If you listen to the Radio in England you have probably heard about the Street-level crime map site.
The site allows users to see what crimes have been reported in their local area. Check it out here.
I decided to try it out myself…
The interface seems to have some bugs and there appears to be very limited functionality, but for a site made for the minimal sum of £300, 000 you can’t really have very high expectations .
I then discovered that since it went live this morning millions of users have accessed it and the site has since gone down. The Home Office reported on their Twitter that they were receiving approximately 75, 000 hits per minute.
So what is the moral of this post?
Sometimes you can have too much publicity. If you intend to create a service that thousands (or in this case millions) of users will want to access you need to take into account volumetrics, bandwidth and other limitations.
Whenever a new site is launched and will definitely have an immediate large following there are going to be those who are legitimate users and those who are just browsing or curious about the site becuase it was a trending topic on twitter, google or any other social media or search site (if you ever see your site as a trending topic I suggest you upgrade your hosting plan!).
Even if you over estimate these figures it’s best to have a site live and the ability to catch potential visitors and customers than to greet them with a server error.