BBQ and poor web site performance

For those who don’t know, I participate in BBQ competitions in throughout the year with my father and brother (link to our team site: www.logjamminbbq.com).

Last night, registration for the Sam’s Club National BBQ Tour events started. There just so happens to be one here in Madison July 14th through the 15th.

I figured I’d get to the site a few minutes early to beat the rush. At 6:55 PM – on the dot – I plugged www.kcbs.us into my browser and I was met with this:

blanksite

Surely they had to have a contingency plan for this sort of traffic. Several of last year’s event sold out in 20 minutes.

I was able to get registered for the event but it took close to 20 minutes, 2 computers, and my iPhone. Others weren’t so lucky. Furthermore, KCBS’ site performance was so bad that it also took down BBQ Brethren (a popular message board for BBQ enthusiasts) for several minutes with people trying to post about their inability to get registered for the Sam’s Club events. There’s no excuse for site performance like this, especially when hosting plans and Amazon’s EC2 offerings are so cheap.

Thinking about all of this lead me to ask the question: How would you have handled this if you were the administrator for KCBS’ site? Bigger hosting plan? Amazon EC2? Rackspace? Office 365?

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