Saturday, November 26, 2011

Surviving a peak eCommerce Christmas - part 2

To help you get through peak Christmas trading this year, I'm posting as series of helpful tips.
Here's a couple more:

Optimise your images
eCommerce websites are not just made up of code, they typically include a lot of visual assets as well. Users downloading pages including high quality images and possibly video from your servers at busy times can cripple your hardware and bandwidth, degrading everyone’s experience. Ask yourself “Do I really need that huge photo on the homepage?” and even if the answer is ‘yes’ you should check to see if you can compress it even slightly with no obvious reduction in quality. Remember… compressing images to optimum levels should be part of your regular website publishing process and just because you have a great data connection in the office, don’t always assume your user has one too.

Speak with your hosting company
A lot of website availability issues occur when systems are subjected to unpredicted demand. You should already have some idea what your busiest day and hour figures are and when in the next few weeks this could be (if you also do your analysis right, you should also have a good idea of your peak visitors and transactions – see point 1). If you haven’t already, talk to your hosting company and share this information with them. Ask them what they can do to maintain site availability and what monitoring / alerting they have in place. Also discuss with them the possibility of temporarily boosting your bandwidth to higher levels should you need to.

The previous post is here:
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