Web Hosting Blog
Traffic increases during the winter months, and people start searching for that perfect gift to give for Christmas from August onwards. And are a few key days where traffic is at an all-time high, like Black Friday and Cyber Monday. Here are a few steps that you can take to ensure that you’re ready:
Look at previous years’ data.
To estimate how much your traffic will increase, look at previous years’ data. You can do this by logging into your Google Analytics account and setting the dates to last year’s sales season. And then repeat the process for the year before that. Plus, compare that data to your average traffic from the rest of the year, and you’ll get a good idea about how much extra traffic you can expect over the festive period.
Once you have this data, you need to talk to your hosting provider to see if they recommend increasing your resources to handle the extra traffic.
Consider moving to a VPS
If you currently using a shared hosting plan you might want to consider moving to VPS to increase your resources. Virtual Private Servers (VPS), is when you split a physical server into many smaller virtual servers. Even though they’re physically a part of the same server, each virtual server acts as a dedicated server environment.
Since you have a dedicated section of the server, you get your own resources allocated to you, which you can customise and configure to your requirement. Plus, VPS’s are scalable – to an extent: You can upgrade your plan without migrating your site if you need additional resources. But, since a VPS has finite resources, you’ll need to migrate to a new server or choose a new type of hosting when you reach its limit, but once you have your Google Analytics data you can talk to your hosting provider about the amount of resources you’ll need.
Consider using cloud
Unlike traditional hosting solutions, which use a single server, cloud hosting consists of multiple servers (called nodes) and external SAN storage. Installing virtualisation software, like VMWare, onto the nodes converts the physical hardware into cloud-based platforms.
A cloud platform should have no single point of failure. Suppose any of the hardware fails for any reason. In that case, the virtualisation software automatically moves your cloud server to an unaffected node, giving you peace of mind your cloud server will remain online.
Its unique infrastructure allows you to add and remove resources whenever you need them, making it very scalable and flexible which is perfect for those times where you need to add extra resources to handle increased traffic.
Consider using a CDN
Content delivery networks (CDN) are the hidden backbone of the internet. Behind every text character, image pixel and movie frame that gets delivered to your PC and mobile browser, there is a CDN. We interact with CDNs daily; when reading articles on news sites, shopping online, watching YouTube videos or scrolling through our social media without realising it.
First off, you don’t want to get a CDN confused with your standard website hosting. These are entirely different services. A CDN isn’t a replacement for your hosting provider but rather another method to increase the speed of your site.
CDN is a network of servers across the globe designed to host and deliver copies of your site’s content. So why do you need to host your site on these servers? To increase your site speed and reduce what’s known as latency. Latency is the time and/or delay in data transmission over a network—the further the distance, the greater the latency. With a CDN, you can load your site’s content from the server closest to the person (sometimes known as POPs) accessing the site, reducing the latency.
Here’s how CDN services can help to reduce load times in the following ways:
- It reduces the distance between users and website resources. Instead of connecting to the website’s origin server, which may live far away from them, a CDN lets users connect to a closer data centre -less travel time means faster service.
- Hardware and software optimisations such as efficient load balancing and solid-state hard drives can help data reach the user faster.
- CDNs can also reduce the amount of data transferred by using tactics to reduce file sizes, such as minification and file compression. Smaller file sizes mean quicker load times.
Use a Load Balancing system.
A load balancer allows you to automatically distribute your traffic across several servers to manage the inbound connections, which will help prevent a single server from becoming overloaded.
If your sites are all on a single server, you risk everything if something goes wrong, which could mean losing business for your eCommerce store. But a load balancer can also be used to divert traffic to another server if one fails.
A load-balancing solution also gives your customers a seamless, uninterrupted and unaffected experience.
Talk to your hosting provider about what measures they have to help you help you manage your increase in traffic.
If you want to discuss your plan for increased traffic and hosting requirements, get in touch with a member of our team. Our experts are always happy to help you choose the right solution.