This Post is Part of a New Series – “The Shark Tank Survival Guide“
Kinsta is a trusted hosting provider that we have used for our WordPress sites. We have been very pleased with their product and have been impressed with their level of customer service. When we contacted them about our idea, they were nice enough to write about their own Shark Tank experience for our piece.
“No doubt, being featured in Shark Tank is a real game changer for most of the startups and small businesses – regardless of “winning” the expected investment or not – as millions are watching each episode of the show in the US.
A Shark Tank Survivor
Our client, Sleeping Baby, reinvented swaddle for babies and they’ve been selling their product on their WooCommerce site. They were lucky enough to be featured in the first episode of Shark Tank Season 6, which had 7,45 million viewers in the US!
They contacted us a few days before the season premiere of Shark Tank, as they were expecting huge traffic load on their site during the show. They needed a WordPress specialized hosting solution to be able to handle the constant high number of visitors and sudden traffic spikes on their site.
Preparing the Server(s)
We have created our high availability load balanced solution for WordPress sites exactly for cases like that. The bottom line of the setup is that it’s a synergy of three (or more) virtual or bare metal machines that constantly synchronize all the data with each other. The topmost role of load balancing is warranting high availability. If one or even two servers go down, your site will be still up and running.
We did several load testings before the show, we fine-tuned our server setup and caching for the site. We activated HHVM for them in order to achieve better load times and decrease hardware resource usage. We also had to pay attention to fallbacks (if HHVM would stop for any reason, we’d have to switch back to regular PHP FastCGI interpreter, however it didn’t happen fortunately), that’s why we were running a handful of 3rd party monitoring services for the site besides our own.
Did it Work?
From all the four companies that were featured in Shark Tank that evening, only Sleeping Baby’s website could handle the large number of simultaneous visitors, the other three couldn’t achieve 100% up-time, their servers broke down under the load.
Why was it important to keep the site up and running? Because during the show the traffic jumped to 10,000+ visitors in a minute, more than 20,000 people were browsing the site simultaneously, there were 100+ orders per minute and their orders reached $125,000 by midnight!
The importance of high availability hosting remained top priority for Sleeping Baby, as several news sites like Forbes, Entrepreneur, Inc, Bustle.com and Heavy.com wrote their story, generating huge referral traffic for their WooCommerce shop ever since. Kinsta provides great value for them, as the hardware resource in our plans is one of the highest among the competitors considering value for money. Also, we don’t count the number of visitors, they’d have to pay a good amount overage fee if their site were hosted somewhere else.