Tumblr started as just an idea for 19-year-old David Karp, and now the site gets over 500 million hits a day.

We love blogging here at NetHosting, so it’s only natural that we would write our latest case study about one of the largest blogging sites on the Internet today – Tumblr. If you want a preview before you click over to the case study, keep reading!

Tumblr fits in a sub-category of blogging, called tumblelogging. Just like a reader is tumbling down a page, content is organized to flow down the tumblelog. Unlike a traditional blog where posts are relegated to a certain length, tumblelog posts can be made up of any type of media, including reposts from other sites. Tumblelogging is also a form of microblogging, which emphasizes sharing short, small pieces of content the instant you think of them or find them. The reblogging feature is one factor to tumblelogging’s success. It makes it incredibly easy for users to share content from other tumblelogs and even from other websites.

In 2007, at the age of 19, David Karp wanted to capitalize on the idea of tumblelogging so he founded Tumblr. The very first week of the site’s release, 75,000 users signed up as tumblrs. In six months, Tumblr was worth $3 million. The sites grand unveiling was in November 2007, when it finally left beta.

Often people associate Tumblr as the first and only tumblelogging platform available. In fact, it’s hard to think of a single example outside of Tumblr. Just like Google has become the king of search, Tumblr has taken over as the king of tumblelogging.

Today, Tumblr has over 3.3 million users who have cumulatively published over 18 billion posts on all of their 46 million blogs. In 2009, the company released their iPhone app. Not only do tons of tweens, businesses, and celebrities have accounts, but in October of 2011, President Obama became a Tumblr user too.

The company’s offices are located in New York City and it employs 91 people. Considering how much traffic the site gets and how many users are on it at any given time of day, 91 people to manage that madness is pretty impressive.

Each individual Tumblr account can have any number of design layouts, and even that has turned into a booming business for some. You can find a lot of free layouts to simply apply to your blog but designers have coded and offered designs for users to buy. Additionally, the design of the dashboard has been applauded for its modern, clean look that is simple and keeps all of the tumblelogs users follow and read in an easy-to-navigate feed, much like the Twitter and Facebook feeds.

Interestingly enough, despite Tumblr’s enormous user base, the site still operates out of one colocation site. Users of the site know that the site’s outages are frequent and long, which may have to do with the company the site has chosen to host with. Rumors speculate that Tumblr is moving towards Amazon’s S3 clusters for backup purposes, but the data center hosting the live content only has about 1,000 servers.

Tumblr gets over 500 million pageviews a day, and averages 15 billion pageviews per month. As if that could get more impressive, the site also reports that they get 40,000 requests a second and store 3 terabytes of new data every day. Originally the site started out using a LAMP architecture but swapped it out for a distributed service model in 2010. Sections of the site are now built around specific pieces of software.

Again, if you want all the juicy details about the site that haven’t been covered in depth by this blog posts, click over to the case study for an interesting read. If you want to see more blogging in action, go to our blog page to see the variety of topics we’ve covered recently.