How to prepare for a traffic surge and make the most of it

Increased traffic on your website is a good sign that your business is doing well. It indicates that you’re getting more visitors and potential new customers to your site, selling more products or services and generating better engagement with your brand and business. But sometimes your site can experience a spike in traffic that will overload your web server, and even bring down your site, if you’re not prepared.

Snapt has just published a helpful e-book on “How to Survive a Traffic Surge” that explains how surges are caused, the consequences for your business and the solutions for protecting your website.

What is a Traffic Surge?

Traffic surges are caused by planned or unplanned events that drive an influx of visitors to your website or e-commerce shop. Planned events are product launches, sales or holidays – basically, anything that will drive more traffic to your site at an expected time.

Unplanned events are unpredictable. An unexpected traffic surge could be caused by a breaking news story on a media website or a sudden demand for a product, for example.

How Do Traffic Surges Affect Websites?

The most common reason why websites fail is because the web servers become overloaded. Web servers perform load-intensive tasks, including loading web pages, processing raw web requests and handling SSL transactions. A traffic surge will make these functions work overtime and put excessive load on the system.

When it takes longer to load a page than it takes to get a new request for the page, a pile-up occurs. Quality of service starts to deteriorate for some users and then gets worse, affecting even more users, as browsers and users rapidly refresh and try to reload pages. Eventually, things spiral out of control, the web servers can’t deliver any pages and the site goes down.

How Do Traffic Surges Affect Your Business?

Traffic surges can degrade the performance of your website and take your site offline, which will affect your company’s reputation, customer relationships and revenue-earning potential in the following ways:

  • Performance affects search result rankings. 
  • Poor website performance drives visitors away. 
  • Performance affects customer acquisition and retention. 
  • Slow websites result in lost sales. 

How Will An ADC Help You Survive A Traffic Surge?

An application delivery controller (ADC) like Snapt, which combines the functionality of a load balancer, web accelerator and web application firewall, protects your site from traffic surges by offloading load-intensive tasks from your web servers. This prevents overloading, accelerates page loads and handles failure gracefully.

An ADC will:

  • Reduce the load on your web server by offloading multiple tasks, such as SSL termination and serving images, stylesheets and JavaScript.
  • Prevent web server overload by rejecting users from accessing the site if there is a spike in traffic.
  • Minimize page loading times by automatically optimizing web content.
  • Balance load among multiple servers dynamically by sending traffic to fastest running servers
  • Respond to failures gracefully by redirecting traffic from faltering servers or, in the event of a system crash, presenting a friendly message to users and serving up the most recent good copy of a page.

With an ADC, you will prevent traffic surges from overloading your website and avoid the negative impacts on your reputation, competitiveness and bottom line.

To learn more about the potential effects of a traffic surge, and how to prepare to make the most of the opportunity, please download our e-book today.

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