12 Day Cyber Monday Warning: How to Maintain Website Uptime; Protect Against DDoS Attacks

Welcome to the 20-Day Cyber Monday Warning! We started a Web Series, where we'll break down important digital marketing news and strategies for you, dear reader, to use in order to prepare for the biggest day in e-Commerce! For previous entries, please click here! Check back every weekday, as we count down to Monday, December 2nd. Comments, gripes, concerns? Check out us out on Twitter! 

Day 14: "Nothing Else Matters"

Earlier this week, in our Cyber Monday series, we provided readers with 3 ways to create a safe, secure checkout experience on your website for customers. Let's continue with that theme of safety: Ask yourself, what's the worst thing that could happen to your eCommerce web store over the holiday shopping season? 

Believe it or not, the answer has nothing to do with failed campaigns or poor conversion rates. No, the worst thing that could happen to your business is your website experiencing downtime. Think about it: there is no such thing as "store hours" on the Internet; it never closes, and customers don't expect it to.

Consequently, there is a devastating domino impact to a website crash. Once it happens, customers cannot access your product catalog and store, thus dollars cannot be spent (or, perhaps worse, are instead being spent elsewhere!), and your bottom line suffers. And make no mistake about it, your bottom line suffers immensely. Analysts estimate that just a single hour of downtime during the holiday season can cost an eCommerce shop upwards of $150,000 in sales. YIKES.

These outages can even occur to supposed trusted hosting environments -- just ask clients of Network Solutions who experienced outages or, better yet, Go Daddy customers who have felt the pain of downtime.

So what causes websites to go dark? We've covered root causes of website downtime in this space before, but let's review: First and foremost, it's important to use a trusted DNS provider. DNS is technology that relays a website’s URL to an IP address; think of it like the Yellow Pages for the Internet.

But as far as causes go, a common stem is caused from unprepared servers being overflooded with sudden, high-volume web traffic due to an event like, say, CYBER MONDAY! Unfortunately, a more common, nefarious cause to website downtime is from Distributed Denial of Service (DDoS) Attacks.

One of our technology partners, Dyn Inc, a leading Infrastructure-as-a-Service provider, recently defined these harmful attacks and their impact -- both in the short and long term -- in the short video below:

To reiterate, don't get caught napping during the eCommerce biggest party of the year! Downtime ruins everything: Your carefully crafted user experience, social media holiday campaigns, thematic email marketing blasts, content -- everything -- your entire digital marketing strategy.

Need help developing a safe, yet dynamic eCommerce experience? Visit Bridgeline today or holler at us on Twitter!

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