Your website and load shedding

With more frequent load shedding looking more and more likely, SA Businesses need to start adapting to a somewhat dark future.

While information is available about alternative power and backup power supplies, but have you considered your website?

That's difficult for us to answer, but here are our thoughts on ensuring that your website is read for load-shedding, and even if we are lucky and widespread load-shedding is avoided, we would still recommend taking the following steps into account.

1) Responsive is a must.

While more and more people are already browsing the web via their smartphone each day, when the power goes, your phone, battery power permitting, will probably be most peoples only option.

You want to ensure that your phone gives the best possible experience and is properly optimised for the mobile lifestyle. While many websites are already responsive they are merely adaptive versions of the desktop experience. When the power is out and mobile towers are under strain, users are stressed and frustrated your website may not deliver the results you want.

Ensure your site is optimised correctly, and we strongly recommend looking at creating a performance budget for your website. Reducing page sizes and ensuring that the speed of your site contributes towards a great user experience can only benefit your business.

2) Keep regular offsite backups.

Should the worst happen and there are extended periods of no power, data centers may simply just not cope. We hope they do. But in an emergency, being able to restore your website could alleviate much stress. You could also invest in a backup alternative hosting environment, we would recommend international and keeping a duplicate of your site there, potentially reducing potential downtime to zero. See the following point as well.

3) Protect your DNS.

Your DNS is probably the most neglected and probably overlooked and misunderstood part of your web presence. I won't go into the details but using a service like CloudFlare can mean getting your website backup in minutes, not hours. Depending on the type of website you have, visitors may not even know that your server is offline.

4) Check your backups.

It's the sad truth but backups fail from time. It's important to know that the backups you have are complete and will let you restore your website. Also ensure that all your important files are backed up. Many backups services actually limit the files and file types that they will back up. For example, large files can be completely ignored along with video clips, zip files etc.

5) Be mobile first and desktop second.

Yes, we have already mentioned that having a responsive website is a must, but being mobile first is even better. A website correctly built for a mobile device can deliver near-instant page loads, on even 3G connections along with a great user experience and yet still look great on any desktop.

Need a hand staying out of the dark - we are here to help.