How to crash your blog’s server – half a million hits!

First of all I would like to apologise to anyone who tried to access this blog on the evening of 29th July and the morning of 30th July.

It appeared that had been suspended. But why?
I was worried. I was thinking I’d probably lost data, that I may have been hacked. You hear about blogs getting a virus and having to be completely rebuilt.

I was a bit apprehensive, I won’t lie. Texts and emails were flooding in (I say flooding, there were a few… I’m allowed to exagerate a bit aren’t I?) alerting me to the problem but I didn’t know what to do!

Luckily I have some clever experts who help me run my blog, without whom I would be pretty hopeless (thank you Lorraine and Navitas). So when I got a phone call from Lorraine to tell me why it was currently off line I nearly fainted. I was truly lost for words.

Half a million hits in one hour on

Half a million hits in one hour on

It got half a million hits in a few hours from search engine crawlers and the server it is hosted on crashed… Wowzers! I have no idea how or why this might have happened apart from using Buffer to share posts recently, which means I can appear to be doing stuff when I’m not on the internet at all. It’s a clever little tool which sends my blog posts to various social media sites at the times when you lot are online… at least that’s the idea.

There don’t appear to have been more unique hits on the blog, though 90 – 100,000 unique hits a month aint half bad. That is all thanks to you lot, my lovely readers so thanks guys.

Not that many comments either :o(
Where are you all? Please don’t forget to say Hi once in a while. It’s quite lonely being a humble blogger and you don’t get paid for most of what you do, so comments are really my bread and cheese. They make my day. Well most of them do anyway. It’s lovely to hear what you all think, learn from your experiences and have a debate about things we live with in the world of allergies.

So what was all this activity about? Who knows. I’m hoping my web hosts may be able to shed some light into what exactly got the search engine bots so worked up. We shall wait and see.

You will be pleased to hear that we have put a few measures into place to prevent this happening again. We have asked the crawlers to only visit once a day which is quite enough, the content doesn’t change much more than that so should be ample for populating searches.

We’ve also implemented an app which is magic and should even-out any traffic spikes- so I’m told! But half a million? How is that even possible?

This has been an interesting week but on the whole I’m proud of my little blog for managing to have such a big impact though I’m not sure my website hosts would agree. You can’t have the other website hosted on the same server having to suffer down time because my blog was playing up. That’s not fair at all so I do feel a bit bad for causing so much agro.

It may mean has to move house soon but you guys shouldn’t notice any change, except perhaps faster open and click speeds. For the time being we have not been evicted from our server of many years and are monitoring the situation.

I’m sorry to anyone who tried to visit and got a rude message saying whatallergy was not coming out to play. We are most definitely back in business now and look forward to uninterupted service from now on.

So to end, here is a little ditty for you:

I would send half a million crawlers
and I would send half a million more
Just to be the crawler crawling when the allergy website fell to the floor

So who noticed the site was down? Anyone try to access a blog and get the error? What do you think caused the peak in creepy crawlies? Must be my amazing writing skills and wit.

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About RuthS

Ruth works freelance as a copywriter and writes the What Allergy blog to share information with people who have allergies, eczema, asthma and food intolerances. was voted in the top 5 allergy blogs and Ruth also judges regularly for the FreeFrom Food Awards and FreeFrom Skincare Awards. She runs a support group for the Anaphylaxis Campaign and also writes regularly for Exchange, The National Eczema Society quarterly magazine.


  1. That’s brilliant Ruth – congratulations!!!

  2. Hi Ruth
    We met at Chiltern O2 Centre a little while ago. I was talking to Cyril and he suggested I talk to you about Food preservatives, and how to avoid them. Sodium Benzoate is one of my triggers. I always read labels but such small amounts aren’t always given on them. So if you have any tips or ideas, be pleased to read them. Take Care Best Wishes Lena

    • Hi Lena, well I am a bit of a dab hand at avoiding preservatives. They aren’t good for me either and I do remember meeting you. We had a lovely lunch at the Pink & Lily in Lacey Green I think? So back to the sodium benzoate. I’m not an expert on this particular ingredient and where it might be most found, but what I do know is that my skin pretty much clears up when I eat a completely processed food free diet. But this is very hard to achieve in practise. Worth trying. I generally go by the 5 ingredient rule, so oat cakes are OK although they are processed. Back to basics. Cook from scratch. It’s not as hard as it sounds and you’ll feel great. I’ve blogged about it here and I need to take a bit of my own advice. Skin is crawling itchy at the moment. I find it hard to stay on the processed food free diet when there are so many lovely freefrom products, but even some of them seem so agravate my skin. Of course it could be nothing to do with food but I’m pretty sure that when I go paleo, although I do cook meat and fish on this diet, I’m unstopable. Try it and let me know how you get on. PS. wine sneaks through the 5 ingredient rule!

  3. Very well deserved! I love reading your blog posts as they make a serious subject entertaining and real – I recommend it to everyone I come across with allergies!

    • Thank you so much Michelle. Lovely to receive such glowing feedback. I recommend your mascara and eye pencil too. I don’t wear much makeup but when I’m going out for a special night that’s what I wear ;o) (and clothes of course)

  4. Haha, bet you were popular with your server hosts! Well done Ruth!

    • Not really no… I might have to move it to a dedicated virtual server which will cost me more money but hey, it’s a nice problem to have and I will just have to spend more time making the blog earn its keep. It’s just about doing that. Wish I understood all this web algorithms and web crawlers stuff…

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