The Shark Tank Effect is real. When a growing business appears on the popular ABC reality show, success can be swift. For most Shark Tank companies, their site floods with traffic during the show’s airing. And for weeks after, the ripple effect of traffic persists.
Having a site that can’t withstand a massive Shark Tank-induced traffic spike could be catastrophic, resulting in reputation damage and lost revenue. It’s imperative, before appearing on the show, that your website is up to snuff and can handle whatever traffic the show draws.
At WP Engine, we help our customers prepare for the Shark Tank Effect by working with them to ensure their WordPress sites can handle the influx of visitors. They tap our WordPress expertise and our managed WordPress hosting platform to guarantee Shark Tank success on the web.
WP Engine customer Fresh Patch appeared on Shark Tank in February. Fresh Patch produces, sells, and ships small patches made of real grass for indoor dog potty training. The product was an instant hit on the show.
According to Fresh Patch founder Andrew Feld, traffic to the Fresh Patch site grew to 44,000 visitors the day the company’s Shark Tank appearance aired. At one point, there were 14,000 concurrent visitors. The show generated 1.1 million server requests.
“It was really busy, non-stop traffic,” Feld said, noting that Shark Tank put its product and brand in front of a new audience. There was little warning when the show would air, so getting the Fresh Patch website ready required fast work. “When you get that exposure, you don’t want your site to go down,” Feld added.
Feld said his inbox was flooded with orders, it seemed like a new order came in every minute. The day after the show aired, 20,000 visitors came to the site. Weeks later, it plateaued at around 2,000 – a major increase over the average of 400 to 500 visitors per day before Fresh Patch’s Shark Tank segment aired.
“It’s incredibly important that our site stayed up,” Feld said.
Another WP Engine customer, FunBites, also had the luck of Shark Tank on its side. FunBites makes tools to help moms create fun-shaped bite-sized pieces out of kids’ food. According to Ed Rhoads, who’s wife Bobbie founded FunBites, the company didn’t know what to expect as it prepared for its Shark Tank appearance.
FunBites’ website had never experienced the traffic levels the Shark Tank appearance sent its way. The night of the show, Rhoads tapped WP Engine’s expertise to scale the website with extra web servers to accommodate the anticipated traffic spike.
The FunBites website saw roughly 70,000 page views during the Shark Tank airing, mostly in a span of about 10 minutes. Rhoads said if they had not been prepared, the site would’ve crashed under that load.
“The last thing we wanted was people saying ‘I just went [to FunBites.com] and it crashed,’” Rhoads said.
Working with WP Engine, FunBites’ Shark Tank appearance was a success – the company even walked away with a deal from the sharks.
Fresh Patch’s Feld also struck a deal with the sharks to help grow his business.
Feld said he’s thankful that he trusted WP Engine to help get the Fresh Patch site ready for the Shark Tank Effect. He said he tapped WP Engine’s expertise because they’re WordPress specialists and he and his small team wouldn’t have known how to fortify the servers to preserve uptime.
“Without working with WP Engine and making sure our site could handle those volumes, our site could’ve crashed and we would’ve missed out on all of those orders,” Feld said. “You only have one shot.”
Curious what CMS is used most by Shark Tank contestants? Check out our infographic “The Making Of A Shark Tank Success Story.”