Articles on: Troubleshooting

What happens to my Chatbox if my website is high traffic?

You have a high-traffic website and you're wondering if the Crisp chatbox can scale to your traffic? This article answers your questions!

The Crisp chatbox is designed to scale to high-traffic websites. Crisp runs on a distributed (ie. worldwide) network of servers that are able to handle regional traffic efficiently. We combine the power of Cloudflare (our CDN provider) with an efficient set of strategies to let us scale. This article describes the software strategies we implemented, that may slightly change how your Crisp chatbox behaves on an high-traffic website.

You can safely run Crisp on an high-volume / very-high-volume website, no matter which Crisp plan you are subscribed to. Subscribing to an Unlimited plan will however give you more realtime features at this scale.

Chatbox Modes

If you're running a high-volume website (ie. 20 page views per second at a sustained pace, ie this gives 1200 page views per minute), you may see the Crisp chatbox behavior change in a subtle way.

Here's why: the Crisp chatbox opens up a WebSocket connection for every visitor on your website, and each page view of each visitor. This is used to let you see the user live and open up a realtime conversation, or MagicBrowse the user. It is also used for the MagicMap feature.

However, on very large websites, those realtime features have less value: as you have so many visitors you'd prefer using automation: eg. Triggers rather than handling them by hand. Also, on our end, opening a WebSocket channel for every of your visitors becomes expensive at scale, thus the chatbox is designed to do it much less often. It still reports who's online, but the realtime features are a bit degraded.

Cases where the chatbox goes into "high-volume website" mode is very rare. If your website receives a lot of traffic at a sustained pace; or if you receive an unusual spike of traffic temporarily, you will experience such chatbox runtime mode. Most Crisp users will never experience this "high-volume" mode.

High-Volume Chatbox

If your Crisp chatbox goes in high-volume mode, your visitors will still see the chatbox as usual. However, the interface will not be immediately ready to chat for them if they click on the chatbox button. Your users will see a loading icon (it takes approximately 1 second to connect), which will be visible while the chatbox establishes a WebSocket connection to Crisp servers to begin chat.

Once then, the chatbox will behave as normal for this visitor, indefinitely (ie. as on low-volume or medium-volume websites). This means the chatbox for this very specific visitor will open up a WebSocket connection for each visit, so that you can still use all the real-time features of Crisp with people you chatted with.

The chatbox will be a bit longer to update the "online" status of your operators (it will be refreshed every 30 minutes, not instantly). All chatbox features will work as normal though (eg. $crisp JavaScript SDK, Triggers, etc.).

High-Volume Thresholds (High Traffic)

Depending on your Crisp plan, the "high-volume website" thresholds (ie. quotas) are not the same.

All thresholds are accounted for per-minute, and cleared off every minute. If your website receives a sudden spike of traffic, it will thus be considered high-volume only for the time of the spike, and not for longer periods.

Reaching a threshold does not disable the Crisp chatbox from your website. Once the threshold is reached for the current minute, the Crisp chatbox will continue to behave as normal. See explanations above for what differs.

Unlimited Plan (Paid mode): 1,000 chatbox displays per 5 minutes (high-traffic)
Unlimited Plan (Trial mode): 250 chatbox displays per 5 minutes (high-traffic)
Pro Plan: 250 chatbox displays per 5 minutes (high-traffic)
Basic Plan: 50 chatbox displays per 5 minutes (high-traffic)

Note that a visitor that loaded your chatbox a while ago and is still actively using your website without reloading the current page still counts as a chatbox display, for the duration of their use of the website. This specific granularity may especially affect Single-Page Applications.

Safety Limits (Very High Traffic)

In the event your website has an abnormally huge number of visitors, Crisp may switch your website into safety mode:

As with High-Volume Thresholds, reaching a Safety Limit does not disable the Crisp chatbox from your website. Refer to explanations below.

Unlimited Plan: 2,000 chatbox displays per 5 minutes (safety mode)
Pro Plan: 500 chatbox displays per 5 minutes (safety mode)
Basic Plan: 100 chatbox displays per 5 minutes (safety mode)

In safety mode, your website visitors will never connect to the Crisp chatbox WebSocket servers, unless they click on the chatbox button in to start a chat, or already have an ongoing or past chat session. This means that you will not be able to see real-time visitors browsing your website. Rest assured, messaging will still work as before.

Triggers and other automated messaging features will also be temporarily disabled, until you go below the safety limits threshold. The reason is that a WebSocket connection is required for those features for data storage purposes, and any automated trigger is considered unsafe with a huge number of visitors.

To know whether you're currently in "very high traffic mode" (ie. you've reached the safety limits), open your Crisp Dashboard and go to the Visitors section. Check for any such alert:

Safety mode is active

The safety limits system has been designed to keep the Crisp platform up and running smoothly in the event a website with a huge number of visitors would install the Crisp chatbox. Most of our users will never reach those limits. Also, note that if reached, those limits are only temporary.

Updated on: 13/06/2022

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