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Is Your Website Ready for a Surge In Traffic?

With the vast increase in the number of people shopping online, it’s more important than ever that businesses prepare for traffic surges around the holidays.  Is your website ready?  Not sure?  Read on to find out which steps you should take to handle holiday-related traffic spikes:

  1. Compress and Resize Images.  Images can significantly reduce page load time, particularly large, high-resolution images.  Check your site to make sure images are optimized, especially on those pages that see the most traffic (your home page, for example).

  2. Keep the Site as Static as Possible.  Although dynamic content is more engaging to users, it also requires a lot of memory and processing power.  By reducing dynamic content on those pages that users are most likely to enter your site on—landing pages and the home page—you can make the user experience more enjoyable without having to completely overhaul your site for the holidays.

  3. Use a Content Delivery Network (CDN).  If you’re expecting heavy traffic, you may want to offload it to a CDN.  A CDN is a “large distributed system of servers deployed in multiple data centers across the Internet.”  Essentially, CDNS have the capacity to handle heavy volumes of traffic more effectively than smaller hosting providers.  See our previous article for further explanations.

  4. Perform Load Testing.  Load testing allows you to create a simulated environment to see how well your website responds to various requests.  This will give you an idea of what is likely to occur when holiday shoppers visit your website.  If you’re using Visual Studio Ultimate, it has built-in load testing capabilities. Alternatively, you can try Yahoo’s YSlow or Google’s PageSpeed.  Both of these tools will analyze your website to determine page load times and provide recommendations on which action steps you can take to improve your site’s performance.