Preparing Your Website for an Influx of Traffic

One of the things that many of us have realized – and particularly those without high-speed internet at home – is that for some people available bandwidth is at a real premium these days with so many of us forced to stay at home. Whether you’re being productive or just keeping yourself entertained, you probably find yourself taking advantage of the wonders of the Internet during this pandemic time. Perfectly natural that you do, and for the average person who doesn’t have a stake in their own website there’s not much to think about.

However, if you’re not only a website visitor but also a website owner and someone who’s got a vested interested in the reliable Canadian web hosting that we provide here at 4GoodHosting then you’ve got more skin in the game. Especially if your website exists for e-commerce purposes, and that’ true for a good many of them. You won’t be cool with any type of shortcomings where your site isn’t able to handle a large influx of visitors at any one time.

Something that – as it so happens – is increasingly likely during these Covid times!

So we thought that today we’ll share information on something we know quite well – how to make sure your website is ready to accommodate traffic ‘spikes’, as they’re referred to.

Let’s get right into it, because the truth of the matter is no one like website crashes or those darn 404 error messages. So what should you do?

Have Your Own Host

Shared hosting packages are the cost-effective way to have your website up and open alongside the Information Superhighway. While that’s fine and dandy, you also might like to know that websites hosted in shared hosting arrangements are going to the be the least well equipped to handle traffic spikes. And it has everything to do with not enough bandwidth to go around.

It’s safe to assume that if your traffic is increasing, the websites that you’re sharing your hosting with are also experiencing more traffic. The smart move here is to be proactive and move your site to an individual server. Doing so will ensure that you will have enough bandwidth to accommodate a large increase in visitors to your website. Without it a heavy stream of potential customers browsing your website may cause it to crash, and in a worst case scenario that means lost revenue.

Compress Downloads and Images

It’s smart to aim to have everything on your website be visually and experientially pleasing to visitors. Anything that might irritate them or create confusion should not be remedied. Large and slow loading images could mean lost website view time or increased bounce rate – the rate with which users leave your website after arriving. With an increase in traffic, this becomes even more likely.

What you can do to avoid this is being sure that all of your images or pictures are smaller than you’d usually prefer to keep them. However, if you don’t know what to compress – or how to compress it – to conserve server capacity then it’s best to hand that task off to someone who does. That’s because compression can cause problems if it’s not properly configured.

Insist on the Right Server

VPS stands for Virtual Private Server, and that type of server arrangement with your web hosting is often the best option for having full peace of mind with the well being of your website. It offers security of your data solely on the server and the convenience of storing it virtually, and not having to have it onsite goes a LONG way in ensuring your website can handle traffic spikes.

With a secure server, you can have the confidence that your website will support the increase in online browsing and cardholder and protected data of your users is safe.

The benefits of VPS don’t end there. If you are expecting a spike in traffic, you have the ability to request that your server amp up capacity or practice load balancing of your website during traffic spikes. This prevents systems from becoming overwhelmed by the increase in traffic. Choosing VPS is smart for small to medium-sized businesses and it is an easy and cost-effective way to have your website hosted.

Plus, we should mention that many customers will opt to go for a VPS server AFTER they experience some type of failure due to a traffic spike. So instead of being reactive, be proactive and get your VPS before you experience any harmful downtime.

Be Mindful of Typical Customer User Means and Preferences

Mobile web browsing has surpassed fixed station web browsing now, and quite handily at that. Most of the time when people are browsing the Internet, they are on a phone or a tablet and using a mobile network or Wi-Fi. You need to ensure that your web design will be engineered to accommodate the smaller screens of these individual’s mobile devices. The last thing you want is for potential customers to have to minimize their display and re-scroll over your content.

Long story short, most of them won’t be willing to do that and will ‘bounce’ quickly.

Learn from Visitor Behaviour Patterns on the Site

When you find you are busier than normal on your website, it’s the ideal chance to learn how visitors are coming to your site and how they’re inclined to move while they’re there. How many visitors are coming in and what do they seem to be the most interested in? You will notice patterns that can help you to identify any changes that you may need to make to protect your website from having problems in the future.

Along with identifying causes of an increase in traffic flow through your website, you can also take a few cautionary steps to be prepared for it and – most ideally – benefit from what you’ve learned from these spikes and the ways you and your web hosting provider are willing and able to make changes in response to all of that.

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