What is one thing a site owner should do in advance of receiving an influx of web traffic?
To help you better handle a rush of web traffic, we asked site owners and business professionals this question for their insights. From creating a conversion map to running stress tests, there are several tips to prepare for heightened traffic on your website.
Here are eight things you should do before an influx of web traffic:
- Invest in a Reputable Web Host
- Create a Responsive Website
- Optimize Images for Faster Page Loading
- Create a Conversion Map
- Run Stress Tests
- Activate a Cache Plugin
- Make Sure to Set Up Google Analytics
- Backup Consistently
Invest in a Reputable Web Host
Most companies are only concerned about increasing their website traffic, but in some instances, their websites may not be prepared for a significant influx. Although we’re not experts at web development, our business owns and operates an ecommerce site. During special promotional events and sales, the last thing we want is for our site to crash. This is why we invested in a good web hosting platform that could handle the traffic we expect to receive.
Vanessa Molica, The Lash Professional
Create a Responsive Website
Before receiving a large amount of web traffic to your website, ensure that your website is responsive. Many internet users employ a number of different devices other than desktop computers. Make sure that your website looks great and functions well on everything from a tablet to a smartphone, so anyone who wants to check out your website can.
Randall S Smalley II, Cruise America
Optimize Images for Faster Page Loading
If you are preparing for a surge in web traffic, you can optimize the images on your website so each page can load quickly. This is helpful for the user experience of your website on a normal day but can really help when many users are trying to access your website at one time. To preserve the quality of your images, use an image compressor.
Anastasia Avgerinou, Comidor
Create a Conversion Map
If you’re expecting a large influx of users to visit your website, it’s best that you know in advance where you’ll be sending those users once they arrive on your site. The best advice is to create a conversion map. The first step in doing so is to estimate the number of audience groups and the number of members in each group you expect to visit your site. For each group, identify their members’ intent to purchase levels and their needs as it relates to your business.
From there, you can map out where each audience group should go after they land on your site. Should they be sent to a “contact us” page, a newsletter landing page, or some type of gamified experience (e.g., an interactive quiz)? In all, getting an influx of web traffic is a great experience to learn more about your audience and increase conversions.
Mike Krau, Markitors
Run Stress Tests
There are many things that should be done in advance to prepare for the influx of traffic. It’s smart to have monitoring set up so you can quickly address any problems before they go out of control and cause damage. Make sure everything is tested ahead of time by simulating the kind of load you expect from having such high volume visits through server stress testing tools.
Peter Thaleikis, Developer
Activate a Cache Plugin
Caching is the best and worst thing about browsing (if it doesn’t work correctly). Caching helps reduce server load for expected and unexpected traffic spikes. That’s the best thing you can do to make sure your server survives. If you’re willing to pay a bit more, you can use a service like Cloudflare together with a CDN that serves some important page resources from different servers. If you know in advance you’ll receive a big amount of traffic you could also temporarily disable services that can’t be cached efficiently. For example, you can disable the commenting function or site search.
Ionut-Alexandru Popa, BinaryFork
Make Sure to Set Up Google Analytics
If you’re expecting a spike in web traffic to your site in the near future, make sure that your Google Analytics account is configured and ready to go. You want to collect data from a large sample of your target market, and an influx of traffic is the perfect opportunity to do so.
Make sure to look out for key data points, such as the source of the traffic, the devices used, the most popular pages, and peak session times. All of this information could prove to be invaluable to your future marketing campaigns, so make sure you have a way to track and compare it.
Jake Smith, Absolute Reg
Make sure you’ve backed up your website. You want to be prepared just in case it crashes. You should consistently backup your website the same way you do your own computer. A professional server and web hosting service will help you do that! If there happens to be a crash, they can help you reset the site in a flash.
Jacques-Edouard Sabatier, JOW