By Matt Mickiewicz

Free PDF Giveaway Takes Down SitePoint

By Matt Mickiewicz

The SitePoint file server crashed overnight because of a massive influx of traffic due to our FREE download offer of “Build Your Own Ruby on Rails Web Applications”. In fact, we were getting over 200 simultaneous download requests when the server crashed!

We’ve now setup a copy of the eBook on Amazon’s S3, ensuring that we can handle many more download requests at the same time.

Grab your free copy of our Ruby on Rails Book today and spread the word!

  • SP should have charged a $1 fee for “serving and handling”. That would have reduced demand enough to keep the server running :)

  • … or set up a torrent :)

  • mihd

    you should use lighttpd…

  • Anon

    What’s happening? You have sent me another title instead of “Ruby on Rails”!

  • Dr Livingston

    Are there any more free downloads on the way? ;) I do own a Sitepoint book (dhtml utopia – modern web design) however i could do with some more :p

  • I downloaded it within 1 minute so things are good, and thanks.

  • Anon

    Tried to download three times and keep getting file is damaged and cannot be repaired error from Acrobat.

  • Ross83

    I got it, u guys rock.


  • WineGuy

    I concure RE:

    “I got it, u guys rock.


    Cheers! and Thank you very much!


  • simsim

    Are there any more free downloads on the way? ;) I do own a Sitepoint book (dhtml utopia – modern web design) however i could do with some more :p

    Is this the only title you’ve got from SP’s library Doc? So picky huh? :)

  • davet

    Am I the only sucker who bought this book

    Thanks Sitepoint can I get my money back now ??

  • wwb_99

    One question–why Elastic Computing Cloud (a processing oriented environment) vs S3 (a storage oriented environment)?

  • binjured

    wwb_99 stole my question. How does it make sense to use EC2 when you’re serving a single static file?

    And you should have been using lighty ;)

  • EC2 and S3 work together.

    We’re familiar with the system, as we are using it to host the Design Contests:

    It wasn’t too much work to move the file over to those servers to ensure that we could meet demand.

  • Mislav

    Let’s all dig this story and take Sitepoint down again! :D

  • Andy_Read

    This is certainly a generous offer and I, like 1000’s of others, jumped at the opportunity despite already having this book (and many others) in hardcopy.

    But rest assured that the shrewd business minds at Sitepoint are not just doing this out of the goodness of their hearts – they have considered carefully the likely indirect benefits of this giveaway compared to the loss in revenue from projected sales of the pdf and hardcopy book. And in case you’ve yet to download it, let’s note that this freebie contains a heafty ‘payload’ of advertising, which I’m sure has generated a sizeable alternative revenue.

    But I continue to love the example Sitepoint set for us all as to how to make people love you and still happily part with their cash :-)

Get the latest in Front-end, once a week, for free.