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!

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Dejan Murko

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