Black Friday. An unexpected retweet from a celebrity or popular social media personality. An anniversary sale or a giveaway.
These are all great things for your business, and opportunities to increase both your clout and your revenue at the same time.
Unfortunately, a sudden surge in web traffic — especially if you’re not prepared for it — can also lead to a website crash.
This means that not only will you miss out on potential sales and ad revenue, but also that your customers will leave your site disappointed.
The good news?
There are things you can do to learn how to prevent a website crash from interrupting your site’s uptime.
Read on to learn how to be prepared for anything — even a few extra million visitors.
What Causes a Website to Crash?
Let’s quickly look at the reasons for a website crash.
In this post, we’ll mainly talk about how to stop a sudden and unexpected increase of traffic to your website from causing it to crash. But why does this happen in the first place?
Because there simply isn’t enough space on the server to handle all that traffic. This is especially true if you’re on a shared hosting platform or don’t have lots of storage space.
The same goes if the physical location of your server is far away from the people trying to get on your site.
Yes, even if you have a dedicated server, crashes can still happen.
This is even true for industry giants with seemingly unlimited resources, like Amazon. In fact, the famous company lost about $100 million in sales on the 2018 Prime Day because of crashes due to high traffic.
Initially, you might experience slower loading times or partial site loads. Eventually though, your site will be kicked entirely offline.
The truth is that website crashes are never 100% preventable — especially if you’ve gone viral unexpectedly. However, there are ways to prevent a website crash. Now, let’s take a look at your options.
1. Get a CDN
A CDN, or a content delivery network, is an awesome way to ensure that your website stays online even when you’re dealing with heavy traffic.
CDNs help to optimize all different types of content delivery. This means that people will be able to not only get on your website, but even download things from it.
This is especially helpful for companies that have customers in many different parts of the world.
Plus, it also speeds up your website’s loading time.
2. Back It Up
As we mentioned earlier in this post, sometimes no matter what you do, website crashes still happen.
This is why it’s so important to make continual backups of your website. (To ensure that this actually happens, we suggest working with a professional server and web hosting service.)
This way, even if your website does go offline due to high traffic?
You can get things up and running again in no time.
3. Re-Evaluate Your Server
Think that your current server is equipped to handle a sudden uptick in website traffic?
You might be surprised to learn that some servers have data caps in place. Especially if your website has grown recently, and you’re doing more business than in the past, now might be time for an upgrade.
In addition to getting more space, you’ll likely also be able to benefit from added security features and more reliability.
4. Update Your Software
Updating your website software isn’t just a great way to ensure you’re not vulnerable to cyber attacks.
It also helps to ensure that you can handle the website traffic you’re getting.
In fact, if you don’t update your website as often as you should, it may crash even with a low volume of visitors.
Plus, the last thing that you want is for your visitors to have their data and personal information stolen by hackers. Talk about a hit to your brand’s reputation.
5. Run a Crash Test
It might sound counterintuitive, but one of the best ways to truly know if you’re ready for a random influx of traffic is to try to break your site.
Many companies use cloud testing to mimic the flow of traffic to their site. This allows you to test both desktop and mobile traffic. Remember that more people now access the Internet on a mobile device than on a desktop computer.
So, mobile testing is pretty essential!
Remember that doing preventative care before a website crash happens is the best way to go. Have a plan in place for what you’ll do if the worst happens.
Talk to your hosting platform about the minimum site uptime that they guarantee. Also, make sure that you know how they’ll be able to help you if your website goes offline.
Need Professional Help Stopping a Website Crash?
So, you now have a better understanding of what causes a website crash, and the things you can do to stop it.
But the truth is that there’s only so much you can do on your own.
Not only do you need time to actually run your business (instead of conducting tests all day long.) You also need access to the top software, testing mechanisms, and uptime assistance.
We can help you with that.
SiteUptime can help you learn about continuous website monitoring, website auditing, site speed tests, and so much more.
When you’re ready to stay online, get more traffic, and make more sales, learn from us about what you can do can make it happen.