holiday traffic

How to Prepare Your Website for Heavy Holiday Traffic

Sell products online?

Then you already know how crucial the holiday season is for sales.

In 2016, online sales on Cyber Monday topped $3.3 billion. No matter what you’re selling, you can be sure to see an increase in sales during the holidays.

But what if your website crashes during this important period?

You won’t get any of those sales. Zero. Nada. Not good.

To ensure you aren’t caught out by the increase in traffic during the holidays, you need to get prepared.

We’re here to share exactly what you need to do to get your website holiday-ready – and we don’t mean changing the cursor to a Christmas tree…

Read on to find out how to prepare your site for heavy holiday traffic.

Check Your Server Can Handle Traffic Spikes

Is your server ready for a massive influx of holiday traffic?

Many businesses find out the hard way that their sites aren’t equipped to deal with large spikes in traffic. This is particularly detrimental if you’re selling a seasonal product, like discount holiday cards or Christmas decorations.

Check with your web host to see how much of your current bandwidth you’re using during normal periods. If you’re nearing capacity, it’s smart to upgrade your package before the holidays hit.

If you don’t want to upgrade right away, ensure your host allows you to make instant changes when they’re needed. Sign up to a website monitoring service to avoid downtime at all costs.

Hire Additional Online Staff

Do you offer customer service or live chat on your site?

Chances are you’ll be seeing many more requests than usual during the holiday period, and a timely response could be the difference between making a sale and losing a customer.

Hire additional staff to man the site during this time to ensure that customers get the answers they need.

Make Your Site Mobile Friendly

In 2015, 45% of all online sales were made using mobile devices.

That’s a huge chunk of sales, and you’ll be missing out if your site isn’t mobile friendly.

Choose a responsive theme and test across multiple different devices to ensure navigation, browsing and check out all work correctly. If there are any areas of the site that can be compressed or scaled down, do so.

If speed is an issue, enable accelerated mobile pages to ensure that your site loads quickly when accessed via Google.

When to Start Preparing for Holiday Traffic

It’s never too early to start getting your site ready for the holiday season.

Making all of the above changes will improve the way your site functions day-to-day, help prepare for any unexpected increases in traffic, and ensure you avoid downtime during the lucrative holiday season.

Start getting your site ready today so you aren’t caught out.