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Technical Checklist to Prepare Your eCommerce Store for Holiday Traffic

Wrench on a keyboard
  • Aug 31, 2021
  • 0
  • by Paris Backston

Guide Part 1:

As all eCommerce business owners begin to buckle down and get ready for the upcoming holiday season many are focused on bringing new traffic to their sites to take advantage of the increased spending during Q4. But what happens when your site isn’t ready for the traffic and crashes in the middle of your biggest Black Friday Sale of the year? We want to make sure your website is fast and ready to receive all the new visitors coming your way. 

1. Identify Your Resource Weaknesses

One of the secret tips to keeping your eCommerce website functioning smoothly is making sure you’re not approaching your resource limits. Have you looked at your traffic from last year? Did you run into any issues during your big sales? If so it may be important to check to see if you should move to a plan with more resources to help support a smoother customer experience. Not sure what resources to look at? Here are four important ones to check: 

  • Disk Space: This refers to the amount of room on your account to store files, including all of your text, code, and images. 
  • Memory Usage (RAM): RAM stores working data and is a vital part of a computer’s performance. A2 Hosting’s RAM options on our VPS and Dedicated plans range anywhere from 4GB to 128 GB DDR4 ECC, so we have options for any sized website! 
  • CPU Usage: This is the central processing unit that processes and runs instructions. We offer the choice of AMD and Intel CPUs on our Dedicated plans!
  • Inode Usage: These correlate with how many files you can store on your website. If you’re an eCommerce company with lots of files it may be important to get a plan with access to more inodes. Read our knowledge base articles to learn more about how to manage your inode count.

If you’re nearing the maximum usage afforded to your current plan we encourage you to upgrade! Interested in going even faster? Check out A2 Turbo, available on most plans! Confused about what all the web hosting resources are? Check out this blog on four web hosting resources to consider when choosing your hosting plan.


2. Try a CDN

That’s right, that CDN you’ve been debating? Now is the time to go for it. But what is a CDN? A CDN, or Content Delivery Network, works by utilizing dispersed servers. This allows you to distribute your web content to different physical server locations. This way visitors from around the world can access your site and all of its information from a server that is closer to them. Here’s a list of the benefits of using a CDN:

  • Faster loading speed
  • Boost in reliability and response time
  • Better global reach
  • Increased number of users at one time
  • DDoS protection

A2 Hosting offers Cloudflare, a popular CDN, for our customers’ use.

Create a secure WordPress website using a CDN.

3. Increase Your Payment Security

Online security has always been important but in 2021 it’s absolutely essential. You want your information and your customer’s information to be safe and secure to help build consumer trust. Make sure you implement these strategies to help secure your site before the holiday sales:

  • Install an SSL Certificate

SSL certificates are so easy and there are free versions offered with most of A2 Hosting’s plans. This will help verify your identity to any potential customers and let them know that there’s an encrypted connection when transmitting their information. The great part about paying for an upgraded SSL with A2 Hosting is added security and the benefits of displaying a trust badge. These are symbols you can add to your site that will assure customers that their information is secure and your site is trustworthy. 

The A2 Hosting SSL certificate options.

  • Implement an Address Verification Service (AVS)

Don’t let those suspicious credit card transactions get by you! An AVS is a fraud prevention system that will help your eCommerce store limit its fraud and chargebacks. 

  • Require Card Verification Value (CVV)

The CVV is the little number on the back of debit cards. By requiring customers to enter this information when trying to check out, you can add an extra level of security to every transaction.

  • Is your payments processor ready for a greater number of purchases?

Last but not least, check the fine print on your payment processing system. Make sure you have the right setup so those sales don’t go down the drain when your customers can’t pay!

4. Cache, Cache, Cache

Caching is a great way to speed up your site! Caching stores your web pages in memory, so the server can serve them very quickly, instead of fetching them from the disk each time. Implementing caching can dramatically reduce page load times. Our A2 Turbo plans come with Litespeed caching preinstalled! Read our knowledge base article to learn how to use Litespeed on your site.

Now You Can Speed Off Into that Proverbial Sunset

Though technical updates may not always be as flashy as marketing updates, they are vital when trying to get your eCommerce website ready for the heavy traffic coming with the holidays. Follow the steps above to make sure you have the right resources and tools to give your customers a great shopping experience.  

If you’re looking for more information on how to get ready for the holidays keep checking A2’s blog for more guides and expert advice on preparing your eCommerce site! We’ll be running a guest blogging series where experts from our team inform you on topics from the best way to make sure your site is secure to common types of fraud to look out for as your conversions keep rolling in. If you’re looking for hosting with speed, support, and security to make sure your eCommerce site is up and ready to handle all that holiday traffic, make sure you check out our discounted turbo plans

Learn More: 

Interested in learning more? Get access to The Ultimate Guide to Getting Your eCommerce Website Holiday Ready.