Hug of death definition
The ‘hug of death’ refers to the unintentional crashing or slowing down of a website or server due to a sudden surge in traffic. Typically, this happens when a small, less-known website gets highlighted or linked from a larger platform, causing a flood of visitors.
The sudden influx often overwhelms the website’s hosting capabilities. It’s like a crowd rushing into a small store after a major celebrity endorsement. Though stemming from positive attention, the outcome can be crippling for the ill-prepared website.
Hug of death examples
- Popular Reddit post. A user shares a link to a niche artist’s personal website on a major subreddit. Thousands flock to see the art, crashing the site within minutes.
- Viral tweet. A celebrity shares a link to a local charity’s donation page. The site buckles under the unexpected rush of generous fans.
- News feature. A national news outlet advertises a small online store for its unique products. The sudden exposure overwhelms the store’s server, causing a downtime.
- Gaming sites. A renowned streamer mentions an indie game’s website during a live session. Eager viewers flood the site, causing it to become unresponsive.
- Forum recommendations. A user on a popular tech forum praises a new open-source tool. Enthusiasts rush to download it, overloading the host server.