Why is my forum busier than usual?

Stuart Wright

Well-known member
This is a question I'm asking myself from time to time.
Last night we had 5,500 people online, which is maybe over 1,000 more than usual.
I have no idea why and that's not only frustrating, it's kind of unprofessional.
Now I know google analytics has some funky tools, but I don't know how and I'm not sure I can get the answer to my question.
Is there a facility in Xenforo to find out what thread and forum spiked in traffic at any particular point?
What would be cool would be a line graph of visits by category, with the ability to drill down into any category to see the visits by forum, then subforums and then by thread.
I tend to use google analytics to view the different referrers for the last 30 days and see which ones are sending more visitors that normal. Once you figure out who's sending them your way it becomes more clear.
When I had a 1000+ spike in visitor numbers they were nearly all from Hong Kong. I tracked it down to a specific post with an image that some Far Eastern site/community obviously wanted to share or found funny and that's what the traffic was. However it was quite obvious in the stats as being an old post that was unduly popular all of a sudden - I think in your case Stuart with the size of your site you must have some mindboggling statistics to wade through!! (I think I also tracked it down by looking at what files were consuming bandwidth and found one image generating a huge amount of bandwidth due to the number of requests).
Digging around in analytics is a right faff. Just did it for an hour and I'm no wiser as to what went on last night.

Can you not look at visitor "flow" or whatever it's called just for that time period? I'd suggest that GA will have the info you need if you can figure out exactly what you want to show.
Stuart, is this logged-in visitors or are you including guests in the count? All I'm thinking is that it might be bots inflating the count?

Shaun :D
Most of the time you have a certain keyword in a thread and this keyword suddenly gets a large surge in searches....
Aren't you able to see it in Analytics? In Piwik I see such spikes immediately :)
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