It’s both a good and bad news for websites owner when their site experience a sudden spike in traffic. This is usually a good problem unless you are not prepared for it. There are times when you know you have an exclusive story, and you know that traffic is going to flood your blog, and you can take the necessary steps to prepare. However there are instances where your content got viral for reasons you didn’t expect – maybe a celebrity endorsed, or posted your link on their fan page, and it just got viral.
There are 4 ways to prepare your site for such traffic spikes, and this will be rewarding for you, especially your pocket if you can monetize the traffic.
1. Preparing a mobile version of your blog. In the past, almost everyone surfs the Internet using a computer, however more and more users are using their iPad, Tablets, Samsung Tabs, or Blackberry to read online. And because of this, it makes perfect sense for us to be prepare for this category of visitors. By optimizing the site, we can significantly prepare our site for the spikes.
For WordPress blogs you can download the WPtouch plugin, so that readers can view your blog that’s optimized for their mobile phone. WPtouch is one of the plugins that I recommended on this post. By downloading and viewing a “light” and “no-fuss” version of your blog, you won’t lose a visitor, and limit the bandwidth usage too.
2. Using Third Party Services – If your content is image or video intensive, it works to your advantage to use services such as flickr to host images, and youtube for videos. Where applicable you can redirect traffic to your content hosted elsewhere e.g. blogger, livejournal, typepad, etc. For PDFs, powerpoint or audio files you want to share, there are many choices available for you such as Dropbox, Google Docs
3. Avoid using excessive Flash or images. If you can use normal text for your navigation, then stick to it. There’s no need to be over-decorative on such basics. The reader isn’t going to be keen on that either, he’s more interested on the content that you have done. Flash (videos) also require more loading, and that will contribute more traffic problems for you. Aside from this, Flash isn’t a good idea either since it would not load on iPhone and iPad, and you’ll lose this group of users surfing your blog with this gadgets.
4. Caching the blog. Use plugins such as WP Super Cache to speed up the loading of your site. This really helps lots during traffic spikes. So make sure you have a plugin that does this job. Google also uses the speed of loading of your blog page as an indicator to rank your site too (although it’s not a big factor).
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