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By Thomas Baekdal - October 2006

The Digg of Death is a fantastic site, it has an amazing influence on making stuff popular. But, it is also a constant burden on website owners. If you get "dugged" you got to have a very good hosting plan in order to stay online.

I have been dugged about 5 times within the last 6 month or so. Most of the times has not been very spectacular with only a few amount of digs. But, 2 times the traffic increase so much and so fast that my website crashed.

The spikes

1: The first time was in August, just after I had released WEB2DNA. Once that got on the website was literally under siege. It crashed 4 times because of the high amount of traffic, and I eventually had to redesign how each DNA was made in order to handle the high traffic loads.

Eventually, my "15 minutes of fame" was over, and the traffic returned to its normal level.

2: The second time was two days ago, when an old article about the usability of package tracking appeared on the front page of As you can see, that created a amazing spike in traffic. In the morning (European time) I had between 2,000 - 4,000 visitors per hour. After the initial barrage things seemed to slow down, as most people in America went to bed.

But, they only slept for about 8 hours, and when they woke up they came back in force. The number of people coming in was so high that the server crashed and stayed down for about 2 hours. A few was lucky enough to get in, but it took ages to load the page - and the images would did not load.

Don't get me wrong, I like getting dugged - it is fun! But, my server does not seem to agree with my point of view.

How to avoid Digg Death?

There are a number of things you can do to prevent overloading the server.

And if none of these work, you need to look at your hosting solution.

You can also consider to simply ignore the problem. After all, getting dugged does not happen very often.

For my part, I have already made some reductions. I have found a new host (which did a much better job than the old one, but still could not handle it) and I have some other things I might change in the future.


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Thomas Baekdal

Founder, media analyst, author, and publisher. Follow on Twitter

"Thomas Baekdal is one of Scandinavia's most sought-after experts in the digitization of media companies. He has made ​​himself known for his analysis of how digitization has changed the way we consume media."
Swedish business magazine, Resumé


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