5 Steps To Prepare Your E-Commerce Website For Black Friday
# website monitoring# ssl monitoring

5 Steps To Prepare Your E-Commerce Website For Black Friday

Did you know that British people alone plan to spend over £6 billion on Black Friday and Cyber Monday according to statistics from Finder?

Most of those deals can be found online, and with the average shopper spending £295.67, ensuring that your E-Commerce website doesn't go down during this critical time is incredibly important!

Given the nature of Black Friday and Cyber Monday, websites, like yours are undoubtedly going to experience a surge in website traffic and your website could experience downtime, and that's okay, because this is one of the times where it's likely going to happen...

However, you want to try and minimise website downtime on Black Friday and Cyber Monday as much as possible right?

In this article, I'm going to give you a 5 step action plan to ensure that your E-Commerce website is prepped for Black Friday and Cyber Monday so that you can ensure your website runs as smoothly as possible and provides the best user experience!

5 Steps To Get Your E-Commerce Website Ready For Black Friday!

  1. Server Updates - are there any updates needed for your server? Make sure your server is up to date.
  2. Website Monitoring - get alerted immediately when your website stops working
  3. Recovery Plan - get a plan in place for the worst
  4. Backups - make sure you're backing up your website and databases often!
  5. SSL Certificate - ensure your site is secure and has a valid SSL certificate in place

Step #1: Ensure Your Website And Server Are Updated!

ensuring website and server are secure

Did you know that 60% of breaches in 2019 were caused by unpatched vulnerabilities, something that could've been avoided had the website and server been updated.

That's just one half of the story though isn't it, we're simply looking at the server alone in this instance but what about your actual website?

Do you have a WordPress website?

One of the first steps that you need to take to ensure that your website is ready for Black Friday and Cyber Monday is to ensure that your website and server have the latest updated and security fixes applied to them.

There's no point leaving this until the last minute, you're going to want to start updating at least two weeks before Black Friday and Cyber Monday so that you're not rushing around on the day.

If your server and site aren't updated, then there's a strong chance that hackers are going to want to come along on these yearly events to try and steal your customers financial information when they're shopping on your site!

If you're on WordPress, it's pretty straightforward to update, so you'll want to update your E-Commerce website in step one.

Step #2: Get Website Uptime Monitoring Set Up

get website uptime monitoring set up

Black Friday and Cyber Monday are the days where you're likely going to see a surge in website traffic to your site and you might be busy, caught up in managing your team when the expected happens...

Your website goes down.

It's normal for your website to go down when under heavy load and receiving a lot of traffic, but you want to ensure that you know EXACTLY when your website stops working so that you can take the required action.

If your website visitors are trying to buy from your E-Commerce website on Black Friday or Cyber Monday, they're not going to be very happy when there's one item left in stock and they can't purchase it because your site went down and you didn't know straight away.

Here at the domain monitor, we've created a website uptime monitoring feature as part of our platform, so by signing up you'll be able to set up a website monitor quickly, and easily to monitor your website on Black Friday.

Step #3: Create A Disaster Recovery Plan

create recovery plan

Preparation for your E-Commerce website for Black Friday and Cyber Monday is essential to ensure your website runs as smoothly as it possibly can, but what if everything goes wrong?

What if the worst of the worst happens and there's a disaster such as a data centre outage or unscheduled server downtime that you weren't aware of?

This is why it's a good idea to make a disaster recovery plan for your website in preparation for Black Friday and Cyber Monday so that if the worst happens, you'll have some kind of plan to put into action.

Creating Your Plan

  • Make sure to contact your data centre in advance to check that there's no unscheduled server downtime or planned downtime
  • Contact your affiliate providers and marketplaces to make sure they're operational and have enough stock
  • Collaborate with your team (if you're not working alone) to know if anyone's going to be "on call"
  • Utilise a service such as Ready.gov to put together an emergency plan

As long as you've got a plan in place, and more crucially, have tested your plan to some level, then you should be fine come Black Friday.

Step #4: Backup Your Website And Databases

backup your website

Chances are your website has a database in order for you to allow customers to register and allow you to get products shipped off to them right?

One of the biggest, and most important steps to preparing your E-Commerce website for Black Friday is to ensure you've got backups of your website and your database.

You don't want to have a developer make a change to your website only to find that at 13:00 on Black Friday you're scrambling to understand why customers can't register for an account because someone forgot to change a setting in the database right?

Make sure to take copies of your website and database ahead of Black friday and Cyber Monday so that if the worst happens, you're at least able to get in touch with your customers and let them know what's happened.

Typically, your web hosting provider will offer you the option to add automatic backups, it'll cost you a bit more per month on top of your web hosting plan, but is worth it!

Step #5: Check Your SSL Certificates

check your SSL certificates

Did you know that there are millions of SSL certificates being issued every day by the SSL provider Let's Encrypt?

If you don't have an SSL certificate installed on your website, you're missing the importance of having an SSL.

With that being said, if you do have an SSL certificate installed, is it working?

With Black Friday and Cyber Monday being incredibly large events for E-Commerce websites and online shoppers, your potential customers and existing customers are going to want to feel reassured that their details they're entering into your website are safe and secure.

Our platform offers free SSL monitoring when you add your domain name to our system, we'll start monitoring your SSL at the same time, and we'll alert you before Black Friday and Cyber Monday whether there's an issue with your certificate.

Hopefully, you take on board these steps for preparing your E-Commerce website, and if you do, you're more likely to have a smoother day and your customers will be happier!

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