The festive season is a great opportunity to succeed in online retail. As Statista shows, the U.S. retailers’ income increased from 400 billion to 900 billion U.S. dollars for the period from 2000 to 2019.
The winter holiday season includes lots of shopping occasions: Thanksgiving day, Black Friday, Small Business Saturday, Cyber Monday, Super Saturday, the last Saturday before Christmas, and, of course, Christmas itself.
But great opportunities may bring huge troubles if your online store is not ready for the influx of traffic that can ruin your digital business instead of adding value to it. Your website’s accumulated weaknesses can come up all together at the holiday prime time. So, we gathered some tips here that will help you get your website prepared before the hectic festive season begins.
1 Configure Backup Settings
A backup copy of the site is your lifeline in case of any force majeure. At any time, you can get your website up and running by restoring from backup
2 Check Backup
Make sure that backup copies work correctly and save the necessary data. To do this, deploy a copy of the site on the server – for example, on a subdomain.
3 Repeat Step 1
History has known cases of data losses in cloud storages, with hosters, on personal hard drives, but not losing all data at once everywhere. Store backups in different places.
4 Plan Step By Step
Build a recovery plan. It is better if there are several plans when the server, data center, Internet fell in half the world. The limit is only your pessimism.
5. Run a Security Drill
Form a set of recovery instructions in case your admin is on vacation, sick leave, or unavailable for another reason. Who to call, write, what instructions to give, and what would be approximate idle time. 80% of accidents are much easier to withstand when there is a contingency plan.
6. Set Up Inbound And Outbound Monitoring
Monitor critical parameters on the server: load, disk space, available memory, process status. You can use ready-made monitoring solutions (Munin, Zabbix, etc) or entrust monitoring to a hosting expert. Check the status of the site from outside, at least through Google. Everything may be in order on the server. Problems may come up from outside, with site availability or speed.
7. Be On The Lookout
Set up instant notifications about critical problems: the site does not work, the resources have run out. Notifications of all non-critical issues should be set up within business hours.
8. Test Everything
Test the monitoring by running several test crashes. For example, fill the disk storage, take your website down for some time when the traffic is minimal. You need to be sure that any incident is logged.
9. Do Not Save On Resources
Check at least once a quarter if there are enough server resources for the needs of the project. You can run load testing or check the use of monitoring resources. Optimize your server settings if necessary. The status of any project is dynamic, and settings made six months ago may not be suitable for the current state of the website.
10. Mend Your Sails While The Weather Is Fine
Before the planned traffic growth (advertising, seasonal promotions), perform load testing. The situation when ads were launched on the site, and it crashes due to lack of resources, saddens any marketer.
11. Do Not Drive To The Last Minute
If the load suddenly increases (this should be reported by monitoring system from point 6), but there is no traffic, contact your admins. This may be a sign of a cyber attack (CSRF, DDoS, etc.), sudden hardware degradation or other trouble.
What if most of the troubles with the constant watching website or server issues you can entrust to an expert? Simtech Development provides the hosting solutions helping the CS-Cart store owners to sleep calmly not only during the holiday season but on ordinary days, too. We are more than a storage space for our customers.
We take care of server management. We watch your server day and night. Even when we sleep the automotive monitoring system warns and wakes us up to look through it. Besides, our DevOps experts can update server software, utilities, and eCommerce platform itself as soon as the update has been released and checked for compatibility with other software.