Lee Heidel

Is Your Website Ready for Reddit?

Here's a hypothesis for you.

You have a great website and get solid traffic for an institution that serves a local clientele. Between four and five hundred visitors check out the site each day. You encourage that growth by regularly publishing information and sharing it on your social media channels.

Then, one morning, this happens:


Your traffic BLOWS UP.

This happened to Heideldesign client Coastal Health District when they published a seasonal article about pool safety titled "It's Not Chlorine in the Pool That's Making Your Eyes Red". While informational, professionally written and direct on target with the organizations's mission of increasing public health and safety, the article also had a viral component.

I really hate to ruin a perfectly good read; but it may be urine in the pool that's making your eyes puffy and sore.

Now that we're past that uncomfortableness, let's see what happened next. 

The article was picked up on social networking site reddit and listed in the "Today I Learned" subreddit group. At the time of this writing, five days after sharing, it has 383 up votes and 75 comments. That attention translated into 2,540 referrals to the Coastal Health District's website from reddit.com. That's the spike you see in the graph above.

The Coastal Health District's website fared very well during that traffic spike due to two factors:

  1. They had plenty of available bandwidth on their website hosting account
  2. They use a content management system that produces static files. Static files eliminate the need for database calls when serving a page to a visitor, resulting in faster display and less bandwidth usage.
Whether you're a health department, health district or any other type of business or organization, reddit and other social media networks can bring an unexpected burst of traffic to your site. Can you handle it? If you're not sure, we'd love to help. Let's talk.