Simon Willison’s Weblog

What are some tips on scaling a startup once you get massive news coverage?

My answer to What are some tips on scaling a startup once you get massive news coverage? on Quora

It’s pretty rare for press coverage to drive large amounts of traffic—even if you get stories on a bunch of big news site you’re very unlikely to see a traffic spike of more than 20-30 hits a second, which most reasonably well built web applications should be able to handle.

An easy way of protecting yourself against unexpected (or expected) traffic spikes is to configure Varnish to serve cached pages to logged-out users with a 60 second (or longer) cache expiry. Most users checking your site out from a news link will not be logged in, so this lets Varnish soak up load spikes without having any negative effect on your regular users.

Varnish van quite happily handle thousands of requests a second even on low end servers, so it’s a great tool to have in your stack.

This is What are some tips on scaling a startup once you get massive news coverage? by Simon Willison, posted on 27th September 2013.

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