iomart Hosting (www.iomarthosting.com), the company that hosts the website for Scottish newspaper The Sunday Herald, has revealed the unprecedented surge in traffic that took place after it became the first UK newspaper to publish the name of a footballer as part of its super injunction coverage on Sunday.
According to iomart Hosting, visits to the HeraldScotland website caused bandwidth to double to 220Mb per second just before midday on Sunday. Average traffic to the Newsquest Media Group combined platform which includes the HeraldScotland website, is normally 100Mb/sec.
There was an even bigger spike in bandwidth on Monday lunchtime when traffic peaked at 371Mb/sec after The Sunday Herald’s sister paper The Herald followed up the story – that was an increase of 151Mb/sec on the previous Monday’s traffic.
Paul Jeffrey, technical services director at iomart Hosting, said: “Our monitoring systems for the Newsquest sites showed huge bursts in bandwidth late on Sunday morning as traffic spiked. There’s no doubt that the front page story in the Sunday Herald was responsible. Then at about 12.30pm on Monday there was another burst as people all across the UK tried to access the website for the latest developments given the national interest the story was generating. Even on Tuesday traffic was still heavier than normal.”
The HeraldScotland website is part of a bespoke managed hosting service that iomart Hosting provides for the Newsquest Media Group.
Over the two days The HeraldScotland website received a record number of visitors. There were 358,000 visits and 1,071,756 page views on Sunday despite the newspaper only publishing the story in hard copies of the paper and not placing any coverage online. Those figures then rose to 547,000 and 1,939,147 page views on Monday as the story was followed up by The Herald.
Mark Smith, group digital director for The Herald and Times Group which is part of Newsquest Media Group, said: “ Once the BBC started running the story as their lead news item on Sunday traffic levels rocketed to literally ten times what we would expect normally so the infrastructure was put under a huge amount of pressure, even though the name wasn’t actually published online."