How To Keep Traffic Spikes from Crashing Your Website

by Louis Kingston

At first glance — and probably second and third as well — having too much traffic seems like a really nice problem to have; like when billionaires struggle to decide which yacht to buy (“I say Thurston, the one with the tennis courts is quite lovely, but the one with the outdoor cinema is so charming”).

However, too much traffic really is a problem, because it causes websites to either dramatically s-l-o-w down (which is terrible) or crash (which is worse than terrible). And right now, as hundreds of millions of people are advised or obliged to stay at home, there are a bunch of e-commerce businesses around the world that are experiencing this harsh, costly reality.

The good news is that your business can — and should — take proactive steps to keep traffic spikes from impaling your website, and causing revenue losses and reputation damage.  Here is the to-do list:

  1. Use a content delivery network (CDN), which is a geographically distributed network of proxy servers and data centers. A CDN helps ensure that visitors — regardless of where they’re located — enjoy fast-loading pages, images, videos and other content, and it also leverages a network of servers to manage traffic spikes. Instead of a single server struggling to handle the load, multiple servers share the burden.
  1. Check, double-check, and while you’re at it, triple-check whether your current server is capable of handling a traffic surge (pay particular attention to any data caps). This assessment is especially important if your business’s website has expanded over the years, but your server capacity has remained the same since day one.
  1. Make sure that all of your software is up-to-date. In addition to patching vulnerabilities, updates can help lower the risk of a virtual traffic jam.
  1. Run a daily backup. No, this won’t prevent traffic-induced website crashes. But yes, it’s a lifeline back to normalcy if a crash is on the horizon.
  1. Use a reliable 24/7 website uptime monitoring solution like AlertBot, which proactively and immediately informs designated individuals (e.g. system administrators, CTO, CSO, etc.) if your website goes down, and can also check to make sure specific scripts and pages are working correctly. What’s more, if required you can use AlertBot’s logs as evidence to inform your host that they need to do a much better job of keeping your website online — or else you’ll head elsewhere.

The Bottom Line
More potential customers than ever before are using the web to find products and services — everything from digital gadgets to financial advisors to home repairs, and the list goes on. When the surge reaches your virtual address, you want to definitively know — and not just hope — that your website is ready, willing and able to handle the traffic.

Give AlertBot a try for FREE. There’s no billing information, no installation, and you’ll be setup within minutes. Click here

Louis is a writer, author, and avid film fan. He has been writing professionally for tech blogs and local organizations for over a decade. Louis currently resides in Allentown, PA, with his wife and German Shepherd Einstein, where he writes articles for InfoGenius, Inc, and overthinks the mythos of his favorite fandoms.

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