There’s Thanksgiving, then there’s Black Friday, and for those who don’t want to leave the house, there’s Cyber Monday. Last year, Adobe Insights recorded over $6 billion in digital transactions, a 16% increase from 2016! That percentage is sure to increase this year! As marketers gear up for the holiday season, your team should be taking the necessary steps to ensure that your website won’t crash. Cyber Monday means a lot of users shopping on your website at once. Can your website handle the traffic spike? It also means hackers will be on the prowl, hunting for weak points in your site. Is your website secure?
Here are 5 questions to consider in preparation for the holiday traffic?
Is your website scalable?
A flexible hosting package allows your provider to scale the appropriate amount of server resources during a spike and return back to normal afterward. Sevaa Group has the ability to scale horizontally based on bandwidth, memory, and storage. We’re able to do this through load balancing and the use of a content delivery network (CDN). A CDN stores copies of your resources among several servers so that your site can pull content from the closest CDN to the user, as opposed to pulling everything from one server.
Is customer information secure?
Online shopping means an influx of valuable customer information, like mailing addresses and credit card information. Hackers will be out and about looking for ways into your website so that they can get this information and use or possibly sell it. Often times, hackers look for the admin panel to find information about the CMS you’re using. With this in mind, they’ll be able to target weak points for that specific CMS.
SQL injection attacks are among the most common ways that hackers infiltrate your website. Hackers use a web form field or a URL parameter to access your database. Protect your database using queries with parameters. In addition, encourage rules for strong password creation when users create accounts. Finally, ensure validation on the browser and server side. This will catch unfulfilled mandatory fields or incorrect input.
Do you have a firewall in place?
Sevaa Group implements software-based and physical firewalls with every hosting plan based on your CMS. This will keep out hackers and bad bots. A firewall will monitor all incoming and outgoing traffic, a must during the busy shopping season. The firewall will allow or block users based on specific security rules.
How well does your website perform?
Test your site’s performance before the big day. This will reveal any bugs that might affect your Cyber Monday sales. Google offers a lot of resources to test your website. Use Think With Google to test your mobile speed, and web.dev scores your site for performance, SEO, accessibility and more. Web.dev will offer suggestions so that you can improve your site. Though some of the suggestions may be more technical than others, they can easily be communicated to developers to solve.
Do you have a way to monitor your system?
As an e-commerce website owner, you’ll most likely be preoccupied with fulfilling orders, small snags, and everything else that comes with the shopping season. Sevaa Group can help you set up a system to monitor your site while you focus on more important things. The system will monitor uptime, performance, and functionality and alert you or your hosting provider if there are any issues.
The Thanksgiving turkey is all you need to be sharing this holiday season, not your server resources or personal information. Shared hosting spreads resources out among multiple websites. So if one website goes down, you could be affected as well. For an e-commerce site, we recommend a dedicated server, especially when it comes to a threat of traffic spikes and cybersecurity. Follow these tips, and you’ll be thankful for smooth Cyber Monday! Happy holidays!