Once the mid-year mark has been passed, it’s time to start thinking about the upcoming holiday season. No matter what field you’re in, increasing profit margins during the holidays should be a top priority. Start preparing for the business that’ll come your way early so you aren’t caught off guard at any time. If your business is primarily online, that means paying extra close attention to your servers.
What should you be prepared for?
The holiday season is when people go shopping. With online purchases on the rise, websites that cater to online sales should be prepared for:
- An increase in visitors: Traffic will increase as people go online to search for deals and bargains. Whether or not you have what they’re looking for, you will see a surge in traffic to your website.
- More processing: If they do indeed find that you have what they are looking for, you will see an increase in the usage of resources like your CPU, hard disk spaces and bandwidth. The more complicated the purchase or delivery process is on your website, the higher their usage will be.
Both of these points could end up crippling your servers and website.
How should you prepare your servers?
Well, if you’re concerned that the holiday season could hamper your chances of making a little more money, you can rest assured that it doesn’t need to happen. Here’s how you can prevent a total meltdown in the middle of a cash-generating season:
1. Pay Your Bills
Believe it or not, business do lose track of the expiration date of their hosting plans. This is especially true when you have your plan on automatic payment. Most hosting providers offer automatic payment options for renewal of services. They will send you a couple of emails a few weeks before the expiration date to inform you that they will be deducting the next years’ payments.
But, what if you have their messages going directly to your trash can? Or, let’s say your PayPal or credit card balance isn’t enough to cover your payments? Maybe you’ve changed passwords or have a new credit card. There are any number of issues that could come up, so be sure to check that your hosting plan will roll on over to the next year without any glitches.
2. Opt for Flexibility
While you may have put some serious consideration into your server hosting plan, you might still need to go and have a look at whether or not it is still the correct choice. If your business has been growing over the past couple of years, the plan that was perfect then could be out of date right now.
The best choice would always be to go for a hosting planning that is easily upward scalable. You should be able to handle an influx of traffic and data with a simple click on a button that will allocate more resources, should the need arise.
3. Upgrade Your Hosting
If you don’t want to be bothered with going through scaling up and down, you can simply upgrade to a bigger hosting plan. That way, you won’t have to go through sleepless nights wondering if you have taken the right steps to bear the upsurge.
Besides, with the cost for web hosting plans now being so low, you really don’t have any excuses to stay with a more expensive plan. A quick Google search will reveal tons of web hosting plans that are low-cost and high-performance.
4. Clean Up
If you decide to stay with your current hosting solution because you’re sure it can handle increased traffic, that’s good! But, you can always do better by going through your files and data and cleaning it up.
Get rid of any data you don’t need. Move any bulky files that you can do without for the moment to a temporary location. Make sure no processes are sucking up your bandwidth unnecessarily; if there are, kill them.
5. Check Your Processes
Go through your business processes from end to end to see if there are any steps you can skip over. Streamline what you can so they take up as little resources as possible. If you can, run a simulation to see if everything will hold up. Then, plan for what you will do in case they don’t.
Plan and you will make it
If you keep track of the tips mentioned above, there is no reason why you shouldn’t have a prosperous holiday season. The main trick is to prepare early so, when that holiday boom comes, you’re ready.