Legit Ways to Prepare Your Site for Peaks in Traffic
Having a website for your company or business is essentially required in 2019. There are so many different benefits a website can offer to companies or businesses. A website can help your business seem legitimate as well as help you reach more people and so many other things.
However, a website is no good for you if people cannot access it. While there are many reasons for website loading pages to slow or the entire site to crash, one of the most common is too much traffic. Too much traffic can overload servers and since your site cannot handle it all, it may just crash. This sudden influx of traffic can happen for a number of reasons including increased publicity, viral content or a recent successful marketing campaign.
Unfortunately, these spikes in traffic aren’t always able to be predicted. As a result, you need to always ensure your site is well-prepared for peaks in traffic. If not, you could potentially suffer from some downtime, which can be very costly. This blog post is going to look at a couple of different ways to do prepare your site for peaks in traffic.
Utilize Monitoring Tools
Every business or company should use monitoring tools, especially those who want to prepare for potential traffic peaks. These tools can ensure you always know how much traffic your site has or has had over time. You can see trends over time and potentially predict or identify when these peaks might happen so you can better prepare. They can also help you know just how many visitors it takes before potential issues may arise.
These tools can help you monitor traffic, traffic sources, bounce rates and even your logs. Monitoring logs (through a service like https://papertrailapp.com) is particularly important as it can alert you when an error, problem or issue might arise. This could help you find and fix it before it affects your end user. Without monitoring your traffic, logs and other important information, you will be left in the dark when it comes to certain aspects of your website.
Perform Stress Tests
In order for you to truly be prepared for a lot of traffic, you need to know how your website will perform under stress. Unfortunately, it’s not possible to go out and get thousands of people to visit your site at once. Thankfully, however, there are ways to mimic this. Stress tests will simulate heavy amounts of traffic to see how your website responds.
This can be beneficial in a few different ways. First of all, it can help you to initially identify how much traffic your site can take as is. Next, it can help you test the upgrades you have made to your server and site to ensure it was good enough to handle how much traffic you feel you may peak at.
Improve Your Servers
The problem that most websites experience when they get a lot of traffic is that their server fails. So if you want to prepare for peaks or spikes in traffic, you need to beef up your servers. If you are using a shared server, it is a good idea to consider upgrading to a powerful dedicated server that is scalable for your needs.
If that isn’t something you’re interested in, there are indeed other things you can do. Using either a load balancer or a CDN (content delivery network) should improve your server. These solutions spread out and distribute your traffic to multiple different servers. They can increase the reliability of your website and may come with other benefits, as well.
Optimize the Front End of Your Site
The better your website performs, the easier it will be able to handle more people without experiencing issues. While it is important to consider the actual backend application or code when optimizing, you also can't forget about the front end. Examining your front end and finding ways to make the site more scalable is a very good idea.
Use Dynamic Content Caching
There are many different types of caching, but they can all improve the performance of your site while also easing the burden on your infrastructure. One in particular that you should consider using to prepare your site for traffic is dynamic content caching. This involves storing data in a cache, which is a temporary storage area.
It provides many different benefits to the end user such as increased speeds, load time, better conversions and will allow for more traffic to be on your site at a time. One this caching is performed, your site will be able to handle a greater number of checkouts, purchases, and other examples of dynamic transactions and content. Also, it could be worthwhile to consider caching static types of content as well.
In conclusion, hopefully, this article has been able to help you prepare for traffic peaks. While you may never know when these come (or if they ever will), it’s still a good idea to be prepared.