It’s always good to be prepared. So while I don’t imagine my posts going viral anytime soon, I thought it would be a fun thought experiment to figure out what I’d do. An important first step would be serving up a static version of the viral page. Here’s the plan I put together!
If the server is totally crapping out, it may be necessary to stop Apache while making the changes.
$ sudo service apache2 stop
Make sure to do that only after viewing/copying the page source for the viral post- it’s needed later. Okay, now time to get to work. And fast!
$ cd [main blog dir]
$ mkdir static-temp
$ cd static-temp
$ vim [article name].html // i.e. my-viral-post.html
paste in the page source code, save
$ cd ..
$ vim .htaccess
in the WP block, right after "RewriteEngine On", add:
Redirect 302 /2014/09/my-viral-post/ /static-temp/my-viral-post.html
If Apache was stopped, now is the time to restart it.
$ sudo service apache2 start
AFTER THE SURGE
In the main .htaccess file, comment out the redirect. Next, we want to point anyone who linked to the static version back to the original.
$ vim static-temp/.htaccess, insert:
Redirect 301 /static-temp/my-viral-post.html /2014/09/my-viral-post/
In other words, change the redirect to a 301, and flip the path args from the main redirect.
Also worth considering: minimizing or disabling images, upping Apache thread limits if CPU has plenty of headroom.
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