here's scenario that can and has happened to members at TheGoodBlogs.

You have a great blog entry that creates a Digg event. This means that your blog entry was found by a top Digger and as a result he/she generates a lot of momentum to your story. Several hundred Diggs later, your machine is bombarded by Internet requests. Literally, thousands. We've seen blogs that generate a few hundred views a day get a spike of 50,000+ for one day. So here's the downside, you Internet line is clogged up completely for the day, chances the blog server you're using is sharing the same bandwidth as your regular network. Your blog server can't get the request out fast enough (remember there is a limit to the number of TCP/IP network connections to every port). If you're making use of a server or service with an ISP, you could still get dinged for the additional bandwidth created by all this sudden traffic.

This is where hosting your blog with a reputable blog hosting service is a great idea. Most of these providers monitor bandwidth constantly. They have a bank of servers that can handle thousands of simultaneous connections. They are usually right on the Internet backbone. Like insurance, they've figured out that not everyone will be Digged (Dug?) everyday, so they can plan for fluctuations appropriately. If they have a thousand blogs, they only have to double or triple their hardware since only a small percentage will experience these spikes every day. They don't make you pay for bandwidth. They are also 24/7 (at least the good ones are).

It can't happen to you right? Well, if you're a good blogger chances are you'll experience one of these 'events' some time in your blogging lifetime. If fact, that's the nightmare most of us bloggers live for... isn't that funny?

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