What would cause web site traffic to rise and then hit a plateau for the middle of each day before falling again?
The image below
is a graph of a typical day of web browser traffic from one of my web sites. See that plateau between the two yellow bars? That's what's bugging me. Unique visitor traffic doesn't look like that—or never has before—for any of my sites until I moved this one to a new provider.
For a site like this, with about 3000 unique web visitors a day, the site arc should normally be curved, more or less having a round hump in the middle of the day. (The darker green area is page views, which does tend to be more jagged and less humped.) The yellow dotted line is more or less what I would expect.
My theory is that my service provider is doing traffic-shaping for what I consider to be low levels of traffic and might be delaying or denying HTTP requests in order to preserve bandwidth. Do you think that's what is illustrated by this graph? If not, how would you explain it?
I thought that it might be that Mint, my traffic-measuring software, isn't getting all the uniques, but that plateau is more or less borne out by Google Analytics. I say "more or less" because no two traffic-measuring programs do it the same.