How Black Friday 2016 can make your website better

Can the madness of Black Friday 2016 ultimately help you to improve your website? We think so.

Posted on 25 November 2016 - Hosting
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Learning lessons from Black Friday

Today is Black Friday: the official start of the Christmas shopping frenzy imported from the USA, where it is the day after Thanksgiving.

 Over recent years, Black Friday has become one of the most exciting and challenging days for retailers and those involved in managing e-commerce websites. Of course, as with all challenges, there are lessons to be learnt and, if you choose to learn those lessons, your website is likely to improve as a result of the events of Black Friday 2016.

That’s because Black Friday is the ultimate stress test for an online shop. If you’ve got your product right, your deals right and your marketing right, it is likely to be the busiest day of the year for your website. As a result, you will be able to see exactly where you website is up to the job and, just as importantly, where it currently falls short.

In order to do this effectively, you and your web host will need to have monitoring tools in place to see exactly how Black Friday unfolds. Please note: your host or your tech people will need to know in advance that you want to monitor activity and statistics. For events like your website crashing or suffering from poor performance, it will be tricky to diagnose after the event without the monitoring taking place in real time.

What should you monitor on Black Friday 2016?

The key metrics to keep an eye on are usage and server loads. Between those two factors, you will be able to work out the traffic levels or user activity that impacts on your server’s performance by cross-referencing with the times that you spotted or customer’s reported problems.

With the data you gather, you will be able to change your hosting structure or the performance tools in use on your website in order to prevent similar problems occurring on busy days in the future.

If your website regularly has busy days, even when it’s not quite on the scale of Black Friday, it is worth considering this advice for high traffic websites.