The holiday season is a-coming, which means PSLs, eggnog, slightly suggestive renditions of otherwise family-friendly Christmas tunes, and (hopefully) an increase in website traffic. Before the holiday rush, we recommend taking some time to prep your website for the hap-happiest season of allllll.
Install Google Analytics (if you haven’t already)
Running a website without Google Analytics is like driving on the interstate blindfolded; you’ve got no idea what’s going on! Google Analytics is a free tool that lets you view and analyze your website’s traffic and visitor behavior, which is critical for gaining valuable insights as your website traffic increases.
Update platforms and plugins
Believe it or not, most updates don’t include new features, but instead address bugs and security fixes. Problems with third-party plugins that you’re using on your website will be exacerbated with increased traffic, so make sure your platform and plugins are up-to-date.
Prep your server
Be sure to ask your developer to check your server’s usage statistics and increase its resources prior to the holiday season if higher traffic is expected. If you’ve got any technical skills, you can add “swap” memory to your server by following the instructions this post (or just send it to your developer and ask him or her to do it).
Eliminate unused products, pages, and plugins
If your website has been around for more than a year, it’s likely that you’ve accumulated a decent amount of pages and plugins that you don’t use any longer. Take some time to sort through everything and dump the stuff that you’re not using anymore. The same goes for products...remove the ones that you no longer sell.
Consider getting a website audit
Depending the age of your site, how often you update it, how many programmers have worked on it in the past, and a variety of other factors, your site might be in need of some cleanup to keep it running smoothly. Before the holiday rush, you should consider asking a developer to take a look and clean up anything under the hood that could jeopardize your site’s speed, security, or stability. By the way, we know some good developers who could take care of that for you.
As you can tell, the majority of work that you should do is preventive. While it may take some time and money to put the work in before the holidays arrive, it’s far better than scrambling at 11:04pm on December 24th to try and get your website back up and running.