How well can your website handle seasonal spikes?

That is a question you should always have in mind as you create a website that represents your online business. Particularly if you own an ecommerce website, one of your top priorities should be to prepare it for seasonal / holiday spikes. You don’t want it crashing during the busiest and of course most profitable periods of the year, do you?

The question of preparing your website for these traffic spikes is quite simple. You should arm your website with enough power and resources so as to withstand huge amounts of traffic and numerous requests and carry on as it would in the rest of the year.  

Seasonal hits like Black Friday, Cyber Monday or the pre-Christmas shopping period often dictate the success or failure of 12 months of work. It is important to mark these moments as a priority, because for most retailers they account for up to 20-40% of annual sales.

Investing in reliable web hosting

So how do you prepare your website for these busy periods? First and most importantly, invest in good web hosting, one that guarantees up to 99% uptime. With due planning, consideration and a thoughtful investment, you won’t have to consider ever a minute of downtime and therefore, you won’t suffer any significant financial losses during these periods.

Using failover servers

While planning ahead for these seasonal spikes, you should considering opting for an IaaS (infrastructure as a service) provider with redundant network connection and guaranteed reliability in times of need.

More importantly though, you should be planning for the (albeit unlikely) scenario that results in failure. In that sense, considering implementing a failover architecture (server or servers) that can serve traffic in case your primary servers fail to do so. It is ultimately a question of risk analysis and management or, in other words, not putting all your eggs in one basket.

Considering hybrid cloud services

Another option for those seeking to arm their websites for seasonal spikes is the hybrid cloud. While both cloud and dedicated servers have benefits for ecommerce sites, the hybrid cloud stands out by offering scalability (you can adjust your resources according to your needs), and elasticity (effectively limitless traffic handling), while at the same time serving as a high-power dedicated server linked to cloud servers that are made to handle traffic spikes and busy periods.

Finally, make sure to backup your data. Although profit and reputation are important objectives, your top priority should be to keep your data safe. Seasonal spikes are definitely challenging times, but with the right mitigation strategy, it will all result in more profit, a strengthened reputation and the growth of your website.

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