Hackernoon logoUrlRoulette — 24 Hours on Hacker News by@mmathias

UrlRoulette — 24 Hours on Hacker News

Mathias Müller Hacker Noon profile picture

@mmathiasMathias Müller


The Aftermath.

Three weeks ago, my newest project, UrlRoulette, was featured on the Hacker News frontpage for about 24 hours. Everbody loves statistics, so here is a quick summary of what happened during this time period.

I posted my article on Hacker News at about 7:35pm CEST on Saturday and immediately started seeing some traffic coming in. After about 10 or 15 upvotes, the article was on the HN front page and stayed there until Sunday evening. Traffic peaked at about 1 visitor per second in the following night and started slowing down about 24–30 hours after being on Hacker News.

As soon as traffic started to explode, I removed UrlRoulette’s background image (which was about 80 kilobytes and changed the HTML to load all CSS (Bootstrap, …) and JavaScript (JQuery, …) from their own content delivery networks). The remaining HTML code was only ~11 kilobytes in size but still produced ~800 megabytes of traffic over the weekend.

UrlRoulette displays a Google Ads banner. Google reported ~14,000 views and this resulted in about 16€ (~14.2US$) of revenue. Just enough to pay for the UrlRoulette.net domain for one year! :)

Submitted URLs

UrlRoulette lets users submit a URL and in turn redirects them to the previous visitor’s URL. While being featured on Hacker News, ~13,000 new URLs were submitted.

Aaaaaand… this is the list of the top 10 submitted URLs:

A lot of the submitted URLs were pretty “mundane” (such as google.com) and I have been adding those to a “forbidden URLs” filter.

What’s Next?

I am still in the process of sifting through all of the data that I aquired during those 24 hours. UrlRoulette gets a lot of returning visitors, and I believe that people love the idea behind UrlRoulette.

What I would like to do is to grow the “daily digest” email list and to get some more social media exposure in order to make UrlRoulette much more widely known.


Getting so much attention was quite a surprise for me. I had at least one sleepless night — worrying about things such as server performance and security. In the end, everything turned out better than expected.

In hindsight, I regret not having some social media “sharing buttons” and not having the email signup form on UrlRoulette from the beginning. The short hype certainly helped me get some people interested. Some people are still visiting and using UrlRoulette regularly and people also keep signing up to the daily “Top 10 URLs” email digest.

Call to Action

  • Click the heart 💚 to recommend this story so that more people see it.
  • Please share this story on Facebook.
  • Please follow me on Medium.
  • And finally: Try UrlRoulette out yourself! :)


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