Editor’s Column: How Reddit and Bernie Sanders Crashed Our Website

Behold the power of the internet. It is beautiful and terrifying at the same time.

Monday morning we published a story about our poll results showing Bernie Sanders was leading the Democratic field in Utah. 
Interesting? Yes. 
World shattering? Probably not.
That is until sometime between 11 am and noon Mountain time on Monday. During that timeframe, someone posted the story to Reddit. If you're unfamiliar with Reddit, it's a heavily trafficked crowdsourced website. Users post articles, pictures or whatever directly to the site. Content and articles are either "upvoted" or "downvoted" by users. The posts with more "upvotes" get higher placement on the site, and more attention. Posts that are "downvoted" get less attention. It's all very democratic and amazing.
Did I mention there are a lot of Bernie Sanders fans on Reddit? That's kind of important to my story.
So, these Bernie Sanders fans started "upvoting" the post linking to our story. In fact, so many in such a short time that the story was automatically pulled to Reddit's "front page" which gets the most attention. That brought literally tens of thousands of readers to our site in a minuscule amount of time.
As Dan Rather would say, "Katie bar the door."
Traffic to UtahPolicy.com went off the charts. It was such a surge that we initially thought we were under a DDOS, or "denial of service" attack. That's when a number of compromised computers target a single website, flooding it with so much traffic that nobody can pull it up anywhere.
UtahPolicy.com is a niche publication with a small audience. The amount of bandwidth we purchase from our server every month never anticipated this sort of craziness. It's never happened to us before.
The surge of people coming to UtahPolicy continued for about 7 or 8 hours after that, finally dying down around 9 pm. Some people were able to read the article. Many, many others got an error message. If you couldn't get through to our site during the onslaught, we sincerely apologize.
We truly never anticipated anything on our site generating this much demand. 
Lesson learned.