The time is here for the online shopping onslaught — Black Friday, Cyber Monday and the whole run up to Christmas. The promotions have been prepared, the email campaigns set up, so just one questions remains: Is your website ready to handle the volume?
The issues around website performance have never been as prominent in the news. So let’s review the top tips for making sure your websites — and remember this is now across desktop, tablet and smartphone devices — are ready for showtime.
Before, During and Beyond
Keynote recommends five key best practices for Wed performance readiness:
- have a dedicated, cross-functional readiness team;
- load test in production across desktops, tablets and mobile devices;
- analyze transaction performance end-to-end;
- monitor ongoing performance with simulated and real user techniques; and
- plan for contingencies.
Cross-Functional Readiness Team
Companies that take website preparation seriously for any seasonal or high-traffic event think about scalability and performance across the entire business, including development, web operations, IT systems, marketing, sales, etc. While web operations takes primary responsibility for website readiness, regular meetings with a core group of stakeholders is critical to ensure getting the input needed. Doing so voices not just technical issues but broader issues such as the overall customer experience or supply chain readiness.
Production Load Testing
Everybody tests their website, right? This may be true, but the real question is whether those tests truly validate that a website will perform well under peak traffic. The only way to know this is to simulate the expected number of visitors and their journeys through the site with real internet traffic in production. Production environments are larger scale and depend on different external systems than a staging or test environment. Testing services that use transactions generated from the cloud can replicate the conditions that actual shoppers will experience in production. This type of load testing models customer behavior and the ways in which users continually arrive on a site during peak events, no matter if on a laptop, smartphone or tablet.