What Saturday on Hacker News Looks Like

Yesterday, a post I had submitted to Hacker News got pushed up to the front page. Outside of retiring and basking in my new-found internet fame, I wanted to show what a few hours on the front-page looks like.

Hacker News Homepage
The lofty highs of 19th place on the homepage

The first thing to note is that this was a Saturday, not a weekday so I assume a lot less people view Hacker News.

The second interesting note is that I submitted the blog post on Friday evening where it went almost entirely unnoticed and quickly fell off the "new" section. It's wasn't until some influential and benevolent unknown user upvoted it hours and hours later that it appeared on the front-page.

The third interesting thing is that for someone who doesn't use social media much, nor regularly writes, it's very exciting to watch people view your stuff. Internet-monkey-brain takes over as you tail -f your server logs.

Server logs tail
The post was on the homepage for probably 4 to 6 hours in total, getting up to 19th position. This seemed to bring around 80-100 concurrent users and 6k page views in all.
Concurrent users
Between 80 and 100 concurrent users visiting the blog post
The bounce rate is exceptionally high, as is to be expected, at 95%.
Screenshot 2020 10 25 at 18 59 39
What's funny is the time-on-site is a hilarious 10 seconds. I'm not sure if this down to uninteresting content or just the nature of Hacker News readers. I'll admit that I'm often guilty of either only reading the HN comments, or opening the page and quickly scrolling through.
Screenshot 2020 10 25 at 18 59 47
Only 4% of visitors were on their tablet
What's also interesting to me, but not unexpected, is that 50% of people are viewing on mobile.
Screenshot 2020 10 25 at 19 02 46

Checkout the original post

I used a Rasp­ber­ry Pi to cre­ate a cus­tom con­troller that could con­trol the motor on my desk

I run this website on a basic $5/month Digital Ocean Droplet with 1Gb RAM and a single shared CPU. It's powered by Craft CMS and I use FastCGI to perform full-page caching on everything except the contact page. I also host all my static files and assets on the Digital Ocean Spaces CDN.

This seemed to pay off, as the server hardly noticed the increased load (not that it was huge traffic)
Screenshot 2020 10 25 at 09 02 10
There was a slight increase in CPU and bandwidth usage, but not having to serve JS, CSS, images, fonts etc. really takes the pressure of the server. Furthermore not having to hit the application server is a huge benefit in responding to increased traffic.