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Tips that can help your e-commerce to be ready traffic peaks

Laura Villa Méndez
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Having an online store implies facing new and different challenges and the demands of the users, always guaranteeing peak performance in your site. One of the challenges that you might face is a large amount of traffic on the website, this can happen even if you have a mobile application. High demand does not have to block your business from properly functioning, being this the reason why is so important to keep working and preparing for this type of situation. Here are 5 tips to help your website work properly when traffic peaks occur. 

Constantly monitoring

Constantly monitoring the functioning of your online store and the performance metrics, allows you to have updated information about the clients. From knowing this data, you can plan and have control when the traffic increases, additionally know what are some upcoming challenges with the next peak, and take the right decisions for it. We want to present a few platforms to help you monitor your website: 

1. Amazon CloudWatch: this platform allows you to gather and obtain access to all performance and operational data in formats as records or metrics, that help to overcome the challenge of monitoring all applications and isolated individual systems (servers, network, database, etc). It shows key metrics like the usage of CPU and memory and compares it to its capacity. Plus this service allows you to set alarms, records, and data of events for the platform to take automatic actions and decrease problem-solving time. 

This tool is a customizable alternative because it allows you to execute actions when a specific action occurs, for example, expanding the capacity of processing. Amazon CloudWatch only works with its own type of servers. 

2. StatusCake, a tool that has characteristics like monitoring the servers, which allows you to know how much RAM, CPU, or disk capacity is being used. Also, it monitors the percentage of operation time of the servers and the SSL (Secure Sockets Layer), verifying that it is always active. Companies like Netflix and Microsoft use this platform to get a vision of the performance of the site and how it is impacting the customer experience. 

3. The platform Datadog offers the service of surveillance where you can monitor records, metrics, and tracking requests in the platform, and this way, have a 360 view of the site. Every time there is a code error in the website, Datadog saves it through logs or error records, that happen within the site, at the same time sending notifications to the developers. 

Datadog allows you to observe all the data in real-time and create metrics that allow you to take corrective actions. The store chain Nordstrom located in the United States uses this platform to monitor its web page. 

Optimizing the website

The loading time on the online store is an important factor in the usability and experience of the client. This can influence the ranking of the site in Google and at the same time, slow loading speed might cause the user to leave the site quicker. If you sell goods and services but your loading time is too long you might be driving away the potential clients before the purchase. To optimize the website, first, we need to know what weights the most and what is impacting the loading speed.

PageSpeed Insights from Google is a tool that allows you to analyze the content of the sites, from the level of front-end, testing the loading of images, CSS files, and JavaScript among others. Also analyzes the back-end, where it is found the settings of the server. This tool provides a score out of 100 points, showing the status of optimization of the website. It will help us to find where to improve, providing a list of elements that slow the loading speed and some tips on how to solve it. 

On the other hand, GTmetrix is a web service that allows you to keep track of the performance of the website, with a program follow-up that can be seen through interactive graphics. Plus you can set alarms that notify you when the site performance is deficient and It also tries how it would work in other States and from an Android device. 

Have elasticity

Elasticity is a characteristic which the company can have when counting with Cloud Computing systems. This consists of software based on the cloud, storage in the servers of the provider, and can be accessed through the web browser. The elasticity references the capability to increase or dynamically decrease the infrastructure of the resources, the system proceeds to add more resources, and when the demand decreases, it reduces or eliminates unnecessary resources. The elasticity is important to the cloud environment, where the business only pays for the resources that are being used. 

Amazon, for example, offers Amazon EC2 (Elastic Compute Cloud), which is a web service that provides computing capacity in the cloud and with modifiable size. One of the main advantages of hiring servers in the cloud is that it is accessible 24/7, while the on-premise system is installed only in the equipment and servers of the company. Another advantage is that all of the systems in the cloud can be accessed easily by phone, which could be useful at the moment of developing new applications.

Integration of CDN

The CDN (Content Delivery Network) or network of content delivery, is a group of servers, connected with each other through the internet, where the content gets distributed to offer a point of access closer to the user that looks it up. Integrating CDN is a great idea for a site that holds content or media with a frequent number of visits since the content does not change and can be successfully stored in the cache memory without it being outdated. Having a lower latency would increase the speed delivery of the content. Some benefits that CDN offer to an e-commerce business are:

  • Allows the optimization of loading the resources.

  • Offers the service of clearing the cache from the website, keeping the content always available. 

  • Decreases the time of response and delivery of the content, since it is done from a closer point to the user. 

A CDN like Cloudflare, which acts as a broker between the client and the server, allows you to distribute the content copies to make it more accessible for the clients in an easy and safe way, this is done by a system called reverse proxy. Plus Cloudflare provides load balancing and targets geo-location. Counting with this tool will allow your online store to be fast, available, and scalable, even with the unexpected traffic peaks.

Under attack protection

Including CDN will also allow you to detect when an attack is happening and counteract it, especially the distributed denial-of-service attack (Dos or DDoS) avoiding them to affect the normal performance of the server’s hosting . This type of attacks consists of consuming more resources than the ones available in the store, being this the reason why CDN works as a broker between the users who want to browse your website and infrastructure, channeling all the requests to different points, allowing to close entry channels in the presence of a large number of petitions and patterns identified as malicious.

Cloudflare focuses on layer security, combining multiple mitigation capabilities from DDoS in just one service. Avoiding interruptions to the time, allowing good traffic, keeping the website, applications, and APIs with high availability and performance. 

Conclusion 

Every small change and adjustment that can be done to optimize the e-commerce website, will improve the customer experience and decrease the possibility of users leaving the site without purchasing. The optimization of the website means that it will support large amounts of traffic, improving the performance of the content, products, and services, and finally, increasing customer satisfaction. It is necessary to continue monitoring the performance of the website, correcting the errors, and making changes to not lose the customer’s trust as well as attracting new potential clients.

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