Does your website have all-weather gear?
Dave Ricketts, Head of Marketing, Six Degrees
Recently we saw the ‘Beast from the East’ and Storm Emma wreak havoc across the UK, causing disruption on transport networks and affecting daily work and school patterns. In the age of technology it’s natural that most of us turned to websites and apps to get real-time information to make alternative plans. This surge in online visitor traffic however wreaked another kind of havoc, as the Met Office experienced when its website crashed after trying to cope with 10 times the usual amount of visitors looking for updates on weather and travel.
The fact is that we live in a world that enables us to track and react to events and occurrences as soon as possible. So while predicting sudden jumps in interest and traffic can sometimes feel as difficult as forecasting the weather, digital downtime caused by traffic spikes is nearly always avoidable. Here’s how:
Monitor your website’s aptitude for traffic Before you even consider investing in better hosting, understand your website’s current traffic capability. A good website monitoring service can help to analyse how the site works against user demands, and what you might need to meet increases in site volume. This process can be automated so that alerts are sent automatically if your website’s traffic is about to exceed its capacity. The data that is shared by a website monitor can then help you work on other components to make your site robust enough to handle online traffic surges.
Keep your server resources scalable Once you are familiar with your site’s normal traffic status through monitoring, you can make provision for increasing hosting resources to match your needs. In this instance it makes sense to have a flexible hosting plan that can scale up, or down, as required. Some hosting services have load balancing web servers, which means that incoming traffic is distributed or ‘balanced’ more evenly across multiple web servers. This reduces the burden on a single server and helps to streamline traffic, making your website more reliable.
Work with a managed services expert Building an agile infrastructure and working with a partner who can turn capacity up at times when site traffic takes a sudden jump is an ideal option for businesses without the infrastructure or capacity to make sudden and significant changes to core services.
Your preferred managed service provider (MSP) should have the infrastructure and expertise to provide you with the flexibility, scalability and performance your website needs. Additionally, your partner’s services should be backed up by 24/7 monitoring and technical support, giving you reassurance and access to expertise whenever you need it.
We live and work in a fast world that is more often than not unforgiving. If you own or manage a website, there’s no margin for error, so if your goal is to retain and grow customers and revenue, it’s essential to keep your site prepared for large influxes of traffic.