How to prevent your website from crashing this Black Friday
There is nothing worse than planning and preparing your Black Friday campaign months in advance – only to be hampered by a non-functioning website when site traffic takes its toll. Our developers are web wizards at heart and share some of their top tips for gearing up your website’s traffic tolerance.
1) Make sure your website is optimised for speed
When you have a slow or unresponsive site, visitors will be less likely to stick around and that’s a fact. A lower rate of site visitors equals reduced revenue on Black Friday. You’ll want to ensure that you provide users with a seamless experience to help them to grab their deals and go before stock runs out on your limited offers.
To help with your site’s speed, you can navigate these helpful tools to do a speed test and follow the recommendations:
- Google Pagespeed Insights (https://pagespeed.web.dev/)
- GTmetrix (https://gtmetrix.com/)
- Pingdom (https://tools.pingdom.com/)
The question remains: how do you distinguish between a good and a bad site speed? Ideally, you’ll want your website to load within two to three seconds, meaning that your speed test should come in with at least 10Mbps of download speed and 1 Mbps of upload speed.
2) Reach out to your hosting company
Ask your hosting company if your website will be able to handle the extra traffic that will be coming through during Black Friday. Upgrading your hosting package for the month might be a good idea to ensure your website can keep up. Your host might be able to make other recommendations to ensure your site is fully optimised for the biggest shopping event of the year.
If your website isn’t used to an influx of traffic, has a lot of video and hi-res image content, or you have a simple site journey it is recommended to upgrade your hosting package.
3) Set up a CDN
CD…what? Don’t let the fancy IT jargon have you running for the hills. It’s known as a Content Delivery Network and it will serve your website content from a distributed group of servers while optimising your website speed. Your website content gets “spread out” which means that your website isn’t served from only the one server your website lives on. Doing this puts less strain on your website server when your site traffic increases and mitigates your risk of running an error 404.
Our web developer highly recommends using Cloudflare – especially if most of your site’s visitors are coming from South Africa. Cloudflare is geared to ensure your website can withstand an increase in traffic and has servers set up in South Africa to deliver content to your user’s location faster.
In essence, you’ll want to partner with a web development team from the get-go to ensure that your site runs optimally, we recommend Red September’s team of web experts and UX developers to ensure you give your website the winning streak it needs to beat the Black Friday site traffic dump.
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