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A Developer’s Checklist for Getting Your Site Ready for the Holidays

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Reading Time: 3 minutes

Introduction

The holidays are just around the corner, which means it is time for you to start getting your site ready for the holiday rush. We have created a checklist of things to consider when preparing your eCommerce site for this season.

Test early, test often.

Testing early and testing often are the best ways to ensure that your site is ready for the holiday rush. The longer you wait, the more likely it is that you’ll miss something important.

Test early with a small group of users who represent your core audience. Use this as an opportunity to find out if anything on your site needs fixing or updating before you roll out changes in a larger test or live release.

Use this time to update all of your content as well—you can even swap in seasonal greetings around Halloween, Thanksgiving and Christmas (or whatever holidays are relevant for your business).

Consider holiday-specific localization.

Christmas is celebrated in many countries around the world, and even within each of those countries there are often different ways that it’s celebrated. You’ll want to consider how you want your site to be localized for specific countries, especially if they have unique customs or traditions surrounding the holiday.

Localization tools can help with this process by translating your content into different languages and currencies, but there are also tools that can help you localize content based on location-specific holidays. For example, Google Translate has a special feature called “detect language” that allows you to automatically detect whether someone visiting your site is from an English-speaking country (and therefore would prefer an English version of your website) or not (and therefore requires a translated version).

Plan for traffic surges.

As your site attracts more visitors, you’ll want to make sure it stays up and running smoothly. A developer should be able to help you plan ahead of time so that your site can handle the increased load during this busy season. It’s important that you test the performance of your site under peak usage conditions, both before and after any changes have been made. The solution? Use a CDN (Content Delivery Network).

Ensure your site is mobile-ready.

There are two ways to ensure that your site is mobile-ready:

  • Make sure your site is responsive. This means that the design adapts to different screen sizes, so users will always have an optimal experience regardless of their device.
  • Optimize for mobile. If you’re using a CMS (Content Management System), check with them about what options you have for optimizing your content for mobile devices, as this can vary widely between platforms and even within one platform at times.
  • Ensure that your website loads fast on a mobile device; studies show that slower page loads significantly impact conversion rates from desktop to mobile devices because users are more likely to leave if they feel like it takes too long for pages or apps to load when they switch devices or use poor connectivity

Prepare backups and defenses for attacks.

The holiday season is a busy time for everyone, and you want to make sure your website is running smoothly. To ensure that happens, it’s important that you prepare for potential attacks.

The first step in preparing for an attack is making backups of your database and files on the server. If an attacker does successfully get into your site and destroy it, you can have all the files and database restored from a recent backup. This will save you from having to rebuild everything manually while also minimizing any downtime by getting things back up as soon as possible after an attack has been detected.

Think about design for mobile, localization and SES.

Be sure to test your site on mobile devices. You may have heard this tip before, but it’s worth repeating. If you’ve built a responsive site that works well on desktop browsers, make sure it also works well on mobile browsers. Your website should load quickly and be easy to navigate while on the go.

The holidays are just around the corner.

This is the time of year when people are traveling, shopping and looking for information. They’re also looking for entertainment. As a developer, it’s important to take note of these trends so that you can prepare your website or app for them as well.

Here are some tips to consider as you think about what needs to be done in order to ensure your site is ready for the holidays:

Conclusion

When you’re planning for the holidays, it’s important to make sure that your site is ready. If you’ve followed these tips, then you should be well on your way.

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