site news

Prepare your Drupal site to be Slashdotted, Dugg, and Farked

Slashdotted, Dugg, Farked. These are all terms that site operators, bloggers, and web developers are very familiar with. They imply having a site 'front paged' at a website that drives a LOT of traffic to your own site.

Over the past week one of the sites we host, ended up on the front page of and at the same exact time. It added up to some very busy days for a site which is hosted in a shared environment (meaning that it has to share resources of a server with other sites) as well as some useful knowledge concerning:

  • what kind of load a Drupal powered site can handle when in a shared enviroment
  • how to optimize Drupal's capability to handle a large number of visitors

To begin, it need to be understood that overall optimization for site traffic is going to depend on a gazillion different factors. If you don't have a reliable server stack which is already optimimized this article will only do you so much good. Apache, MySQL, and PHP need to be running reliably, and well tuned.

Assuming you have a well tuned server, then how much traffic your Drupal powered site can handle will depend on:

The amount of resources it has available (cpu and memory particullarly)
If your site is on a fully dedicated server that has 4GB's of ram and 4 CPU's, it's obviously going to make a tremendous difference in what the site can handle, in comparison to a site which exists in a shared enviroment and only gets a fraction of those resources to use. This is common sense, of course. Eventually, if your server stack is fully optimized and your Drupal installation is fully optimized and your site still can't handle the load then mo' better hardmare is your only long term choice.

How many features are enabled on the site, and which ones

One of the rather fun aspects of watching the site receive so much traffic was having a chance to test real world cause and effect with a number of Drupal/site features. Some of them make a very big difference in how much work needs to be done to generate a page view, and thereby how many people the site and server can reliably and consistently handle.

10 February, 2007

HigherVisibility Newsletter - January, 2007

Published in: 

Welcome to the our first newsletter. It's been six months since we launched our first site With another hosting site and many more ideas/plans in the making, we're very pleased with foundation and progress we achieved so far. Since last July we've had customers not just from the U.S., but also from as far as Thailand and the United Kingdom sign up with us.

2007 begins in earnest
Drupal 5.0 was released the first week of January, a product which we personally contributed to during its development cycle. As such, we are pleased and proud to announce our first Drupal 5.0 site - a much improved version of - our storefront for 100% custom website design and development services, and parent site of Drupal-CMS Hosting and Bloggyland.

Of particular interest to you may be the all-new Template Library, which includes 1000+ super-high quality designs which can be Drupalized and utilized for your site.

What's ahead
We're nearly ready to roll out a new version of our hosted platform based on Drupal 5, and are looking to build on our early experiences of the past six months to make this version even better. We expect to release our new host package within the next several weeks.

Ideas, requests?
A large part of our motivation for this newsletter came from a desire to hear from you - our client! We would love to hear from you if you have any ideas about making any of our products more useful, convenient, or appealing to yourself or others.

Refer a friend and get free stuff
If someone you refer signs up with Drupal-CMS Hosting or Bloggyland, we'll credit you two free months of hosting. If someone you refer hires us to do custom work for them via, you'll receive 4 free months of hosting.

We appreciate your business
I for one am grateful for the opportunity to communicate with you, and I wish everyone a happy and prosperous new year from HigherVisibility.

Caleb Gilbert - Founder
(916) 899-7110

For more info on Drupal 5.0's new features

To learn about Garland, the new default Drupal 5.0 theme with color picker

Demo of Drupal 5.0 with administrator access
(tinker with the new color picker used on the Garland theme!)

1 February, 2007

HigherVisibility reaches 2.0

Published in: 

This past Sunday (1/20/07) we launched the second generation HigherVisibility site. Like all of the sites we make, we used the most modern best practices and technology to assemble it, including:

  • Drupal 5.0 with absolutely no changes/hacks applied to any of the code or modules. As you can see from the site, committing to not using hacks on the Drupal "core" files does not mean sacrificing customization. Since we did not modify Drupal's core files in any way, upgrading to new versions of Drupal will be mostly a drag and drop process for us. Additionally, since we use the cvs versioning system we'll be able to track changes in Drupal core as we update and see exactly what the differences are from version to version.

In addition to the core Drupal 5 modules, we also have the following contributed modules actived:

  • adminblock
  • archive
  • captcha
  • codefilter
  • db_maintenance
  • dlclick
  • devel
  • gsitemap
  • htmlcorrector
  • nodewords
  • simplemenu
  • site_map
  • subscriptions
  • tagadelic
  • textimage
  • widgeditor
27 January, 2007
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