Whether you’ve personally experienced your website going down or been witness to a website falling over due to high demand, fact is; it does happen and more than you might think.
I am a West Ham fan…shoot me. But when we may made it into Europe for the first time in a very long while I was very eager to watch the first game.
Now the game was being streamed live on the the Hammer’s website, something they had never been done before. I was excited.
A couple of minutes into the game and wham…website is down.
“He Dived Ref”
The game was being streamed free, with no ‘sign in’ access or pre-requests – so they could not forecast how many fans may want to watch the game. Now West Ham have a fairly large fan base and it appeared that every fan wanted to tune in to watch the game; the poor website could not handle the traffic and it went down like a premier league football player in the penalty box.
On the same day the Daily Mail were streaming the game and after moving to see if their feed was down I managed to continue watching the game with no lag and no loss of picture.
The Daily Mail are used to receiving high traffic and their infrastructure can easily support video streaming. Every time some crazy video hits the news, the Daily Mail will have it and are prepared for high traffic spikes.
Not Just Football
Most recently I subscribed to watch the Antony Joshua VS Klitchko fight and strangely enough the same thing happened. Minutes in and whilst awaiting the National Anthem; the stream crashed.
This was something I didn’t expect from Sky but after reading quite a few tweets it wasn’t just me and had happened before. I was streaming through my Now Tv box which no doubt has a different delivery method to the way that TV subscribers watched the fight.
Fortunately the stream was back up in a few minutes missing practically the first round – which for a Joshua fight could have been the fight! But for a paid subscription streaming service this is not acceptable, and yet something as short as a few minutes can seriously damage the reputation of the brand.
Most hosting setups are fairly straight-forward and have a single server like a single server which when overloaded will crash.
What your website will need is an autoscaling service that spins up another server automatically when a certain traffic threshold is getting close to being exceeded. Seems very obvious yet a majority of businesses have not yet adapted to this approach.
In early 2017 after nearly 9 months configuring; Impact launched our new AWS infrastructure. We moved our existing dedicated server setup from Rackspace to Amazon cloud (AWS – Amazon Web Services).
Our new AWS setup has planned failovers, added security measures and is built ready for traffic spikes whenever they arise.
Security Firewalls. Some spam bots aim to bring down your website by running thousands of requests to trick the server into thinking that they’re users.
The firewall stops the bots to ensure that only legitimate users are viewing your website – this frees up necessary resources, keeps costs low as well as allowing real traffic to show up in your Google Analytics.
For those of you like Impacter Martin who like all of the techy details, feel free to drop us an email and we can send over more detail on our Infrastructure as well as Unlimited Support Plans.
So how do you ensure your website is always up and running and prepared for traffic spikes?
If your website is critical to your business, you stream video or simply cannot afford downtime when spikes occur, then speak to your host and ask about autoscaling, see how their setup can handle traffic spikes and ask about firewalls too. If they have a system in place then sit back and put your feet up.
Alternatively if you’re setup is not ready or you are looking for additional support to move your WordPress website then give us a call on 02033558747 or drop us an email and we can help explain the process of migrating your website and getting on board with Impact.