Two Key Terms Every eCommerce Site Needs to Know
Online marketing is everywhere these days and trends in the field are getting more and more elaborate – the concept these days stretches out to incorporate a varying mix of web analytics, SEO, social media usage, even a little bit of behavioral science that can give us a gentle “nudge” to the right direction. But at the end of the day, it all starts with your website – which is why you must always be on the lookout for ways to ensure its smooth function.
So whether you are setting up your own e-shop or looking for optimal ways your firm can pierce through to your target audience, these are two key terms you must familiarize yourself with immediately in order to be sure you are up to speed and providing the best visitor experience possible.
Load Balancing: When The Weight Feels Too Heavy To Carry It Alone
Traffic is a good thing, right? Well, not necessarily. Sometimes it is the simple things we tend to neglect: too many people visiting your website can be an issue if your server or data center is not in the position to handle it, which could severely dirsupt the services you provide to your clients. A simple lapse like an unexpected traffic peak overloading your system or a mere hardware failure may send all that time and money invested in designing the optimal for conversions user environment out the window and leave you with frustrated clients and costly retroactive maintenance options.
Enter load balancing. The term describes the process that aims to proactively distribute traffic and workload across multiple servers in a given network, thus allowing maximum use of available resources. In this context, a network administrator defines one IP address and/or DNS name as the “load balancer” – that is, the server to which all requests for a specific task or application will arrive. The load balancer will then redirect requests to an internal pool of servers to achieve optimal workload allocation and maximum throughput.
Traditionally, load balancing would be carried out via a hardware load balancer device (HLD). However, technology has also evolved to allow for an updated version of load balancing with several advantages: cloud load balancing, also known as LBaaS (Load Balancing as a Service). This includes global server load balancing (GSLB), ideal for organizations operating multiple data centers or hybrid cloud environments. GSLB can be implemented as performance-based, employing the data center with the best connection time available, or as geography-based, which balances the load based on user geolocation.
Beware Of The Bots
Bots have been described as the weapon of choice for cyber-attacks. According to a recent survey published on Computer Weekly, while 60% of businesses may be well prepared for attacks of the traditional kind, such as worm and virus malware, around the same number confess to being much less prepared against advanced persistent threats (APTs) carried out through the “internet of zombies”. Malicious bot attacks include comment spammers, SQL Injection worms and bots that scan for vulnerable spots to attack your system.
Yet bots can be friendly, too. A whole lot of them are actually necessary for your website to function properly, indexing and advertising purposes: for example, Google’s famous search bots or Pingdom, which are operated by well-known, trustworthy service providers.
Therefore, it is essential for your website that such legitimate bots be able to access it, which only adds to the plight of cyber-security professionals: any protection oriented towards bot-generated attacks needs to be able to fine-tune a lot in order to distinguish between the two kinds and thus avoid false positives that might disrupt your visitor’s experience.
The Internet will not stop evolving anytime soon, offering new ways to attract clients and well-intended traffic. However, there is always the other side of the coin we need to bear in mind when employing cutting-edge tech – and it is always best to be well-informed, prepared and protected in order to be able to fully take advantage of online marketing.
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