Blog & Company News

Feb 23, 2016

Avoid Outages on Big Retail Days

If you’re an ecommerce business owner with any reasonable amount of experience, you’re familiar with the concept of ‘busy season.’ The length of time that constitutes busy season varies from industry to industry, but no matter when it occurs, businesses must prepare well in advance for the sudden surge of digital customers to avoid a website crash. To ensure your website continues to serve customers, it’s imperative to find a web host that can gracefully scale to meet the assorted demands of businesses and ‘busy seasons.’ In addition to finding a reliable hoster, here’s a little advice on how to avoid major disaster.
  1. Aim to Maintain Fast and Lightweight Pages – A website that is clean, powerful, and efficient utilizes great design. Great design not only creates a pleasant user experience, but also streamlines page load times. Websites crash when servers become overtaxed, servers become overtaxed when they work to render massive amounts of content and data. For this reason, it’s important to quickly identify any items that might put strain on already-overtaxed servers.
  2. Cloud Test Your Site - Website scalability used to be a dark art. When did you know your site couldn't handle x amount of users? When your site went down. Today’s cloud-testing tools allow website owners to simulate real-world traffic in order to determine how your site will respond under a given load, you can even set the parameters and test under different conditions. Identify your busiest days, run tests in advance and be prepared.
  3. Make Use of a Content Delivery Network - A Content Delivery Network (CDN) works by providing alternative server nodes for users to download resources (usually static content like images and JavaScript). These nodes spread throughout the world, therefore being geographically closer to your users, ensuring a faster response and download time of content due to reduced latency. If your customers are spread out over a large geographic area, a  CDN may be a good option. This distributes the load in a way that keeps each server from being overloaded, even during the most extreme situations. If one server goes down, other servers can compensate for that, with customers experiencing a seamless transition.
Is your site ready for your next big sales rush? Take the proper measures to test and prepare your site. It will guarantee the best experience for your customers, and ensure you retain their business through the next big shopping season.