Why Load Balancing Is Vital With eCommerce Platforms
Launching an eCommerce website requires investing a significant amount of time setting up and managing IT infrastructure. To prevent unnecessary downtime, you need to consider things like disaster recovery, server security, and website security.
Traffic management also plays a vital role in keeping your website online. You need to generate traffic to make sales, but when you’re unprepared, too much traffic can cause your website to go offline.
Heavy traffic can impede your conversions
Each visitor that comes to your website is considered a single connection, but will generate multiple requests per page load. It takes resources to support connections; your website can only handle a finite number of connections at once.
Servers have a finite capacity for resources like memory, processing power, and bandwidth. If the demand for resources is greater than what your servers can handle, your website will either slow down or crash.
Your conversion rates are directly influenced by the amount of time it takes for your pages to load. According to a recent Google study, 53% of mobile users bounce when a page takes more than three seconds to load. You can’t afford to have slow loading pages killing off your profits.
Load balancing helps you handle heavy traffic
Heavy traffic can hit at any time, putting stress on your server’s resources and causing your website to go down. When your website goes down, you lose sales, and your brand perception may suffer.
Holidays, promotional periods, and new product launches can cause a surge in traffic. You need a strategy for managing server resources during these periods of heavy traffic.
The solution is load balancing, and it’s achieved with a special device called a “load balancer.” A load balancer distributes your visitors’ requests across a number of servers.
Load balancing is your best defense against a server crash due to heavy traffic. Load balancing is designed to optimize the use of server resources, minimize response time, and prevent overload on any single resource.
Load balancing for reliability
Your website or online service can only generate revenue when it’s actually online. Crashes or slowdowns due to hardware failure or sudden spikes in traffic come with a real cost, both to your income and your reputation.
Load balancing not only distributes traffic evenly across multiple servers, it eliminates any single point of failure. If any single server or load balancer happens to fail the system’s redundancy keeps the site online and running smoothly while the hosting team replaces the failed device.
There are various algorithms available which can determine how the load balancer distributes traffic. Your hosting provider can advise you on the best configuration for your specific setup.
Why choosing a dedicated hosting solution is ideal
Shared hosting accounts are cheap – sometimes less than five bucks a month. You can install your own platform like WordPress or Magento in minutes. It sounds like a great deal. However, shared hosting isn’t a good option for eCommerce websites. Dedicated hosted solutions like the ones we offer are ideal because they give you full control over your dedicated resources.
Don’t be lured in by cheap shared hosting – it’s like moving in with unpredictable roommates who use all the hot water and hog the WiFi. Sharing resources puts you at the mercy of their demands all the time.
Your load balancing needs are unique – we can help
Basic load balancers can only do so much by monitoring for HTTP status code or text match. Skylands engineers are trained to create custom scripts to monitor your eCommerce website and balance visitors based on what defines up/down for your particular application.
We also offer LiteMage for Magento so all of your web servers can share a single cache. LiteMage improves warm-up time and reduces server load by eliminating the need to duplicate cache-loading efforts. In fact, our high performance caching serves cached content up to two times faster than other solutions.
If you’re a small business, the time will come when you’ll need to scale your applications beyond one server to improve speed and reliability. You don’t want to be caught off guard when your business takes off. Our flexible load balancing algorithms are activated on-demand and automatically scale to meet your seasonal and temporary traffic spikes.
We offer multiple hosting options for Magento websites, all of which offer load balancing. Contact us today to find out how we can help you with your eCommerce needs.