5-step plan to prepare your store for the holiday season

Abundant traffic in the holiday season is a common thing — but what it may cause? There are 2 major threats webshop owners usually meet:
– site crash
– site slowing down.
All this may lead to a bad UX and decrease in conversions. And no one wants that, right?

We’ve prepared 5 ways to enhance website performance for the high season:

1) Apply a load balancer to scale your website

Large eCommerce stores often use hosting providers like Amazon, Google, Microsoft, etc. These providers usually offer the ability to scale your web application with a load balancer. How does it work? A web server uses one instance, which can handle a certain amount of traffic and operations. If the load surpasses the threshold, the load balancer will automatically start more instances taking over the surplus of traffic. Thus, the customers won’t experience slow work, incomplete operations, or even server failure.

2) Setup clustering database

As in the case with the server, the database uses one instance with a restricted bandwidth for queries. To prevent database overload and failure, you can set up cluster architecture. In this case, queries will be allocated between several instances, while all of them will be synchronized bidirectionally (this is the type of sync when changes in one system component accordingly change all other components in real-time). As a result, customers won’t get delays in data processing when completing their transactions.

3) Perform stress testing before the high season

You can use special tools like JMeter, Blazemeter, or other. They will emulate different loads on the server so that you can see how the server copes with them.

4) Prevent DDoS attacks

A DDoS attack is when malefactors send multiple queries to an eStore from different IP addresses. This evidently increases traffic load and may lead the website to slow down or fail. To avoid SSoD attacks, you can filter your traffic:
– enable only traffic from countries you sell to;
– disable traffic from countries you don’t expect sales.

Also, you can set up a firewall, which will temporarily block users that produce suspicious activity.

5) Use monitoring tools and hire a support team

It’s important to use monitoring tools during the high season. Our top choice is NewRelic. The tool monitors server load, number of users, database delays, looped operations, etc, and provides you with alerts.

To proceed with these alerts, it’s a good practice to hire a 24/4 support specialist or a team. They will analyze alerts for you and prevent your website from crashing.

If you need assistance in preparing your eCommerce store for holidays or sales, book a free consultation with our experts.