Battling Black Friday – 5 Tips For Online Traffic Surges

protect your website from black friday

Black Friday, the day following Thanksgiving each year, has a reputation for being one of the most erratic shopping days in the United States.  The market is flooded with deep discounts, and brick and mortar locations as well as online outlets have seen record revenues in recent years.  While this is great for business, a mass increase in online traffic is able to open up many vulnerabilities for websites.  Walmart’s website was disabled last year due to such a high-volume traffic period during Black Friday- violence and frustration was the result.  Use these 5 guidelines to protect your online presence during the holidays season this year.

1)      Be Prepared.  Unlike natural disasters and catastrophic incidents, website traffic during certain holidays is predictable.  It is not uncommon to see organic traffic spikes of 200% during Black Friday.  Reports of 800% increase have even been recorded, especially if you are running a successful marketing campaign.  Communicate with your IT department and make sure the website is functioning properly for mass increases of online traffic prior to the holidays.

2)      Watch out for Cybercriminals.  These individuals are experts at capitalizing on the shopping frenzy by utilizing fake sites and scams cloaked as “special promotions”.  Be sure to secure your website using SSL certificates to reassure your audience that your site is legitimate.  Don’t forget to use automated vulnerability scans and malware assessments to detect unseen web threats.

3)      Avoid DOS Defense.  Defenses against denial of service attacks can sometimes backfire during the holiday rush.  If your website is protected for a low volume of orders throughout the year, then a large holiday traffic spike can turn against you.  An overload of orders will not be accepted and result in lost revenue for your business if you focus solely on DOS defenses.

4)      Compress your Content.  Web content compression is a good practice that is particularly useful during high-traffic periods such as Black Firday.  It can lower bandwidth costs and even improve site performance.

5)      Lock Everything Down.  When a large surge of online traffic is expected, don’t schedule any other large projects or activities for a few days.  In other words- don’t implement any new applications, configuration changes or deployments until the rush has subsided.  IT lockdowns reduce the risk of system errors and keep consumers in check.

Potty Target

ptnewEver since we integrated our new shopping cart, sales have doubled. Thanks iPoint!

-Doug Kempel, Owner

Work Performed:

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  • SEO
  • Website Development
  • Shopping Cart Integration

Remote Data Backup – Does Your Business Need It?

remote data backup services

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Any business owner undoubtedly has information that is critical for their company to operate.  Whether it is computer files, billing accounts or sensitive client information, these components must be protected in order to avoid catastrophic losses and business down-time.  Off-site data backup is an insurance plan. Mission-critical files are deleted accidentally more often than not.  Important data can become corrupt. Natural disasters can leave your office in ruin.  Image walking into your office in the morning only to discover that a busted pipe has caused irreparable flood damage to a server containing all of your clients’ data.  Unfortunately by then, it is too late.

 

Use the following guidelines to determine if your business needs remote data backup:

  • Data Importance:

    This is the most important factor in determining if data backup is a good solution for your business.  If you’re operating a complex database or multiple advance applications, then you’ll need a more comprehensive backup package opposed to storing word documents or smaller items.

 

  • Types of Data:

    Often in businesses, information that doesn’t seem important to you may be very critical to another employee.  Be sure to consult with all of your partners when determining the most important data to be backed up.

 

  • Change Frequency:

    The more your data changes, the more it needs to be backed up.  Most companies can get by with a weekly setup, but if large changes are made daily then a 24-hour backup system may be a better fit.

 

  • Restoration Time:

    How quickly would you need this information if it were lost?  This can determine if you should choose a personal system, or a local off-site physical location.  At iPoint, we can have your files restored in a matter of hours opposed to the days it takes for online recovery.

 

  • Best Time For Backup:

    Generally, backups are performed at night while businesses are closed and system usage is low.  This speeds up the process of the backup, but if you are a 24-hour company you need to determine the slowest part of the work day to perform the backup process.

 

  • Off-Site Storage:

    Storing your information off-site is ideal to avoid natural disasters.  You should also include copies of the software you may need to install to reestablish operational systems.

 

If you think your business would benefit from affordable, monthly off-site data backup, contact iPoint’s networking department today.  Don’t wait until its too late – let us give you peace of mind for only pennies a day!