Getting a surge of traffic to your website is an exciting moment, and it usually means you’re doing something right about your SEO marketing efforts. However, even a sudden spike can also be a problem that could even lead to you losing more customers than actually converting some.
How Can Sudden Traffic Surges Become a Problem?
Depending on your web hosting provider, their servers, and the design of your website, a traffic spike can be a minor inconvenience or an absolute disaster.
If you have an eCommerce website, shopping carts might stop working, or order processing will suddenly result in a website maintenance error. A spike in traffic can cause your pages to load slower or even stop loading altogether. This is why it’s crucial to make these preparations on your website to ensure that your customers will have a great experience despite traffic surges.
1. Research Your Web Host
When websites crash due to traffic surges, the most common cause is probably your web host or hosting provider. A poorly designed website may become a bit slow, but it wouldn’t just fail on you all of a sudden. When your website crashes and fails, they’re usually the result of server issues, which would be the responsibility of your website.
If you opted for a shared hosting service, that means you’re sharing servers with a multitude of other businesses and platforms. While that’s a cheaper option for your website, it can come with some complications like a traffic surge causing a server failure. Whenever this happens, it might be better to switch to a dedicated hosting plan so your server can support all the traffic.
2. Regularly Monitor Site Performance
Your website isn’t just some brochure with a bunch of static images but a platform that constantly evolves and changes. Those changes could accidentally create bottlenecks that could adversely affect your website’s performance, especially during traffic surges.
Performance issues are more likely to pop up after placing dynamic advertisements on your site, or maybe adding some graphics-heavy content, or a newly installed plugin that may have some compatibility issues. If you left these unchecked, they could potentially slow your website to crawl.
To avoid all these problems, you need to regularly check your site’s performance whenever you apply new changes. It also pays to have someone audit your site and perform website maintenance to correct any new issues that could slow down your website.
3. Optimize Images and Compress Files
Uploading images and files to a server is a simple task that can be done through a CMS like WordPress or WooCommerce. What most people fail to realize is that those files can be extremely large.
When a visitor lands on your website, those large files could increase your website’s load times on their end. If it’s just a few users accessing your website, it can be a minor inconvenience for the client, but it can easily overwhelm the server when there’s a traffic surge.
The best way to fix this is to shrink or optimize your files, so they’re smaller in size. Smaller files are easier to send and load. Most image-editing software has the ability to shrink the resolution of photos and even optimize content. There are also plugins you can use to do the image compression for you.
Every new startup dreams of having a traffic surge as it brings more business to them. However, it can result in a catastrophe if you don’t prepare for it. Follow these optimization tips to ensure that your website can handle any number of visitors at a given time.
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