A Must-Have Maintenance Checklist to Avoid an eCommerce Website Crash

avoid ecommerce website crash

It’s no surprise that an eCommerce website crash can cause irreparable damage to your top-line revenue, brand reputation, and customer loyalty.

Studies confirm that the average cost of IT downtime for eCommerce is around $9,000 per minute, with enterprises facing hundreds of thousands per hour.

Such issues with eCommerce websites aren’t relegated to the past few years. The issues persist. An Outage Impact Survey by Logic Monitor reveals that in the past 3 years, 94% of enterprises experienced an IT outage.

So, why does a website crash?

  • Human error
  • Unexpected surge in web traffic/ sudden high website traffic
  • Coding errors
  • Hosting provider service limitations
  • Outdated systems
  • Malicious attacks
  • Network failure

How to Avoid an eCommerce Website Crash?

We worked on building an essential checklist to mitigating eCommerce website crashes and avoid any potential revenue leaks due to it. So, let’s dive right into it!

Functional Testing

Functional testing involves assessing how your site’s critical functionalities operate. For instance, it includes monitoring mainline functions, basic usability, basic accessibility, and error conditions. Thorough functional testing not only helps avoid eCommerce website crashes but also ensures improved:

  • Product browsing
  • Search capabilities
  • Cart additions
  • Payment processing
  • Checkout process

What happens if you skip functionality testing?

  • Customers encountering bugs in basic functions
  • Cart abandonment
  • Broken search features
  • Stalled checkout processes
  • Inflated bounce rates
  • Website crash

Here’s what functional testing encompasses.

Run Dynamic User Scenarios

Move beyond static testing to include real-world scenarios when running functionality tests. This includes testing various product combinations, payment methods, and user behaviors

Analyze website data to look for patterns like frequently visited pages, common sequences of actions leading to a purchase, and points with high drop-off or error encounters. Accordingly, design and prioritize test cases to reflect the most common and critical user journeys.

Use Automated Regression Testing

Leverage automated testing suites that run with every codebase update or modification. This approach ensures that new changes do not inadvertently disrupt existing functionalities, maintaining a seamless user experience.   

Cross-Browser and Cross-Device Testing

Ensure your eCommerce site is universally accessible, providing a consistent and seamless experience regardless of the device used. With this, you can optimize site functionality, layout, and performance across browsers and devices.

What happens if you avoid this testing?

  • Incompatible web elements
  • Distorted layouts
  • Subpar user experiences on certain platforms/browsers
  • Negative impact on your site’s accessibility and user satisfaction.

Ultimately, your users can divert to competition while limiting the future market reach (because functionality is a technical SEO parameter), plummeting conversion rates.

Here’s how you can run this test:

Use Automated Tools

Tools like BrowserStack or Sauce Labs to simulate testing across various browser and device combinations for comprehensive coverage.

Adopt a Responsive Design Strategy

Employ responsive design principles from the outset, focusing on fluid grids, flexible images, and media queries to enhance user experience Consider using this strategy for functional elements like touch targets and navigation.

Prioritize Correction Based on Analytics

Again, your website analysis data can help prioritize testing efforts by implementing design changes on the most commonly used devices and browsers.

Performance Testing

Very often, the inability to monitor your application performance is why websites crash due to high traffic. That’s because your online store isn’t prepared to handle a high influx of shoppers.

Performance testing monitors site speed, responsiveness, and stability depending on how much traffic you receive (for instance, high user volume, multiple payment checkouts, etc.).

This graphic depicts all types of performance testing you need for addressing website issues and avoiding website crashes. Load testing and endurance testing help an eCommerce business owner predict issues that may hurt site performance during high traffic or traffic spikes.

types of performance testing to avoid ecommerce website crash

Performance testing usually focuses on optimizing load times, script executions, and resource handling.

What happens if we ignore it?

  • Slow page loads
  • Unresponsive pages
  • Frequent downtime
  • Negative impact on SEO and user retention

Here are some considerations for performance testing.

Implement Automated Performance Testing Tools

Get Google Lighthouse or WebPageTest early in the development cycle to monitor and optimize site performance regularly.

Consider Load Testing

One of the reasons why a website crash is a failure to perform load testing. This test requires simulating conditions of traffic spikes to understand how your website infrastructure holds up during high traffic conditions. This will result in discovering bottlenecks before they become critical issues leading to website crashes.

Optimize Website Resources

Images, scripts, and third-party integrations impact your site performance. So, consider compression, minification, and lazy loading for faster loading times and quality compromise.

Security Testing

Online stores need to prioritize a security-first culture to ensure proactive threat monitoring and mitigate outages. A comprehensive website security audit helps avoid eCommerce website crashes by scrutinizing your platform’s layers (UI, Database, Integration, Security, etc.).

Routine security testing can avoid eCommerce website crashes through rigorous assessments like –

  • Website security audits
  • Implementing HTTPS for secure connections, especially during the checkout process
  • Robust testing against threats like SQL injection and cross-site scripting (XSS)

Failing to run a security test for your eCommerce website will result in –

  • Data breaches
  • Unauthorized transactions
  • Financial losses
  • Damage to the brand reputation leads to losing customer loyalty and trust

Secure your eCommerce website with these tactics.

Implement HTTPS

Ensure that your website uses HTTP Strict Transport Security (HSTS) to enforce data security in transmission (especially during checkouts).

Employ Threat Modelling
Use a proactive approach with threat modelling to identify potential security threats and vulnerabilities early in development. This will help design the system architecture with security as a core component.

Payment Gateway Testing

62% of customers who experience a failed transaction never return to the store.

Payment gateway testing can avoid eCommerce website crashes, thereby strengthening customer trust and improving UX. Plus, they ensure that the store matches the security standards and payment regulations.

Customers want to shop without having to fear vulnerabilities.

Faulty payment gateway integration can lead to:

  • Transaction failures
  • Incorrect billing
  • Exposure to sensitive financial data
  • Disruption of the sales process

Consider these techniques for payment gateway testing:

Perform Integration Testing

A thorough integration testing with payment gateways ensures seamless transaction flow and data exchange. It requires testing under various scenarios, including high traffic/ traffic peaks and different payment methods.

Run Compliance Checks

Verify compliance with PCI DSS (Payment Card Industry Data Security Standard) and other relevant regulations to ensure payment data is handled securely. 

Error Handling

Shopping carts often get abandoned over a bug or a defect. Such undetected errors result in huge revenue losses and hurt trust, especially with the most loyal shoppers. Hence, routine eCommerce error monitoring is critical.

Run scenarios that may spot errors like:

  • Failed transactions
  • Incorrect form submissions
  • Server errors

Failing to manage eCommerce website errors ends up frustrating users, causing them to drop off and abandon their carts.

Here’s how you can ensure efficient error handling.

Customize Error Pages

Design user-friendly, informative error pages to guide users to the site’s functioning areas.

For example, you can include links to top-selling products, new arrivals, etc, on a 404 or maintenance page.

Consider Activity Logging and Monitoring

Implement comprehensive logging and monitoring to capture errors (in real-time) for quick diagnosis and response. This will minimize the downtime and user impact when navigating your online store

Use Feedback Loops

Incorporate user feedback mechanisms on error pages or after error occurrences. Use it to collect insights directly from users that fuel continuous improvement in the error-handling process. 

customized error pages

Monitoring and Analytics

Leverage advanced monitoring and analytics to identify issues impacting users negatively. Such monitoring allows an eCommerce store owner to dissect every facet of user interaction, from product views to checkout behavior bottlenecks.

The goal is to adopt a data-driven approach that analyzes low and high traffic patterns, page performance, and conversion bottlenecks creeping into your website with UX issues. This can help to manage traffic inflow.

What happens if you ignore rigorous monitoring?

  • Page timeouts during high-traffic periods
  • Slow loading speeds
  • Unexpectedly high bounce rates on crucial landing pages.
  • Website performance issues remain unaddressed until they escalate into a full-blown website crash.

Here’s how to proactively analyze and monitor your website to avoid an eCommerce website crash.

Set Up Custom Alerts

 Set up your analytics tools to alert you for unusual spikes or drops in traffic, conversion rates, or other key performance indicators (KPIs). Such a proactive approach ensures keeping you aware of anomalies indicating a site issue or opportunity.

Integrate Cross-Platform Tracking
Ensure your monitoring tools are integrated across all platforms (website, mobile app, social media) for a holistic view of user interactions. This comprehensive perspective helps understand the full customer journey and optimize it for conversions and hassle-free customer experience.

User Experience (UX) Testing

testing identifies pitfalls that can turn a promising browsing session into a frustrating endeavor. It identifies and corrects potential user frustration in a structured way.

For example, a typical eCommerce website includes –

  • Usability Testing: Ensures the site is easy to navigate
  • Performance Testing: Guarantees fast loading times
  • Security Testing: Protects user data.

Overlook UX testing leads to

  • Users facing difficulty in navigating the website
  • Cumbersome checkout processes
  • Negative customer feedback and reviews

Here’s how you can ensure effective UX testing-

Prioritize Mobile Optimization

Conduct rigorous UX testing for mobile users to offer quick loading times, intuitive navigation, and seamless checkout.

Blend Multiple Testing Methods

Employ qualitative and quantitative UX testing methods like:

  • A/B testing for iterative improvements
  • Heat mapping to visualize user engagement
  • User session recordings to capture and analyze real interactions, etc.

Managing Rage Clicks and User Frustration

Though rage clicks do not directly cater to the question of why my website keeps crashing, they are a critical signal indicating your UX is breaking down. Identifying rage clicks, dead clicks, and the dreaded endless scrolling can be challenging.

Here are some best practices to identify user disconnect through rage clicks.

Implement Behavior Analysis Tools

Use tools like Crazy Egg, Mouseflow, etc., to track rage clicks, dead clicks, and mouse movements. This helps identify website elements that frustrate users and needs your immediate attention.

Configure Rage Clicks Alerts

Consider configuring user behavior tools to notify you of abnormal activities (e.g., a high number of clicks in a short period on a non-interactive element). Trigger automated emails or messages on integrated platforms like Slack for quick analysis and response.

Provide precision-driven content that aligns with SEO best practices for your eCommerce store. While this may not help avoid eCommerce website crashes, it can save your site from getting SEO penalties which may de-index your website from the Google search engine.

Meet SEO standards in terms of:

  • Product information
  • Image quality
  • Product description accuracy

When ignored, your store may witness:

  • Lower search engine rankings
  • Drop in traffic
  • Increased bounce rates

Here are a few action items to overcome content and SEO issues.

Implement automated SEO auditing tools

Use tools like SEMrush, SEOsurfer, Ahrefs, etc., to regularly scan for broken links, missing alt tags, and non-optimized meta descriptions.

Optimize Content

Refine and align your content to hit SEO targets regarding keyword richness and relevance across product descriptions.

Audit Images

Conduct regular image audits to replace or compress high-load images, using next-gen formats like WebP for faster loading times without sacrificing quality. 

Update and Patch Management

Effective patch management safeguards your website from the latest security threats and vulnerabilities. Thus, your software is up-to-date with the latest patches/fixes for:

  • Website’s core software
  • CMS
  • Plugins
  • Integrated third-party tools for payment processing, customer support, marketing analytics, etc.

Here are a few quick patch management practices –

Schedule for Updates and Patches

Designate specific times for updates (e.g., weekly, bi-weekly). Consider low-traffic hours to minimize the impact on customers.

Implement a Staging Environment for Updates

Create a replica of your live website. Test patches/updates thoroughly on this staging site before pushing changes live.

Stay Updated With Latest Security Vulnerabilities

This is to ensure that all aspects of your website are patched promptly. For this, subscribe to security alerts from your e-commerce platform, plugins, and relevant tech vendors.

Noibu’s Cheat Sheet to Maintaining a Healthy Digital Presence

Noibu, an eCommerce error detection and resolution software can help avoid potential glitches in the UX due to technical errors and deliver seamless experiences, so you never have to worry about errors compounding over time to cause any major disruption in experiences.

Here’s how Noibu keeps your eCommerce store error-free:

Real-Time Monitoring

Noibu allows you to monitor and fix production errors in real time. All errors are flagged as they occur and your team is alerted whenever there is a new one so you can efficiently resolve it and avoid any disruption in customer experiences.

Customized Alerts

Each eCommerce business prioritizes different metrics and needs relevant alerts to accommodate these nuances. The Alerts module allows you to create alerts with nuanced conditions, descriptive names, and a curated list of recipients. Noibu offers tailored alerts allowing you to prioritize and focus on the most critical issues for your business. The platform triggers alerts based on changes in issue data. You can customize each alert to fire based on a set of conditions. 

User Impact Analysis and Effective Debugging

Understanding the extent of an error’s impact on customers is crucial for determining its priority. Has it disrupted the shopping journey or a few users or thousands of them? What is the revenue impact it will have if left unaddressed for a sprint or two? Noibu’s user impact analysis guides decisions by tracking the issue’s impact over time: occurrences and predicted annual revenue loss.

Technical Details for Efficient Resolution

Spending hours trying to investigate and debug issues? Noibu provides all the necessary details developers need to quickly resolve errors without having to replicate or investigate, thus reducing error resolution time by 70%.

error information with Noibu


When managing an eCommerce store, it is important to keep a check on every small error that could end up hurting your user experience or revenue. Hence, to avoid an eCommerce website crash opt for a proactive approach over a reactive one. Noibu can be your strategic partner when detecting, analyzing, and resolving eCommerce website errors and bugs before they hurt revenue. Noibu is built for evolving and complex eCommerce environments where anything can go wrong and damage your top line within hours. Book a Noibu demo today to experience the platform in action!

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