How is Your Website Faring the Holiday Season?

Christmas is nearly upon us and many websites are being hit hard with increased traffic and blessed with an abundance of sales. The question is, how is your site holding up during the holiday season, and are you ready if the worst happens and downtime hits? Here are some things to keep in mind for the 2014 Christmas shopping season…

Even the Internet Giants Go Down

If you think your site can't possibly go down due to traffic or increased sales, guess again. The Best Buy website went down on Black Friday for almost an hour displaying the message, "BestBuy.com is currently unavailable. Check back soon." One must wonder how many thousands or even millions of dollars BestBuy.com lost during those precious moments… A cautionary tale for those who assume their sites are ready for a heavy holiday shopping season when they are, indeed, not.

And Downtime Isn't the Only Issue

Downtime isn't the only issue plaguing sites this holiday season. As we have mentioned in the past, consumers will go elsewhere if it takes your site more than 3 seconds to load pages. On Black Friday, Target's website was taking more than 30 seconds to load a page, costing the site precious sales and lost customers. If your site isn't performing up to par due to increased traffic, it is going to hurt your bottom line.

Holiday-Proof Your Site

If you want to ensure that your site is up for the count throughout the rest of the holiday shopping season, be sure that your site's hosting service has the ability to handle your business's traffic needs. If you are on a shared hosting plan, be sure that you have enough bandwidth to prevent downtime. If your hosting plan is unlimited, consider switching to a plan that only allows a set amount of bandwidth so the traffic of other sites doesn't interfere with your site's uptime. You may also want to consider switching to a dedicated hosting plan where your site is the only site on the server.

Also evaluate your failsafe plan. What will you do if your site does go down? If your site does encounter dreaded holiday downtime due to an issue on your hosting provider's side, you need to be sure you have backup hosting and a failsafe plan in place that will minimize your downtime and will keep the sales coming in without interruption.