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heavy hammer

Wow, well thanks to Lifehacker, we got over 32,000 39,500 46,300 pageviews today from over 3700 3800 4,550 unique visitors. This led my host to suspend access to portions of the site temporarily until I could tone down some mysql queries and remove a php function that was hammering the CPU due to the pageviews.

Thanks to Julian and Chris for first bringing this to my attention when it occurred!

The short of it was that every time an image was displayed, the server was getting the image dimensions on the fly rather than from the database. This has always been the case, but with the high traffic, it overloaded my share of CPU time. I think I'll change how that's handled. For now, I've just set a standard display size of the page section, so images might not look quite right on the site. They will download correctly, though.

This isn't at all a complaint against my site host, (HostGator) they could have dropped access to the whole site and never said a word. I actually got a phone call from one of their techs letting me know what was going on.

I'm sure some will ask why I don't have a dedicated server to run it on. The short answer is funding. The highest ad payout day for this site to date is under $6 and most days, it's less than a tenth of that. We might get swamped with visitors once a month like this, so the investment isn't worth it at the moment.

15th of May, 2009