Everybody loves a website that has a good amount of traffic and engagement. Increasing traffic is a good indication that your website has good value to your visitors and it has quality content. Well, to get there you need to think about user experience, how you place your content within, color distribution, and how SEO friendly your website is and whatnot. While you are positively dealing with these problems, it is very likely your website will draw more attention and traffic. Viral content or special occasions are very likely to create high spikes in your user visits routines for your website.
This is a good thing for you and your business. But also this is where you need to start making arrangements to handle a sudden high volume of traffic to your website. Ignoring this fact is where your audience will start losing faith in your website due to just a handful of reasons.
Your website will start ill-performing
High traffic means, you need to have a higher bandwidth in your webserver to allow all the concurrent users to freely roam in your website. Not having enough bandwidth will create congestions for users and what comes to our mind with this word? Yes. Traffic jams. Users will experience slowness in your website and this will no longer be a leisure ride for the users.
Your website will not be available to the extra users or overall everyone
Unavailability is the worst-case scenario that your website can go through with a lack of bandwidth. This will cost your site visitors and their faith in your website. This will reduce re-visits to your website by new visitors. And your website will start rolling tumbleweeds in a very short amount of time.
How do you survive pandemic traffic attacks?
While this isn’t much of a big problem to overcome, website owners can take some immediate precautions to handle these situations.
Minimize Content On-The-Fly
Most of the website build platforms operate on the content on-the-fly principle which adds continuous work to the servers every time a web page is requested by a user. The increasing processes to a server is another way a website will ill-perform due to a lack of extra processing power to allocate over the available resources.
Server caching is an easy solution to overcome this problem. These will cache pre-built web pages for a short period of time and will show the users a cached version of the website. Reducing the need for processing power to load a web page brand new each time. One downside of this technique is, changes to the website may not reflect immediately to the users until the cached old version of the webpage expires.
Content delivery from the closest
Using a content delivery network or a CDN will pay you off a lot if you have a bunch of static resources. The CDN will eliminate the need of your server from loading the resources, rather the CDN will load all the resources from a closer server to the website visitor. This will free up the processing load from the application hosting server and distribute work within the CDN servers.
Getting a better server
Opting in with a hosting service that is flexible supplying resources on demand can be a permanent solution for this type of a requirement. In this scenario, a VPS managed or unmanaged is more preferable than a shared hosting service.
Amazon and Google are a couple of provides that have costing plans based on the processing power used by your website. Cost-wise these services might be overbudgeted for a basic website.
Use of load balancers
Load balancers are physical or virtual devices that efficiently distribute network traffic across a number of servers in a clustered server farm. With load balancers, we are able to monitor traffic and redirect users to alternative server nodes based on user country, current traffic status and down/up status of one or multiple servers. Adding load balancers benefits you in a lot more ways than handling traffic to your website.
This is comparatively a more expensive solution when compared with other solutions discussed in this article.
Virtual Waiting Rooms
While all the above tactics are oriented on serving all the concurrent visitors of your website, the virtual waiting rooms take on a different approach. These are built to detect abnormal traffic increases against the available resources of your hosting server and puts the extra users in a queue and will be shown a waiting page.
By keeping the users on a waiting page, virtual rooms try to achieve two tasks. One is to avoid the server from crashing due to resource exhaustion and the other, directing the next in queue user to the actual website when resources get free. This option might not be everyone’s cup of tea as the waiting time for a user is not that predictable.
With advanced innovations available, maintaining website availability and smooth running is not your biggest thing to worry about in this era. Users can just settle for one solution or a combination of solutions to retain availability based on a customer’s requirements and the budget.