If you are currently running a website and have started marketing it heavily, there is a chance that the site can start to buckle under the pressure of the added traffic. So, what can you do?
The first recommendation would be to always have a plan with pre-set solutions. Some of these solutions include load testing, site optimization and performance monitoring. However, in the event that these solutions were not put into place, we will now look at what you can immediately do to minimize the negative effects of lots of traffic.
The first thing to do is to determine if the traffic is legitimate or not. There are many cases where perceived high traffic was just a DOS attack.
The next step is to implement a quick hardware upgrade. You should look at possibly upgrading the CPU and memory. Good managed hosting services are a necessity here.
If there are any unnecessary scans or jobs that are being done on the website, then these should be paused right away. You shouldn’t make any new changes during this period of high traffic.
Traffic from Google bots should be adjusted by limiting the number of times that Google bots are allowed to scrape the website. Of course, this will affect how your site ranks in Google and should only be a temporary measure.
Next, you need to find out exactly where the new traffic is coming from. One common place to get a sudden increase of traffic is from social media such as Pinterest. In the event that you are getting the sudden influx of traffic from social media, you can actually configure your site to limit the length of time a person can spend on your site, similar to limiting Google bot traffic.
You should also look into working with your team so that you can find any excess features on the site that can be removed. You should look at features that increase loading time such as blank searches, pop ups, view all options etc. You should also adjust the number of look ups each visitor can do in order to save capacity.
The next step would be to start throttling the traffic and splitting some off to “sorry” pages. It is essential that you create a sorry page that is well thought out and doesn’t alienate your visitors. For example, this page should indicate that you’re putting them in a virtual queue and they can input their email in order to get a discount at your store. This will reduce the negative lash-back on your brand while reducing the traffic to the critical parts of your website.
We have just covered a few tips that will help you get through a traffic emergency. However, if this happens regularly, then you should put some permanent measures in place in order to ensure that your site can handle large spikes in traffic. This can be done by evaluating the site’s infrastructure, in particular through load testing, performance monitoring and optimization. Once you proactively address these issues, it will go a long way to ensuring that your customers aren’t affected.