Click fail from Click Frenzy an important warning – site hosting now more crucial than ever for SMEs

In a way, you could have seen it coming. Come 7pm last night the Click Frenzy website went down immediately, and stayed that way for several hours.

Retailers who poured thousands of dollars into advertising are no doubt questioning their investment.

“It was disappointing for us,” says Adore Beauty chief executive Kate Morris, whose company participated in the campaign.

“We’d paid all this advertising money, it was supposed to be this showcase of online retailing, showing off what we could do, and it was just a mess.”

Advertisers who spent more than $1 million on the Click Frenzy campaign are no doubt reeling. But the entire debacle underlines one of the most important aspects of internet retailing – making sure your servers never go down.

Whether you’re a small website or a giant one, keeping track of your technical capabilities is critical in an online environment.

This isn’t a problem isolated to Click Frenzy. Last night the David Jones website went down, after advertising an alternative to the Click Frenzy campaign. It remained down for hours.

The problem here isn’t temporary downtime during popular sales for just a few minutes, like Catch of the Day experienced yesterday. The problem is extended downtime – Click Frenzy wasn’t up until late in the evening last night.

John Winning, chief executive of Appliances Online, which took part in the deal, says while his sites were pounded by the traffic they managed to stay up and running.

“We have a fair bit of practice in this. We’re not perfect, we’ve noticed some site performance decreases due to the amount of traffic, but we’ve stayed up and everything worked.”

A website being taken down is a retailer’s worst nightmare. Every second it’s down, you’re losing sales. This is why IT experts consistently hound SMEs to make sure their servers are up to scratch. As John Winning explains, you don’t need to be an expert to do this.

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