Last-Minute Shoppers Drive Traffic Up: Will Your Site Go Down?

As the last days of Christmas shopping are upon us, last-minute shoppers who procrastinate shopping for gifts are driving the traffic of ecommerce sites higher than ever. The question is, does your site have the bandwidth necessary to handle the influx of traffic?

Checking Your Site's Bandwidth

The first thing you should be doing right now is checking your sites available bandwidth. Average the amount of traffic you have been getting over the past few days and see if your remaining bandwidth for your hosting plan's billing cycle will accommodate that bandwidth. If not, it's time to upgrade to a different hosting plan. If you have an "unlimited" plan on a shared server, you may want to consider moving your site to a dedicated hosting plan or a hosting plan that allocates the amount of bandwidth that each site on the server can use. Otherwise, you may soon realize that the traffic that other sites are experiencing is affecting the traffic of your own site.

Put Website Monitoring Service Into Place

If you do not yet have website monitoring service, now is the time to put it into place. If your site goes down during one of the busiest ecommerce times of the year, you're going to be losing a significant amount of revenue. If your site does go down, you need to know about it the moment it happens. Every minute counts and you want to get on top of putting a contingency plan into place sooner rather than later.

Do You Have a Contingency Plan?

A contingency plan is a must for those who are serious about minimizing damages caused by downtime and maximizing the profitability of their website. If you do not have backup DNS service and backup hosting in place, now is the time to get that together. You'll want a backup copy of your site on another server with a different web host so you can send your visitors to that site if your main hosting provider experiences prolonged downtime that you have no control over. While you may not be able to control how your hosting provider handles their downtime, you can control how you handle the downtime of your website.

Remember, this time of year is when many online businesses make the bulk of their sales. The coming months will also be very busy in the ecommerce market. If you do not yet have your ducks in a row when it comes to minimizing the downtime of your website, now is the time to do it. It is better to prepare for downtime before it happens rather than scramble to mitigate damage once it does. Downtime is never a matter of if. It is always a matter of when. And during busy times of the year like this, downtime seems to be more prevalent than ever.