Getting ready for holiday traffic rush: 10 Things to do
What unites millions of people around the world is passion for shopping. The next shopping season is already around the corner? Then you need to prepare your website for traffic surge, and CDN technology, SSL and load balancing can help with that. Since about half of people prefer shopping online, it’s crucial to ensure high loading speed and processing power of server. Making your website speedy and accessible you retain and attract customers, while even one second delay can increase bounce rate by 10%.
Here are 10 valuable tips that will help you to prepare your online store for Holiday season.
1. Activate memory caching. There are numerous memory caching solutions some of which are available for free. It takes a few minutes to implement a data management servie and have it stored in RAM. Memcached and Redis are among the most widespread applications.
2. Deploy a CDN (content delivery network) is a network of edge servers distributed over numerous regions. It allows making content load faster and reducing latency for just a fraction of what it would cost to develop infrastructure of similar power.
4. Optimize images. Today, website owners can’t afford posting several Mb of images on every page: it will slow website speed considerably and make it almost inaccessible for mobile users. Define the difference between different formats of images and use compression to minimize their size without damaging quality.
5. Enable GZIP compression so that your website could serve files of smaller size. This way, you will reduce load times and bounce rates to reach excellence and satisfy visitors. Some CDN solutions provide GZIP compression automatically.
6. Implement server load balancing: traffic will be distributes over a number of servers. This way your origin server won’t be broken with an unexpected rush of traffic. It can be a cheaper alternative to CDN service: think twice before opting for some certain solution.
7. Check and optimize for different screen sizes. Simulate website shown on different displays and use media queries to optimize it for different smartphones and tablets. There are many tools to help you: MobileTest.me or Chrome DevTools’ Device Mode. Using them you can emulate resolutions and screen sizes, check CSS media queries and try device input for touch. Now customers won’t have to deal with inconvenient menus.
8. Use server side caching to store the most commonly requested data. You will avoid high server load during traffic spikes and provide optimal loading speed.
9. Don’t forget about SSL encryption: this is a must for website developers. First, Google favors websites that use this technology and even warns users, if they visit a non-secure (HTTP) websites. Secondly, weak certificates and improper SSL can affect your SEO and even make your project disappear from search engine results pages. Modern SSL/TLS extensions (HTTP/2, OCSP Stapling, Dynamic Record Sizing, ALPN, Perfect Forward Secrecy) will boost website performance and make you outperform your competitors. With SSL server test site you can test the configuration of your server and perform a deep analysis. Safe site means better customer satisfaction.
10. Use IPv6. This is a more advanced solution than IPv4 connections that go via proxy and cause delays. A lot of studies have shown that even minor boost of page load time can greatly increase sales. Search for CDN networks and providers that provide IPv6 support and watch your pages load instantly.
Yes, it will take some time to implement the above mentioned techniques, but the result is definitely worth the effort. Once shopping season starts you will be ready for massive traffic.
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