Leading website performance solution Uptime.com helps companies during holiday shopping seasons and beyond.
NEW YORK, February 10, 2020 (Newswire.com) - Uptime.com, an industry-leading website uptime and performance solution, has just released a new report highlighting website performance on Black Friday 2019. Black Friday’s staggering $7 billion dollars could have been even higher had website outages not started a day before the famous shopping day. Retail businesses noticed problems as early as Thanksgiving Day. Uptime.com compiled their performance report looking at last year’s big winners in homepage and login response times, as well as speed tests, for a comprehensive look into the season’s best performers.
With up to three times the normal level of website visits expected, it's no easy task for vendors to triple their capacity just for one day. "Sheer weight of traffic is what usually brings down big retail sites at peak times like Black Friday," explains Uptime.com's resident site reliability expert John Arundel of Bitfield Consulting.
Both Facebook and Instagram experienced outages, as well as the Bank of Ireland, Nordstrom Rack and even Costco, which suffered the most costly outage. Starting on Thanksgiving and extending into Black Friday, Costco’s website outage cost the company an estimated $11 million dollars, as members were unable to access the website. To make up for the inaccessibility, the company extended many of its Thanksgiving-only deals into the next day.
"Companies will typically provision extra infrastructure to cope with the demand: more bandwidth, more servers, bigger load balancers. But throwing hardware at the problem isn't enough," says Arundel. "You can't make your car go three hundred miles an hour just by fitting a bigger engine. It needs a complete redesign."
Website outages during the busiest shopping season of the year are nothing new. Uptime.com used actual performance data to highlight the difference a few milliseconds can make. The company also drew on research and user reports to dissect major outages like the one Costco encountered.
Michael Esposito, CEO of Uptime.com, said, “No matter how great web infrastructure is, many e-commerce sites experience downtime on Black Friday and throughout the holiday season. We aim to provide our customers real-time, actionable server performance, website performance and domain health insights to identify problems and implement solutions quickly and effectively, saving brands time, money and customer frustration.”
Even apparently small changes, like tweaks to a database table, can have big ramifications when a website meets a million bargain-hungry shoppers. "You may not know there's a scaling bottleneck until Black Friday finds it for you," says Arundel. "And then the race is on to fix the issue and get registers ringing again before disappointed customers head elsewhere for their discounted goodies."
Part of the problem, Arundel adds, is that scaling infrastructure to handle Black Friday-style traffic is more art than science. "Observability is key. Engineers will be watching live dashboards and metrics to see what's happening on their servers in real-time, and relying on a fleet of automated checks to detect problems even before they hit customers."
Uptime provides a range of website performance products, resources and free tools to help businesses ensure their websites are running smoothly and effectively. See the data these tools collected on the year’s busiest shopping day. See the Uptime.com Black Friday performance report.
Founded in 2013 and headquartered in Manhattan, New York, Uptime.com is an industry-leading website uptime and performance solution. Its customers include well-known businesses like Kraft, BNP Paribas, SAGE Publishing and Autodesk. The company was co-founded by seasoned B2B software entrepreneurs. For more information, visit Uptime.com.