Cloud

Is Your Website Ready for Holiday Season Traffic?

load timesThe 2017 festive shopping season promises to be one of the biggest ever, particularly for online retailers. Total sales are projected to grow by 16.6 percent over last year, with online sales comprising 11.5 percent of all holiday shopping.

The period before, during, and after the holiday season is a huge sales opportunity for you. But if your e-commerce website is not ready for the influx of traffic, it can be a lost opportunity. Slow load times, broken links, and a poor user experience are unacceptable to shoppers expecting to find greater convenience and selection by going online.

Websites that cannot handle the surge in traffic immediately lose on sales. Worse, they damage the reputation of the brand and disappoint customers who may have otherwise become loyal fans. Optimising your website to accommodate more traffic is a sound goal for both the short and long term, and there are a few great strategies to keep in mind for getting your website ready:

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Cloud Advancements for Crunching Big Data Effectively

big dataThe expression “big data” is often thrown around in the business and tech world, but what does that really mean? Big data is a term that’s used to describe huge data sets that can be analyzed for trends and patterns in order to make better business decisions.

That may sound easy enough, and although there is extensive research and written information on big data technologies, few companies are actually using big data successfully. Most businesses remain ambitious, knowing they should be employing the technology without actually doing so.

Data continues to come in faster than ever, making it crucial for companies to process it more quickly. Effectively implementing fast processing of data will ensure your company is more up-to-date and relevant, and this is extremely important given how diverse data is becoming — a factor that gives us all the ability to analyze more innovatively.

As cloud computing continues to dominate the production environment, it’s time to take a look into “big data analytics” so you too can recognize how the power of crunching big data is bringing endless competitive advantage to companies.

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U.S. Data Center Upgrades for Even Better Performance

data centerLast month, I wrote about five things you can do to ensure shorter load times for your sites. Today I want to look at a sixth, positioning your services as close as possible to your end users.

LeaseWeb entered the U.S. market in 2011, in part because our clients across Europe and Asia needed North America-based hosting. Over time, we’ve grown our presence, both organically and through acquisition. We now operate 10 data centers across the continent with local U.S. based support.

Positioning services closer to end users enhances customer experience by decreasing content delivery times. Geographic spread also provides the safest disaster recovery and remote backup solutions for maximum uptime.

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From Hyperscale to Open Options: Preparing for Hybrid Cloud with Microsoft Azure Stack

Microsoft Azure StackFollowing the recent announcement of our Azure Stack Beta program, we spoke with LeaseWeb’s Technical Evangelist Robert van der Meulen about how Azure Stack will usher in a new era in hybrid cloud computing. Today’s cloud adopters will see many benefits by developing a hybrid cloud strategy that combines the features of both open cloud providers like LeaseWeb and hyperscalers like Microsoft’s Azure.

Why is LeaseWeb offering Azure Stack Beta (ASDK) and what is the demand from customers like?

It helps IT teams to experience in practice what kind of services Azure Stack brings, and how they fit in their existing and planned landscapes. Particularly it shows how public cloud-like services can be available in the trusted environment of a private cloud, or hosted data center. Azure Stack addresses the market for private cloud services with public cloud capabilities. The ASDK opens that environment up without the large up-front investment, and gives IT teams the capability to validate that their solution will work in a private Azure Stack setup.

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What It Takes to Stay Relevant in a Gamer’s World

gaming infrastructureNobody ever accused game developers of having an easy job. But over the past decade, more powerful and expensive hardware, as well as social games hosted on smartphones, have upped the ante. The gaming world is larger and more competitive than ever, and the market is evolving constantly.

Nowadays, even really good developers will make games that get passed over or lost in a sea of other options. It’s a global arena, and if you’re not making world-class products, you’re not going to last.

Undeniably, making great games that reach a large audience requires some element of luck. But more than luck, it requires commitment. You have to be dedicated to overcoming the challenges you’ll inevitably encounter, whether you’re an indie or AAA developer.

Today’s most successful developers aren’t the ones who spend the most on production, obtain the most funding, or utilize the best engine — they’re the ones who are relentlessly focused on giving gamers the best experience possible and that requires the right gaming infrastructure.

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Protecting Your Business From Increasingly Sophisticated Cyberattacks

cyberattacksWhether you’re leading a Fortune 500 company or your own small business, cybersecurity must be a fundamental business objective. Several high-profile cyberattacks in the first half of 2017 have affected organizations of all sizes all over the world, and these attacks are only going to become more common and more sophisticated.

As a business leader, it’s important to understand that the threat is constant. Even if you’ve never experienced an attack, your servers are perpetually being scanned by hackers for vulnerabilities — and the damage can be fatal to your business. A cyberattack can result in the loss of critical information, putting the reputation of your brand at stake.

If you suffer a cyberattack and are able to react quickly, it’s certainly possible to mitigate the damage to your business and your customers, though containing an attack can get tremendously expensive. If you have a plan in place, however, you can save yourself a lot of time and money — and protect the future of your business.

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The Secret to Shorter Load Times on E-Commerce Sites

shorter load timesE-commerce sales have increased dramatically over the past few years, and the growth continues to accelerate. Between 2015 and 2016, online sales increased almost 16 percent, and e-commerce is expected to continue to grow at rates above 20 percent. For online sellers and developers of e-commerce sites, this means the market will only become more competitive, and shorter load times will become more important.

 

Alongside increased sales, internet speeds continue to rise — and so do consumer expectations for online experiences. A measly four-second wait time causes 25 percent of site visitors to abandon a page, and for a site as large as Amazon, a single second of slowdown could cost $1.6 billion. Those numbers are nothing to sneeze at.

 

If your competitors’ sites load faster than yours, you could see your revenue start shifting to them. The effect is multiplied the longer you ignore your slow website, so why wait? The first step is to identify the mistakes that could be slowing down your website, keeping you from shorter load times, and costing you customers and cash. Next, you can take steps to correct them:

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How to Choose the Right SaaS Hosting Provider

SaaS HostingOver the past decade, SaaS has grown to be the primary service delivery model for companies across all industries, and according to a recent Gartner report, over 70 percent of companies utilize the model. While that same report forecasts slower growth in the SaaS market over the next few years, it predicts that among all global cloud services, only Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS) will grow more quickly.

There are a number of reasons for the success of the SaaS model, including the flexibility and scalability it offers. The fact that companies can easily offer new integrations and software upgrades to users on an ongoing basis — and test new features and functionality without having to wait for a full release — makes it a more efficient and cost-effective way to provide software.

As the leader of an SaaS company, however, you’ll also be faced with some challenges that are unique to this type of delivery model. SaaS companies often have to process tremendous amounts of data — a challenge that grows as your company also increases in size — and must serve a geographically dispersed user base with demanding security and accessibility requirements. Because of this, finding the right SaaS hosting provider is an important decision.

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What You Need to Know When Choosing a Cloud Solution for SaaS

SaaS hostingUnless you are Oracle, Salesforce, or another enterprise-level company, the cost of opening your own data center can be prohibitive. While this may be true, the benefits of operating in the cloud are clear from both a business and an IT standpoint. You can deploy software quickly, applications are easy to use, and maintenance and upgrade costs are lower than in the traditional model.

If your company doesn’t want to deal with the hassle or expense of managing everything itself, then working with a SaaS hosting company can offer you all the advantages of a cloud solution without blowing through the company’s capital expenditure budget.

By hosting in the cloud, you’ll be able to focus on developing software that runs smoothly without having to worry about managing equipment. IT departments will be able to rest easy, knowing that your cloud provider will handle data security, software upgrades, and compliance requirements — all without getting in the way of your business. What’s more, many IaaS providers offer models based on meeting various levels of operating expenditures, making it easier for your business to meet its budgetary needs.

As you explore different cloud providers, it’s important to consider each platform’s performance, reliability, and scalability before you make a final decision. The best cloud platforms are fully redundant, provide state-of-the-art equipment, are built to scale, and are backed by a team that understands the unique needs of different businesses and verticals.

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5 Ways to Protect Your Company from DDoS Attacks

DDoS AttackAs an online business, you have the responsibility of ensuring the safety of your customers’ hard-earned money from DDoS attacks. Unfortunately, hackers are making it harder to fulfill that responsibility. Verizon’s 2017 Data Breach Investigations Report found that the e-commerce industry falls victim to cyberattacks more than any other industry. In some cases, hackers are looking to extort money from your company. In others, they’re coming at your business as a form of industrial sabotage.

One of the most common strategies used to carry out these intrusions is a distributed denial of service attack. Digital Trends reported that the frequency of DDoS attacks increased by threefold in 2016. These attacks typically take on one of three forms: protocol, volume-based, or application layer attacks. Each uses a different method to overload your network, but the results are the same: chaos.

Sizing Up the Threat

To put the threat of DDoS attacks in context, just imagine if the online component of your business were disabled for hours, minutes, or even seconds. Depending on the size of the company, this loss of service could cost as much as $250,000 per hour — maybe more.

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LeaseWeb on Twitter

Leaseweb's Arno Witvliet speaks to Dutch IT-Channel about cloud infrastructure and the opportunities offered to MSPs and ISVs lsw.to/lZq

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Is Your Website Ready for Holiday Season Traffic? lsw.to/lZo

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