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Rohit Das
Rohit Das

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How my practice PHP project went viral [5,033,540 Pageviews]

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Hey there!

A while ago I was trying to learn PHP-MySQL. Whenever I am on an endeavour to learn something, I motivate myself by using the The Power of WHY?

I do it by working on a project that I truly care about.

I always saw my friends sharing a link where you can go and say something crazy about them in the form of an anonymous message. I liked the idea and wanted to make something of that sort all by myself.

So I started learning the basics of PHP and how to integrate it with MySQL.

After a week or so, I started writing algorithms on how my website will onboard new users, how all the messages will be stored in the database and so on.

It was tough for me. But my habit of writing everything down helped me find a way to deal with all the problems.

My focus was more on the PHP side of the equation so I didn't write all the CSS by my self and used Bootstrap instead.

I completed writing the code for my website and everything looked neat. I wanted to show it to my friends and make them use it.

I am a poor student, and thinking about paying 5$ per month to host my website, gives me the chills.

So, I used a free service called - GoogieHost Referral Link and bought the cheapest domain possible from a website called hostinger (1$ domain). Free SSL certificate from Let's Encrypt was the icing on the cake. It made my domain looked more professional.

I launched the website on a lazy Sunday morning expecting a few of my friends to use the website and a lot of "How you made it?" questions. But my friends went crazy after seeing it and a good number of my friends started using it!

Special mention goes to Suvro and Malkhandi for bombing different places with "My friend Rohit made it... Use it and support him" status updates.

Because of them -

On the first day, I had - 136 users. These users shared the link on their WhatsApp statuses and the next day I had 1,633 users. I was already happy with what I got but things went crazier! Next day it was - 20,230 users.

At this point I thought I should monetize everything and get some money out of it. I knew I can use this opportunity to get some money to invest in future projects. I could use this money to get a digital ocean account and play around with the server and whatnot.

I used the spammy Propeller Ads as they were the only ones to accept me, everyone else rejected my website for obvious reasons.

Meanwhile, I noticed something unusual, the server started responding with a resource limit reached error. I never knew about it and as it turned out, the free shared hosting server was limiting the number of users who can access my website. As the days passed most of the request was being replied with - Resource Limit Reached message and all the users where frustrated. People used to Email me to tell me that my website f****d up.

I quickly realized that my website will stop getting users if all the new users will only see the Errors. I started my hunt for a free cloud hosting provider and saw almost all the big companies offer a generous free tier. But when I started signing up for them, they all required either Credit Card or VISA/ MASTERCARD Debit card. I had none of them. My friends are also like me so they did not have them either.

But I decided to add a free CDN to my website and it paid well (17,258 Threat Stopped and 49GB Bandwidth saved). Can you think of any think of anything else then Cloudflare?.

After a week, my website went offline for 24 hours. This was disheartening for me. I thought I will lose all my users. But Cloudflare saved me here by serving the cached version of the website. My site retained 5k+ users these users helped the website receive all the good traffic again.

But now my website was prone to frequent downtimes and it was scary.

My decision of getting propeller ads ON helped me a lot. I earned some 75$ at propeller ads.

This made me confident enough to borrow some money from my friends and then invest it in the website. But as it turned out,

Last week I shifted my website to DigitalOcean. Got a 50$ free credit by using a referral link from someone's tweet. This is the best thing that happened.

If you want to use mine - here is your 50$ credit

I installed the LAMP stack and uploaded my website content, imported existing database and made all the adjustments. My site is now live again!

Wanna See it? - QuizPrank
Just Enter your name and share the link on Twitter, Whatsapp etc.

If you share it, this will not only make my day but my whole month.

What I thought would be a fun project to learn PHP actually taught more things to me. And in the end, I really feel awesome about the fact that I didn't procrastinate on creating this project.

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