San Diego, CA (PRWEB) November 08, 2013
The new healthcare marketplace website Healthcare.gov was riddled with functionality problems since its Oct. 1 launch. These issues (starting with basic inability to access the website) are not uncommon for new or existing websites that suddenly come under heavy traffic, due to publicity pushes or new product or feature launches. San Diego web marketing company Bop Design released a list of tips for business owners to follow to ensure that their websites can handle the increased influx of traffic.
If your website design is strong and built on a sturdy server, you normally shouldnt have to think about its reliability, said Bop Design business principal Jeremy Durant. However, after a big PR push or lots of attention, an increased volume can wreak havoc on server set-ups that are geared toward a much less trafficked site.
Below are a few key points that a business can do to their website development and structure to maintain website stability.
Be prepared. Businesses should set a schedule for testing and simulations well in advance of their big product launch or PR push and should employ a temporary team for testing if needed.
Use a content delivery network (CDN). CDNs are cloud-based data services that scale themselves automatically to optimize delivery of every type of content from basic websites to data-heavy things like software and video. Businesses should set up their CDN and start testing at least four weeks from their expected traffic spike.
Do a simulation. Businesses should use load testing tools to simulate a jump in incoming web traffic. This will help them find the pages that load the slowest so they can optimize them before their big day.
Keep daily backups of the website’s files, including all databases being used. If the site crashes, having a recent backup will ensure the site content will remain current.
Keep all website software like content management systems, shopping carts, message boards, etc. up to date with their latest versions. Sometimes bugs or security holes are found in older versions which can cause a website to crash or operate unexpectedly.
Do a basic check on server data caps. Websites that expect to come under heavy traffic should manually request removal of the caps from their web hosts. This might require some additional expense but it will be well worth it to ensure that your user experience is seamless, said Durant.
However, even with preparation and load testing, websites can still crash unexpectedly. Bop Design also has a few suggestions for the course of action a business should take if their websites do go offline.
Dont panic. Website crashes are just another challenge that businesses face and can always be rectified.
Dont hide. Businesses should work as quickly as possible to repair the problem while sending a press release to all their key audiences letting them know that the site crashed due to overwhelming demand, continued Durant.
Contact the web hosting company and find out more about their uptime policies and guarantees. They may offer credits towards your hosting fee if the site goes down.
Businesses should also use other outlets to communicate with their customers and take responsibility for the outage by posting an apology on their business Facebook page or sending an email to their current mailing list. Durant concluded, Businesses should do everything they can to let their clients know that they understand their frustrations and are working hard to resolve the outage.
Bop Design is a San Diego web design agency with offices also in Orange County, CA and the New York metro area. Specializing in B2B marketing, Bop Design creates holistic marketing plans geared toward lead generation and business development. Bop Design offers services in branding, logo design, website design and development, responsive web design, SEO, PPC, social media, and content marketing. http://www.bopdesign.com.