I’m a PhD student in economics. As an economist, I do believe it’s important to spread scientific knowledge as large as possible. Knowledge is empowerment, and its spreading is fundamental to make any democracy healthy. For that reason, I run a French speaking website called Passeur d’Éco since September 2015 (the name could be improperly translated as “The Econ Giver”).
Finding the right tone and the right audience is very hard – and it took me a long time to (partially) figure these things out. And it’s probably not over. But as, let’s say, an “entrepreneur” (I run Passeur d’Éco as a business, or at least this is my goal), I’m aware of the importance of scalability. That is, the ability to properly respond to a sudden stream of business opportunities.
For Passeur d’Éco, this scalability is pretty straightforward: if one day one of my story is a hit, the website needs to stay accessible. I see my activity at Passeur d’Éco as a content publishing activity, so making my content accessible no matter what is really strategic.
Last Thursday, I published a story explaining very simply what a PhD is. For any scholar, what’s a PhD is pretty clear, but for “the rest of us” it’s not always easy to understand it. It’s especially true in France, where pursuing a PhD is too often seen as a way for students who don’t know what to do in life to just “follow the track” and do something (the difficulty of the PhD is by itself a refutation of this idea – anyway).
This story was – is a huge hit.
To give you an idea, on a regular day I have something like 10 or 15 views. On a good day, I have 50 views.
My best score was during a live about the Brexit. I hit a bit more than 250 views.
But that was before that “what’s a PhD” story.
Remember, the story was published on last Thursday. Last Friday, first hit: I got almost 500 views. But that was just a beginning.
After a “calm” week-end, today, Monday. How many views? 2600. Two thousands and six hundreds. And in one day. That’s a regular day. I spent quite a lot of time today stupidly staring at my WordPress.com Stats dashboard to see the numbers increasing in real time.
To give you an idea, if I had the same number of views per day during one mouth, I would have the audience of a blog like Shawn Blanc’s blog – a guy who runs a 330,000 $ business.
This is even crazier considering I recently dropped an important partnership for Passeur d’Éco. The fact I made this story a hit without the help of this former partner is incredibly rewarding – and empowering too. Maybe this partner wasn’t that important, after all…
But the most important aspect of this story is how Passeur d’Éco actually scaled. A few months ago, I decided to switch from a cheap (but top notch) 5€ hosting to a 20$ WordPress dedicated hosting. After some tests I went for Media Temple. Because of their very strong reputation, because of their coolness, and because of their amazing staging feature – no kidding, it’s literally a wonder.
Before today, I wasn’t sure if I made the right decision: steeper price, a migration that took me time, and buying the SSL certificate was pretty expansive too. But I knew my former hosting provider wouldn’t have scaled well if one of my story made a hit. So did Media Temple scaled and matched their reputation?
Let’s have a look at the loading time of Passeur d’Éco (in seconds), collected through the also great Vigil app (yeah, I love to work with great products).
To give you an idea, if the webpage loads in more than 2 seconds, half the readers are already gone. So it’s critical to have the lowest possible loading time. I wanted to be quite agressive on the loading time for Passeur d’Éco (as I like fast websites myself), and I fixed the target at 0,5 seconds. Usually, Media Temple delivers pretty well. What about today?
Here’s the Passeur d’Éco loading time for today:
I guess, this graph speaks for itself. Passeur d’Éco staid remarkably fast and stable during the whole day. As if this thing never actually happened.
So was it a good decision to switch for Media Temple? No surprise, the answer is yes. A thousand times yes.
Besides the amazement of my story’s hit, I’m also incredibly satisfied to know I can rely on such reliable partner to run Passeur d’Éco. Yes, Media Temple is not the cheapest, but boy there’s a good reason for that!
Oh, and in case you wonder, this blog also runs on Media Temple infrastructure. So now, it’s up to me to see if Media Temple will also delivers for another hit – but this time, here!