We all know—or have seen and heard—stories about tech enthusiasts whose passions take root, grow, and take on a life of their own. Rutledge Daugette took his love for games and turned it into a successful publishing company.
Rutledge, who has a degree in game programming, runs TechRaptor, which is chock-full of gaming and tabletop content. His team has grown to include 30 content contributors, four full-time writers, a CTO, an editor-in-chief, and a senior content manager.
In 2013, Rutledge launched TechRaptor—then a small tech blog sharing personal thoughts and game reviews. As interest grew, and friends joined the team in the early months, he upgraded from Blogspot to a WordPress site hosted on InMotion. Rutledge soon realized that he would need to upgrade the entire TechRaptor tech stack to support meteoric growth and keep pace with some of the bigger gaming sites.
Two years later, TechRaptor moved to Linode and built custom infrastructure to manage up to 700,000 page views per hour if needed. TechRaptor publishes 15-20 articles per day, 1-2 reviews per day, and the backbone of the site—focused guides that help readers learn specific games. Rutledge is committed to growing a brand and a team culture that exceeds the industry standard for how publishers compensate their writers.
Although revenue comes from targeted advertising, Rutledge doesn’t see TechRaptor as a money-making venture. He also has a full-time job as a senior technical account manager working with a portfolio of clients and advising them on technical strategy.
“It’s all about the team. Writers in the gaming industry face a lot of burnout, and it’s my ethos to treat our writers with respect as we build this brand together,” said Rutledge. “Beyond making money and chasing SEO, we’re all focused on creating great content and an awesome user experience.”
TechRaptor on Linode
TechRaptor’s compute instances run out of Linode’s Newark, New Jersey, data center. The site’s tech stack includes Ubuntu, Drupal for its CMS, MariaDB, and PHP-FPM. With a 99.99% cache hit rate, TechRaptor never uses more than 30% of its eight cores, even on its busiest days. TechRaptor averages about 1.5 million to 2.5 million page views per month, with 45% of the site traffic coming from the US, and 5%-20% from the UK, followed by France, Germany, and Australia.
Since choosing Linode to run TechRaptor, Rutledge and his team have experimented with building infrastructure on DigitalOcean and OVHcloud. Rutledge shared that no competitor can match the number of dedicated resources they get for the price from Linode. Linode also comes out on top regarding network capabilities and performance.
The TechRaptor team has scaled with existing compute resources and has seen no performance drop. Linode allows them to focus on what Rutledge considers the essential element: content. TechRaptor grew 45% in page views and revenue in 2022. It also experienced minimal downtime because of Linode’s proactive response to hardware issues.
“We build a superb infrastructure on a single server with Linode,” added Rutledge. “We hopped over to another cloud provider to try it out and almost immediately regretted it. We came back to Linode and haven’t looked back since. As we look ahead to up-leveling our infrastructure for future growth, we look forward to working with Linode and discovering what other services are available to help us continue to scale.”