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« Your Event Promotion and Marketing Strategy - Start Point | Main | Getting Email Marketing Delivered for Your Event »

What Happens When Your Event Web Site CRASHES?

Here’s a real life story . . . “Event X” is less than 10 days away and their web site crashes.  Of all the bad things to happen to an event – a web site crash days before your event is pretty high on the worst case scenario list.  If your event is a few days away and people can’t access your event web site, you’re in a world of hurt.

Event_web_site_crash

From worst to "worser" – In order to register for “Event  X” you need to be able access an online registration form on their web site. As a result of the web site being down event organizers have to deal with the stress and customer service issues. The moral of the story is pretty straightforward - you should always have a web site backup plan for your event web site.  Below I’m going to outline some simple points (minus geek speak) any event organizer can utilize as backup plan for their web site.

A Robust Backup Plan & A Simple Plan
Having a smart contingency plan goes well beyond having a backup copy of your web site.  Ask yourself the following questions - Does my web site have supporting databases or special configuration files crucial for functionality? Will my email still work if your web site is down? There are numerous technical details essential to a properly running web site. You want to make sure to have all your bases covered if the worst happens. You should work closely with your web developer to make sure all your bases are covered.

Bare Bones Backup
As a last resort, have a skeleton web site ready to go in case of a web site crash. Your skeleton site shouldn’t be reliant on any databases or special programming . . . just HTML and pictures. The skeleton site is a stripped down version of your web site that can be posted to any web server in a matter of minutes. Keep the skeleton version of your site on a USB drive and keep it with you.

Don’t Go with the Cheapest Hosting Solution
Many event organizers go with the cheapest hosting solution they can find.  Just remember that overused cliché - “You get what you pay for.” It’s well worth a few extra bucks to get 24/7 phone support and automatic backup services from a reputable web hosting company. Regardless of your hosting plan - Make sure you ask a technical support person (not a sales person) what happens if your web site crashes.  Recovering and restoring a backup copy of your web site should take minutes, not hours or days.  Paying those extra dollars for a backup plan might seem like an unnecessary cost . . . But it’s well worth the price.

Is Increased Web Traffic a Concern?
Too much of a good thing (traffic to your site) can also create problems.  Don’t let a traffic overload pull down your web site. Here is what you can do . . . A few weeks before your event, check in with your hosting provider and let them know you're expecting a lot of traffic to the site. Most events get a majority of their web traffic in the week or two leading up to their event.  Traffic peaks right before an event takes place. This traffic peak, depending on the size of your event, can put tremendous strain on your web server. In some cases the deluge of traffic can crash a web site.  You need to make sure that your hosting package and web server can handle the expected increase in visitor traffic. Be sure to talk to a technical person at your web hosting company to make sure your hosting plan can handle the spike in visitor traffic.

Heed the information above carefully. Not having a web site backup plan is one of other little things that can come back to bit your in a big way. A little forethought can go a long way to prevent unnecessary stress and headache right before your event.

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