September 25th, 2009

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Social Media Promotion and Your Bandwidth

SES featured an article on Social Media Promotion Checklist For Internet Marketers by Greg Finn a while back. It’s a great run down on some of the details on how to make your e-marketing campaigns successful.

One of the points is to make sure that your bandwidth is capable of handling an influx of traffic. The main tip is to make sure by contacting your hosting provider. However, there are a few things you can do on your end that can help with the influx. These include the following:

1. Caching

If you’re using WordPress, it’s vital that you get the WP Super Cache plugin. The plugin, essentially, turns all your dynamic pages into static html for the majority of your visitors. This will dramatically cut down on the bandwidth usage by requiring less queries to your database.

2. Hotlinking

Prevent hotlinking of your images. Hotlinking is when someone just grabs the URL of your images and posts it some where other than your domain. If unchecked, it could lead to an unlimited drain on your bandwidth. One way to prevent people from hotlinking your images is via .htaccess. If you do not have an .htaccess file on your server, simply create one. Open it in a text editor and copy and paste the following:

RewriteEngine on
RewriteCond %{HTTP_REFERER} !^$
RewriteCond %{HTTP_REFERER} !^http(s)?://(www\.)? [NC]
RewriteRule \.(jpg|jpeg|png|gif)$ - [NC,F,L]

For your set up, simply replace “” with your own domain. The above covers most common images (jpg, jpeg, png, and gif). However, if you need additional coverage, just add additional files after the set above (after the RewriteRule), making sure to separate each with a |.

3. Javascripts

If your site is running multiple javascripts, try and combine them into one javascript file. A browser can only download so many objects at once and by combining multiple objects into one, it will cut down on the amount of requests to your server.

4. Plugins

If you know when your site is going to be hit with an influx of traffic, if possible, disable any unnecessary plugins (if using WordPress) and effects for your site.

5. Optimization

Optimize your javascripts and CSS files. You can compress your javascript files and optimize your CSS. For javascript files, you can compress it via tools, such as Javascript Compressor and for CSS, you can cut down on the amount of inefficient selectors (e.g. #id .class a#link:hover { … } ).

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