Please let us know how this works out for you. Many experiments with print advertising in tourism taught me that most people dramatically overestimate the online impact of offline exposure. We'd see perhaps a few hundred extra visits per day from a full page in a major travel publication with a huge (unique) URL.
But that was with 1 million circulation magazine ads and Today show has 20 million viewers? I'd make sure your ISP can scale up to meet what could be what I'd guess will be 20-50k visits in a *very* concentrated time frame. Be sure to let them know about this or the server could go down, losing you a lot of biz.
Your server will probably crash, that's how many visitors you will get.
Tell that cutie Katie Couric I said hello! Woo woo
Thanks for the replies. Yes, I am aware that my server will likely crash. I'm wondering just how big the traffic spike will be so I can get a better idea of what to be prepared for. All suggestions and experiences are welcome and thanks again.
Try and make your home page as lean as possible. Try and reduce, if not remove any of your larger images, compress the code, serve up a static page if your home page is dynamic...
Talk to your host, explain the situation, and see if you can get them to give you unlimited bandwidth for a few days in exchange for a nice little "This site hosted with..." banner on your site.
If they're smart they'll take the trade.
Those are all great suggestions folks, please feel free to keep em coming and if any of you have some experience with just how big a spike I might see in traffic, I'm still interested in hearing those experiences.
I will follow up on this post with statistics and figures for all those who are interested. I will let you know what percentage of traffic increase I experience as well as what kind of increase I see in product sales. I will provide stats for the day of the show, the day after, and will also let you know what type of residual effect I see over the following weeks after the show.
If you are not on a dedicated box, your server will crash and there will be alot of piss off webmasters.
Try to move to a dedicated box that has at least 1G RAM. Get rid of any connections to any MS access database. Clean up your scripts that do unless things. If possible, make them into HTML. Reduce some graphics. I am not sure how popular the show is. 50000 visits might not sound like much, but if those 50k visits happen all at the same time, I don't think there is much you can do.
SincerelySandy, As Raymond pointed out, hopefully you are on a dedicated box.
We have sites that occasionally see some dramatic spikes in the 50,000 to 100,000 an hour range when Drudge or another high-traffic site links to us.
I'm not the system administrator on our boxes, but I remember vividly the first time we got a major hit. We've got fairly healthy dedicated servers (Dual 2.4 Xeons tied to a big pipe), but apparently Apache's default settings only allows something like 256 simultaneous connections, so the first time this happened, our server guys were busy setting up load balancing and changing the server configuration to handle the continuous flood.
<added>Try to set something up to encourage a return visit. At 'least' ask them to bookmark your site.</added>
My site was just linked to one discussed on Oprah about two years ago and my traffic spiked to seven times it's normal level for about two days.