On the 16th January, we had the great honour of being featured as the Amazon free app of the day. In under a few hours, the app was downloaded 45,000 times and the stress on our web server caused a huge meltdown!
We were warned that the promotion would cause a fair bit of increased interest, so we prepared by moving most of the site onto a content distribution network. However, such was the demand for the app, that even this was unable to handle the hungry app enthusiasts! I sat at my computer all day monitoring the site, and all seemed well. But, just as I was about to break for dinner, a big surge of interest from Americans (presumably thinking about lunch) overwhelmed the server and it went up in a ball of flames (metaphorically I think.)
I then spent the next few hours pleading with our hosting company (who we had warned of the increased demand) to help us get back online promptly. Despite 5 years of custom, and the fact that I'm a reseller of their products they proved very unhelpful, and deactivated the Italyum account. I then had to do a significant amount of jiggery pokery to move the entire site to a new more powerful server. This process took some time, and many people faced with the spinning wheel of boredom left 1 star reviews.
However, normal service was resumed by midnight UK time, and we are absolutely delighted with the way our app has been received since:
"I redownloaded the app today and everything is working perfectly. This is a wonderful app and I can't wait to get cooking! I have to thank you for the Seabream recipe. My great-granny made them but the recipe, if ever written down (which I doubt) is long gone. You have brought a smile to my face as I remember my nonna's mamma. Thank you."
"Wow, got for free today. First time would not open, so tried again, and it was so easy to use. Step by step perfection with pictures for each step so it feels like you have a personal chef showing you how to prepare it. Bravo!"
"I really love this app! First off it does work on the Kindle Fire - I've not had any issues with it. Secondly what I love with the app is the pictures helping to walk you thru the recipes. So as you make it, you can see how it should look. Another example is the Spaghetti Carbonara recipe.It calls for "streaky bacon ". Some people may not be familiar with the term so the pictures for this recipe shows all the ingredients and the bacon especially is shown so you can see what they mean. I found it helpful and am happy with this app."
"After the early burp from their server, it seems to work well. The pictures are well chosen to inform the explanation, and the prose is clear. I looked at a couple of core recipes and learned some improvements in technique."
So, another learning experience - going from a 1000 visitors a day to 45,000 is more than a normal server can take!
Thank you for your patience if you downloaded the app while our server was down. I hope now you can explore our recipes and start to cook some delicious food for family and friends. Thanks also for the great suggestions on how to improve the app - we will take those on board and hope to do an all new version two in the near future.
Italyum is not a big company or organisation - it is the hobby and passion of myself and Federico. We spend a lot of time to research, write, photograph and publish the recipes on this site and on the app, and getting comments like those above and on our Facebook page make it all worth while.
Federico Pezzaioli is an ex-badass Italian Paratrooper on a mission - to make creating delicious authentic Italian food really easy. He researches, writes and photographs each recipe with the same attention to detail he used to apply to packing his parachute.
Dont' forget - if you have any questions about our recipes, you can ask Federico directly on our Facebook page. It's also the perfect place to share your love of Italian food, and get exclusive updates on new recipes. Buon appetito!