Queue Management

TrafficDefender Queue Management

Keep your website online no matter how much traffic hits it. TrafficDefender Queue Management is the industry leading, enterprise class online queuing system. It enables you to maximise site revenue and protect brand reputation during extreme traffic spikes and peaks, by placing users in a virtual waiting room then ensuring they access your site in a fair and transparent manner. Basically, it allows your website to carry on functioning when it is being overrun by more traffic than it can handle.

Our industry leading online queuing system protects the uptime, revenue and reputation of websites across retail, ecommerce, media, broadcasting, sports betting, gaming, ticketing and more.

Benefits

Make Traffic Spikes A Bonus Not A Problem

Without TrafficDefender’s Queue Management solution, anticipated or unexpected spikes in website traffic can result in a negative impact to your business, which can reduce revenues and damage brand image. Web traffic is a hard earned asset and when it arrives, it is essential that the short-term benefit and chance of repeat visits is maximised. TrafficDefender Queue Management ensures that whenever a spike hits your website infrastructure, visitors’ experiences are protected and any customers your system cannot process are placed into the virtual waiting room. Those customers are then tracked in a fair and transparent online queue until the next available space becomes available, at which point they are granted access to your website. This means that your website will never go down again due to excess traffic.

Customer-Centric View to Give Quality of Service For All Customers

Like everything else in the TrafficDefender platform, Queue Management takes a fully customer-centric view of the problem. Unlike traditional systems, the platform is focused on evaluating your website traffic as a group of distinct customers and not as a stream of requests. This ensures your organisation maximises the value created and optimises the experience of your customers. Queue Management ensures that your VIP and customer service users always get access to your site, even when under large spikes of traffic. Website users are given a guarantee of quality service for as long as they are active and additional users are queued until that quality of service can be guaranteed.

Get More From Your Infrastructure

Sometimes one particular area of your website might be in much greater demand than others, such as during a specific campaign or sale. Yet it is your whole infrastructure that is at risk, potentially slowing down the whole site. Visitors to your less busy areas do not want to be in a queue for something they did not come for. Queue Management allows you to place online queues in front of specific areas of the site, and set different online queuing thresholds for each of those areas.

Maintain Brand Reputation

Visitors are less likely to return to a slow or crashed website, making performance and uptime critical. It is when you are at your busiest that these things are most at risk. Everyone hates a vague ‘website busy, come back later’ message. With Queue Management, queued visitors know exactly how long they will be waiting.

Maximise Market Campaign ROI

TrafficDefender Queue Management allows you to push your marketing campaigns to the limit of what your systems can handle, knowing that whatever amount of traffic is generated will be gracefully handled. Queue Management allows you to operate multi-channel marketing without worrying about user frustration from site performance issues or complete outages.

Save Costs

Buying and maintaining enough servers to comfortably cope with peak web traffic is expensive and uneconomical, especially if most of your capacity goes unused for most of the year. Costs can spiral out of control too, when elastically oversizing your infrastructure using the cloud. Queue Management allows sites to survive spikes without the need of infrastructure upgrades and can act as a safety net, rather than over-provisioning for unpredictable spikes in traffic.

Features

Fair, Transparent and Unskippable Queue

With TrafficDefender Queue Management, all queuing is fair and transparent. TrafficDefender operates a strict first-in-first-out queue that ensures any user entering the queue has the experience they would expect in a real-life queuing situation. The customisable queue page allows you to display a queue position and an estimated waiting time to all users, ensuring they are constantly communicated with during the queuing process. Queue Management utilises Secure Queue technology to protect against queue jumpers who can bypass other JavaScript based solutions, guaranteeing every user is handled fairly.

Visitor Control

TrafficDefender Queue Management is about more than just an online queue. We are aware that some visitors are more important than others and we provide the tools to enable you to have an extra level of control over how visitors are handled. These include

  • Whitelisting: some visitors should just never be queued, we allow IP addresses to be whitelisted. Typically this can be used for call centres, head offices or branches
  • VIP: VIP users can be identified by cookies or entry pages to ensure your most valuable users are not stuck in the queue
  • Blacklisting: blacklisting allows you to block access to users from known IP addresses, such as those on fraud lists, meaning that valuable space is not taken up by users you know you do not want to deal with

Easy Integration

TrafficDefender requires no code changes or deployments to your infrastructure, which means you can be up and running within minutes. Simply re-point your DNS or CDN to TrafficDefender and away you go.

Real-Time Stats and Management

TrafficDefender allows you to see in real-time how many users are accessing your system and the current length of the queue. You can then make real-time adjustments to the level of traffic you want to allow through, tweaking levels to achieve maximum use of your infrastructure.

Enterprise Class, High Availability

A system’s or website’s availability is key to its success, which is why all of our clients are given their own dedicated infrastructure in our highly available AWS cloud. With all our implementations making use of multi-datacentre failover and fail open technology, our service and your website’s uptime is guaranteed.

24/7 Protection

Guarantee your sites availability all with year round protection. Queue Management protects sites from sudden or unexpected spikes in traffic by automatically queuing as soon as your site gets to full capacity.

End-to-End Support

Our dedicated support team work closely with clients throughout the year and are available 24 hours a day, 365 days a year.

Common Questions

What Problem Does Queue Management Solve?

The primary purpose of TrafficDefender Queue Management is to maximise your revenue by ensuring your website stays online and performing at its best when under high load.

Web traffic is unpredictable. As well as being influenced by your own marketing activity, it can also spike when you get unexpected buzz from social media or other uncontrolled external factors. In some cases your IT team might not even be aware of your marketing team’s next major campaign.

If your site were to slow down or crash at these times, there would be a direct loss of sales revenue. Any marketing activities would suffer from low ROI, the brand would be damaged and customers would be less likely to return after suffering from a poor experience. This whole effect is amplified due to the increased attention to the website during these times.

Those points aside, think about how long it would take you to fix the problem. How much resource would be used up? What would be the operational cost to the business?

TrafficDefender Queue Management solves these problems by guaranteeing an optimal amount of customers continue to flow through your site, even if the volume of traffic is greater than your capacity. You will be fully prepared to serve more customers in a faster time with ease and certainty.

Who Is Queue Management For?

TrafficDefender Queue Management is ideal for any website or system that receives large spikes in traffic, putting its availability or performance at risk. This covers many industries, including retail, ecommerce, ticketing, media, broadcasting, education, government and more.

Why Not Just Engineer Our Website to Handle More Traffic?

There are many ways of engineering websites to be more scalable and robust against high volumes of traffic, and we are not suggesting that you avoid those things. However, TrafficDefender Queue Management is that last line of defence against a site destroying wave of traffic. Think of it as an insurance policy for when all else fails, or you get a spike that you just could not have coped with otherwise. Engineering highly scalable websites is a costly and time-consuming task that may not be feasible or cost effective.

Web traffic is unpredictable. Even when looking at traffic trends and analytics, the timing and size of peaks can change dramatically based on both expected and unexpected factors. It is not always possible to know how much traffic to expect, or exactly when it might hit your website. Because of this, it is impractical and expensive to pay for the infrastructure needed to comfortably cope with your biggest ‘predicted’ peaks all year round, or to know how much traffic to load test for.

Queue Management allows you to maintain a right-sized infrastructure for your budget, whilst giving you the ability to cope with larger peaks in traffic associated with sales events and seasonal activity.

Why Would I Want To Put My Website Visitors Into A Queue?

You would not. In the same way as in real-life, no shop owner would ever want to put people in a queue. However, queues are a regular and accepted part of the physical world and an essential way of ensuring an efficient flow of customers. Queue Management carries out the same role in the virtual world. Queuing visitors when there are too many to be able to manage effectively and efficiently allows for the optimal overall throughput of customers. A better way of thinking of the problem would be: why would you not put your users in a queue, if the alternative is complete website failure where no customers are able to purchase? We see Queue Management as an insurance policy you do not necessarily want to use, but should always have.

Queue Management’s online queuing functionality is a last resort. We would advise any business to do all they can to ensure their website is well prepared ahead of time, so it can gracefully handle the amount of traffic expected. However, even with a plan in place, there are always bottlenecks on any website’s capacity and the chance that it will receive more traffic than it can physically handle.

Queue Management is there as the ultimate insurance policy so even if all else fails, and the website simply cannot cope with the amount of traffic hitting it, it will always be online and performing well for as many visitors as possible.

Queuing is better than no experience at all. The alternative to queuing (aside from allowing the site to go offline entirely) would be to just stop new visitors from entering the site and asking them to “come back later”. However, studies have shown that people are much happier to wait if they know how long their wait is going to be (“How Tolerable is Delay?” Dellaert & Kahn, 1999). Queue Management’s queuing system gives this transparency to those waiting to enter a site and confidence that they will get onto the site if they stay in the queue.

You can also use the queue to reinforce your branding though images and videos, encourage people to wait by showing special offers and discount codes, or show any other content you like.

Why Not Just Elastically Autoscale Our Infrastructure to Cope With Demand?

For many older systems this is not necessarily an option. Systems have to be built and configured to be able to scale automatically.

Likewise, while it is true that cloud-based solutions allow you to scale up your infrastructure on demand, this is not an instant process. It takes several minutes to spin up the additional capacity and ‘warm up’ load balancers in order for them to be effective. In the case of ‘cliff face’ spikes, such as traffic from a TV advert, where we often see 40-50 times usual traffic within seconds, autoscaling simply cannot react quickly enough to help.

TrafficDefender Queue Management reacts instantly when a sudden spike in traffic hits, keeping the site online at all times for those already browsing. This actually compliments any autoscaling you might have in place.

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