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Welcome back to our 2-part series on how you can prepare your website to handle traffic spikes (or just a consistent growth in traffic overall). If you haven’t already checked out part 1, you may wish to go back and start there first to ensure you don’t miss anything!
5. Hosting Server
Another variable in keeping a busy website performing well is the hosting server that it is stored on. Busier websites won’t fare too well in the shared hosting environment, as these hosting plans are typically designed for entry-level and small business websites.
As you get busier, you’ll certainly want to consider upgrading to a VPS, or even a Dedicated Server. Check out our blog, What Is Dedicated Hosting, VPS Hosting And Shared Hosting And When Are They Right For Your Business, to learn more about the different types of hosting, and which one may be best suited for your website.
6. Batch Marketing
Batch marketing is a major tactic that businesses use for healthy website performance. In essence, it is the process of staggered promotional send-outs. This means sending email or SMS promotions out in delayed batches, to ensure the resulting traffic comes in evenly over a range of time, rather than bulk-slamming a hosting server with all of your visitors at the exact same time. Most modern email marketing platforms offer this functionality, as it is considered an imperative part of successful digital marketing.
It’s worth noting however, that in recent times, mass email/SMS marketing is no longer the preferred or recommended style of digital marketing. Rather, this has been replaced by automation. Automation is a more sophisticated process of setting up a range of promotions and offers, and funneling your customers through them based on a criterion of demographics, behaviours and qualifiers – leading to much more targeted campaigns with vastly improved conversion rates. Automation Agency offer a great blog post which discusses the differences between mass email and automated email, which is worth a read if you’re conducting digital marketing for your business.
Another aspect worth mentioning is a website’s CMS (content management system), theme and plugins, as these can all play a part in a website’s load speed and therefore performance under high traffic load. Every theme and plugin you install on your website will add a small (or potentially large) amount of extra load time for every visitor, often each and every time they open a new page. It is therefore important to choose good quality software, and only keep what you really need installed. If you’re not using something, the best course of action is to deactivate and delete it.
When looking for a CMS, we recommend you opt for industry-revered, trusted, well-documented and well-supported software for the basis of your website. This will ensure that you don’t find yourself backed into a corner with difficult, little-known software when things go topsy-turvy.
CMS platforms like WordPress, Joomla and Drupal all fit the bill, being well known, documented and supported.
Each of these platforms also offer huge libraries of extension software such as themes (used to determine the look and feel of your website) and plugins (used to add specialty or niche functionality to your website). When selecting themes or plugins to use, always look for those with positive and plentiful reviews, as this will likely indicate a strong user base. There’s power in numbers, so a strong user base generally indicates a well supported and high quality product.
We hope you’ve found some new and useful strategies in the list above. If you’ve already checked off every step, you should be well on your way to having an unstoppable website in the face of a traffic spike, or ongoing traffic growth.
If you’re still having any trouble with handling all of your visitors, please don’t hesitate to give our team a shout so that we can assist you in determining if you’re on the right hosting plan for your needs.
That’s it from us! As always, if you have any questions about this post or our shared hosting, VPS, reseller or dedicated server plans, simply call us on 1300 MY HOST (694 678) during business hours, or submit a ticket through our Support Portal and one of the crew will be in touch!