Test Your Website Now to Avoid a Nightmare Before Christmas
2. Monitor data that relates closely to user experience. If you don't have uptime, you don't have a user experience. Once you've covered that base, IT's focus should pivot toward factors that will influence consumers’ impressions of your website.
From an IT perspective, the single most important facets of user experience in e-commerce are page speed and full page load times. That 30 percent discount offer or product video needs to load instantly, because it does no good if consumers leave the site before they see it. To ensure they do, use ping requests and loading time measurements (i.e., the time it takes to download source code) to track page speed, and then find a solution to measure full page load times in a browser. You need to be sure that images, videos, flash content and all embedded materials come up quickly.
Also, test your site thoroughly for error messages and try out shopping cart features such as logins and transactions to root out any possible problems. If you don't already do this regularly, the time to start is now, not the weekend after Christmas.
Remember, the more ways people can interact with your website, the more things that can go wrong. Keep your site content rich, but keep it all working.
3. Don't forget the finer details. If you're confident that your site will be up and the content will load quickly, it's time to focus on the nitty-gritty details that can make a big difference. Again, the key is to address them as early as possible.
How much free disk space do you have on your servers? Log files, database entries, video and photo uploads, among other items, can eat up space quickly, throttling CPU loads and causing server failures. Stop this problem before it starts by simulating a high workload to test how your server will handle holiday activity.