Monthly Archives: March 2014

How to prevent your website going offline in the middle of a product launch

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rocket-launchWe just had our first proper launch with our friend Joshua Zamora from Zamurai Blogger¬†and I wanted to make sure that we don’t put all our eggs in one hosting provider’s basket, as trustworthy and reliable as they may seem.

Here are a few precautions we took to make our launch go as smoothly as possible.

1. Use a reliable hosting and minimize your website

Of course, the first thing you still want to do is find a reliable host. I’d love to give suggestions here, however both of our hosting providers went offline for a few minutes in the week before the launch so we lost a bit of trust in them (Site5 and Hostwinds). A lot of CPA marketers who drive tons of traffic suggest LiquidWeb so check them out. Avoid Hostgator and other EIG-owned hosts.

If you’re still on a shared or small VPS, you want to make sure that you have a really small website (we use basic HTML with some PHP and load bigger images from Rackspace’s Cloud Files) and/or that you use caching (like CloudFlare or WordPress plugins for caching).

2. Separate your sales page from your licensing server or web service

In the case that your traffic crashes the main server, you still want to have a working service and/or licensing system.

You can put the service on a subdomain (we use app.domain.com or members.domain.com).

3. Use a backup server so you can update affiliate links

We use JVzoo but I think this should also work on any other affiliate network.

Create an identical copy of your sales page on a new server and a new domain (or subdomain).

If your main server goes down, just change the URLs of sales page and thank you pages in the JVzoo control panel. The traffic affiliates send will now go to the new URL on the second server.

For your own traffic, I suggest sending it through a link shortener which allows you to change the URL at anytime.

4. Use CloudFlare and Always Online

CloudFlare is a service that primarily secures your website from DDOS attacks. I recommend using it on all websites since the basic plan is completely free.

CloudFlare caches your pages so they take less server resources to be shown. It will also redirect bot traffic so it doesn’t waste your resources.

One great feature they have is Always Online. If you have it active and your server goes down, CloudFlare will serve your visitors a cached version. This means people will be able to buy your product even if your server is down!

In the case of a free plan, updating the cache for the page is done weekly but you can subscribe to the enterprise plan for 1 month for $200 and have it done daily.

Our Setup

Here’s our own setup:

  • product sales pages hosted at Hostwinds,
  • backup sales pages hosted at Site 5,
  • web services and licensing servers hosted at Hetzner.de and Heroku,
  • CloudFlare free plans running for all popular products.

Luckily our main host didn’t have any major problems other than a 3-minute downtime.

Hope that helps anyone launching a new product.

Don’t forget to check out our tools for Internet Marketers!

WP Postly released – we need your feedback!

We’ve just sent access to first members to test out WP Postly. We’ve done extensive testing on our own but we also need your feedback to really polish the plugin.

WP Postly Logo

The plugin sources content from other APIs, so if any issues arise they’re usually due to problems with Big Content Search, Big Media Scraper or Spin Rewriter. Below are the issues we found with our testing.

Issues with Big Content Search content:

  • some articles include word count at the end of the article
  • some articles have a broken title (and continue in text body)

The solutions to these are manual. In both cases, you need to manually remove/correct the post but then also contact us so we can fix the article in our database so it doesn’t happen again.

Issues with Big Media Scraper enriching:

  • Flickr’s API returns irrelevant photos on some keywords
  • whole paragraphs are marked as Headings

While we’re finding a fix for the second issue (some blog posts look fantastic if they have a bit longer heading so we’re trying to keep that), there really is no solution to Flickr returning better images. Unfortunately people often add all kind of tags to their photos so there’s little we can do about that. One solution would be to have only YouTube videos since the relevancy there is very good. This would be optional – let us know if you’d like to see something like that.

WP Postly Issues

  • “Parse error: syntax error, unexpected T_FUNCTION in public_html/wp-content/plugins/wp-postly-plugin_1.0.3/views/log.php on line 76”

The third one happens because your hosting is running a very old version of PHP (more than 3 years). You should check with your hosting about updating PHP.

These are currently the issues we found but if you find anything else, let us know and we’ll do our best to resolve them ASAP.