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What Does #1 on Hacker News Get You

Last week, dotenvx reached the number one spot on Hacker News.

source: hn news

It would go on to accumulate 350 upvotes, 200 comments, and drive a lot of traffic. When this happens to your project someday, here’s what you might expect.

Web Traffic 🌐📈

100 visitors per point

In 48 hours, 35,000 people visited the site.

source: self-hosted umami

Before this, about 250 people visited per day (mostly devs referencing docs).

source: self-hosted umami

The Hacker News post earned 350 points.

Thst works out to 100 visitors per point. That’s exceptional, especially considering these are some of the brightest minds in the world visiting your project.

Next, let’s discuss the click-through rate to GitHub and star rate 🌟.

GitHub Traffic 🐙

17% click-through rate

The repo was linked from the blog post and visitors found their way to it - (3,500 at peak, and ~1,250 on the shoulders). Let’s call it 6,000 visitors to GitHub.

source: github insights

That’s a 17% click-through rate (6,000 / 35,000). You might see this in your project – maybe worse, maybe better. We had no call to action. I think people just really wanted to see the code – brightest minds, remember :).

Star Count 🌟

13% star rate

There was a rapid star increase of +800 stars in less than 48 hours.

That’s a 13% star rate (800 / 6,000). Thank you HN 🧡.

After effects

To summarize, landing at the top of HN could get you:

  • 100 visitors per point
  • 10-20% click-through rate
  • 10-20% star rate

More difficult to measure are the after effects:

Maybe more beneficial; after effects could create new baselines for your project:

source: self-hosted umami

Thank you for reading and may your project make it to the top of HN! 🥂

If you enjoyed this post, please share dotenvx with friends or star it on GitHub to help spread the word.