Late last year, Dyn’s CRO, Kyle York appeared on WSJ and BNN where he discussed the importance of retailers’ back end infrastructure being just as important as the front end. While the message was ideal for retailers given the holiday shopping season, the point applies more broadly.
Brands (for those in the consumer world) and companies (for those on the corporate side) share many common traits. One such trait is the traffic they aim to drive to their web property. Countless months, days, weeks, and hours are spent creating the best web property user experience; from the messaging to the navigation, every detail is toiled over. Then just when they are happy with it, it’s time to change. Rinse and repeat months, hours, weeks, days. And it doesn’t stop there! SEM, SEO, paid advertising, online and offline promotion all aimed to drive eyeballs to websites.
If so much time is put into the front-end development and the promotion to the website, then time and thought needs to given to the back end infrastructure. The infrastructure is the backbone to the web property. It’s not sexy, but it serves a critical purpose: to ensure the best online experience. Think of the back end as the yin to the yang of the front end. These two “ends” need each other in order to exist; one would be off balance without the other. Without the back end, the front end is merely a good-looking, well-promoted web property that few get to experience because they cannot take the frustration of poor performance.
The moral of the story is that the back end of any web property needs to be just as much as the front end. It’s not specific to one vertical or business size. In short, if you have a web property you need to invest in your back end. You, Mr. or Ms. Business, own the entire online customer experience. If your website is running slow, suffers from one outage (which is one outage too many), the checkout cart is timing out, the time to load is slower than reading this blog, the customers emails are going to the SPAM box, all that reflects poorly on your brand and says a lot to the end user (primarily, it says, “go somewhere else”).
Technology has created demanding and savvy online browsers. They are just one click away from abandoning a poor performing website for a better one. In fact, a delay of just over 250 milliseconds will send a visitor to a competitor’s website. Don’t be that slow performing web property. Give customers the experience they demand. If not, your competitor will.
Over the course of the next couple of weeks, we will be “campaigning” the critical role of back end infrastructure with a lighthearted #WorkYourBackEnd PSA-like message. Said another way, do not ignore your back end. We’ll be “working” it at our SXSW interactive booth, our sponsorship of the social media category at SXSW Accelerator start-up contest, this blog and others to come, via social and various other sundry tactics to spread our PSA. We invite all back end minded companies to spread the word as well, such as our friends at ChinaCache and InsideView who will be joining us at SXSW in our mission to work your back end.
Of course, what would a campaign be without a shameless plug to let our infrastructure experts, who specialize in Internet performance, work your back end for you? Make your infrastructure happy and let Dyn #WorkYourBackEnd.