What It’s Like to be Featured on the MSN.com Homepage

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John P.

Hacking Passwords on MSN Homepage

Hacking Passwords on MSN Homepage

I was getting calls all afternoon from friends and family yesterday informing me that I was on the homepage of MSN.com. Apparently that makes me famous. ;-)

MSN was featuring a little article I wrote called How I’d Hack Your Weak Passwords. You may have read it… many millions of people have. But this was not the first exposure on MSN.com. It’s previously been featured on other areas of the site several times. And I’m very glad that the article is getting the kind of coverage it is, because password security is a serious concern.

Anyway, I started thinking that a lot of people don’t really know what goes along with this sort of thing so I thought I’d give you a glimpse at the Woopra analytics being gathered by the click-through traffic the article was generating back to this blog.


Before we really get into this, you are about to see a serious amount of traffic. What you need to know is that you can’t just buy a little $6 per month hosting account and experience what I’m about to show you. The traffic coming from MSN would take down that server in about 20 seconds. Max.

OneMansBlog.com is running on a large dedicated server that is cared for by my friends over at LayeredTech. This machine is an 8 core monster with 12GB of RAM and a Gigabit Ethernet connection right to the backbone of the Internet.

In addition, it has been specially tuned by my buddies over at HostCo. This tuning allows my big machine to perform like one that was 10 times bigger still.

All of this is expensive! So if you want similar performance without all of the cost, just go let HostCo put you on one of their servers.

What Happened

Sometime between 3pm and 4pm CST, MSN put a link to my article on their landing page. At this point in the day my blog normally has around 200 simultaneous visitors on it, but MSN pushed that number up over 1,100. The number even remained over 650 at midnight.

This happened because the article on MSN.com had links back to other related articles on my site from within the main article. And by the way this should show you the importance of interlinking your own articles…

For the remainder of the day the numbers of visitors remained extremely high. Ultimately driving the traffic over 100k pageviews for the day. This is about 3-4 times the normal level of traffic.

The Video

Finally, while you are watching all of the live traffic to your Website in Woopra, you also get to sit back and enjoy a real-time map of the visitors all over the world. This is what it looks like when you have a really busy site.


  1. says

    Dude I wish that happened to me… I have a website on computer games which appeared in Google Blog Search for “GTA4” a while ago facing seven thousand visitors for two days. It’s an amazing feeling to see that people actually read what you write!

  2. says

    Most will stand in awe of the amount of traffic you get on a daily basis and the fact is we do. But many like myself are local businesses just trying to get noticed enough to make a living. The 6 a month host is fine for me for now, but I can hope that someday I might get 1,100 people a day

  3. says

    Congrats on the awesome MSN feature~! I’ve read the article and it made me want to go change all of our company passwords right away. Thanks for the insight.

  4. says

    Hello John,
    I enjoyed your article! It made me stop and think about my passwords. I made changes to my accounts after reading. Thanks for the tips. “An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.” Jefferson.
    FirstWatchTech towing software solutions.

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