WordPress & Scalability

A Brief Guide

WordPress’s rise from a tiny blogging network to the world’s largest content management system, powering about one-third of all websites, is a textbook example of how a software platform can build on its strengths while progressively shedding its flaws. WordPress’s scalability features are unquestionably worth highlighting among its numerous qualities that have evolved into its USPs over time.

As you may have seen, WordPress is used by both small and large enterprises to create their websites. Whether it’s a mom-and-pop roadside stand or a global e-commerce giant, both will use WordPress and the same choice of themes and templates, while having vastly different company needs and methods.

This trend alone implies that WordPress has practically infinite scalability, allowing a website with a few dozens or hundreds of monthly visitors to expand up to over a million without requiring major revisions or overhauls.

Continue reading if you have a WordPress website and believe you may need to scale it up in the future. We’ll go over everything you need to know about web traffic, WordPress scalability, and how to scale up your WordPress website properly.

An Understanding of High Web Traffic

Many new enterprises to digital media are unfamiliar with the concept of internet traffic. Building and establishing a website is viewed as a one-time effort for them. Many of them believe that once a website gets up, it will be able to meet their growing/future company demands in its current shape for the rest of their life.

That is not, however, how websites function. A website, like a physical store, requires constant updates and additions. The biggest reason a company has to scale up its WordPress website is because of rising Internet traffic. With a real-life example, let’s try to grasp how increased online traffic impacts site performance and drives you to scale it up.

Assume there is a modest department shop on the side of the road that can easily handle all of the daily foot traffic. As time goes on, the business owner’s successful sales and marketing plan begin to pay off, resulting in an increase in customer foot traffic.

Consumer foot traffic eventually builds up to the point that the business can no longer handle them all at once. While having an issue is a positive thing, if the store owner does not solve it, it can lead to consumer unhappiness, and many customers will begin shopping at competitors.

To avoid customer attrition and maintain the store’s brand value, the owner must increase the store’s square footage/size.

In the digital world, the same thing might occur. If an online business’s web traffic continues to increase, its current website will become overburdened. As a result, users will experience sluggish response times and frequent site failures. Consumers dislike waiting in large lines outside stores, while online customers despise experiencing poor loading times and frequent site breakdowns.

While a roadside store owner has to expand, a WordPress website owner has to scale up their website to ensure that their digital platform can handle the increased traffic.

What Is WP Web Scaling?

You can scale up or down your website with a platform that has high scalability. WordPress has outstanding scalability features that may be quite handy when you need to grow the capacity of your virtual business, like in the instance above. Before we go into detail on web scalability, it’s vital to clear up some common misconceptions.

When someone says they’re going to scale up their WordPress website, they don’t mean they’re going to add additional pages or change the layout. Scaling up a website is increasing its ability to handle more traffic without sacrificing performance. The workload of a WordPress website is the amount of Internet traffic it receives. A website’s network bandwidth is usually increased as it is scaled up. You may also scale up a WordPress website using a variety of additional measurements and approaches, which we’ll go into later in the post.


Web Scalability: Not Every Website Might be Scalable

You must have a good understanding of what heavy web traffic is and what scaling up a website entails up to this point. It is, nevertheless, necessary to comprehend the idea of web scalability. Again, we’ll use the example of the roadside department shop from earlier to illustrate our thesis.

The store owner realizes there is no place for expansion after concluding that they need to expand their establishment. The present shop is already surrounded by other businesses. The only way for the business to grow is for the proprietor to relocate to a larger space. In terms of scalability, we’ll assume that the business owner does not have a scalable store and must relocate. We would argue that the store is expandable if there was an empty rear area.

The same may be said about websites. Some websites are designed on systems that don’t offer a lot of scalabilities. When a website owner needs to expand their business, they must relocate to a new location and create a new URL. A scalable website, on the other hand (e.g., any WP website) may grow in step with the business demand and growth in the same place with no modifications to the URL, layout, or back-end.

Scaling up a WordPress website, on the other hand, does not imply having a button you can push to increase the size of your online platform. There is a list of things to think about while scaling up your WordPress website. We’ll go through those WordPress online scaling up tips and tactics in the next part.

6 Measures to Scale up Your WP Website

Let’s take a look at six things you can do to scale up your WordPress site. Before we get into the details, it’s crucial to note that measure #1 is a full solution in and of itself. If you choose this option, you may not need to take any of the other measures mentioned in this article.

1. Get a hosting plan that allows you to scale horizontally and vertically.

This one step allows you to steer your online WordPress expansion strategy in the appropriate way. If you’ve recently started or are about to start a WordPress website, be sure the hosting package you choose allows for both horizontal and vertical growth. We’ll try to discuss horizontal and vertical scaling in the context of a WordPress website because they have distinct implications in different places.

The term “vertical scaling” refers to the process of increasing your website’s bandwidth, storage, and visitor capacity. WP hosting services normally offer this in a tiered format, allowing you to scale up your website as it increases in popularity. Vertical scaling is typically accomplished by expanding a website’s server resources.

Horizontal scaling, on the other hand, requires allocating extra servers to a website in order to handle rising demand. This is not the same as vertical scaling, which assigns a single server to each website. Vertical scaling usually entails setting up different servers for your WP website’s front-end and back-end (proxy, database servers, and so on). The web host may use this branched out scaling to ensure that a website can scale to meet the ongoing back-end requirements.

Vertical scaling is typically excellent for websites that get a lot of traffic on a daily basis but also get a lot of traffic at times. Vertical scaling is standard with most managed WordPress hosting plans. Horizontal scalability, on the other hand, is only available from experienced fully-managed WordPress hosting companies since it necessitates the usage of a service-oriented design.

You’ve probably figured out why we recommend joining up with a company that provides both vertical and horizontal scalability. You may simply scale up your website with your business development for a long time without too much effort and back and forth if you choose a hosting provider that supports both scaling options.

If you don’t have a seasoned managed WordPress hosting provider, you should concentrate on these steps to scale up your website.

2. Put a Cap on SQL Requests

The back-end of a high-traffic website is characterized by an excessive quantity of SQL queries. Put a limit on auto-loading SQL queries if you want to ensure that your WordPress website can serve additional users using the present back-end structure. Depending on your bandwidth, a limit of 100 to 200 will keep your website from falling down during high-traffic periods.

3. Leverage Caching Plugins

Improved cache speed is another approach to scale up your website without boosting bandwidth. When your website has a large number of repeat visitors, enhanced cache speed might be quite useful. By retrieving all the repeated material from the users’ cache memory, caching plugins like Hummingbird and WP Fastest Cache can help you reduce overall HTTPS server requests.

4. Use CDN Servers

Content Delivery Networks (CDNs) are server clusters that are dispersed throughout a geographic region. One of the key benefits of CDN servers is that they increase your website’s response time in geographically distant places. When faced with increased traffic from many distant places, a single server running from a single location frequently fails to maintain its response time.

For example, if a website based in Sydney has an increase in total traffic, it will take longer to load in London. You can get around this problem by using a CDN server. If your WordPress website has a global audience, you’ll need to migrate it to a CDN to handle the extra traffic.

5. Benefit from Lazy Loading

The idea of lazy loading refers to when a site loads incrementally as you scroll down the page rather than entirely loading on the initial click. If your WordPress site has extensive pages with a lot of photos, lazy loading might help you control the strain on your database. The sluggish loading will prevent your site’s bandwidth from being harmed by bouncing users who do not scroll down the full page. You may use WP plugins to enable slow loading on your website without having to change the CSS or PHP coding.

6. Optimize Visual Content

Lazy loading can only protect your bandwidth to an extent. If your site experiences high traffic where most users scroll down the visited pages, lazy loading plugins won’t help. In such cases, you will need something that can unconditionally optimize your visual content. Again, WP plugins will come to your rescue. A plugin like Smush will resize and compress the site’s images without sacrificing their quality to shed some load off the bandwidth and server.

Final Words

We hope that the foregoing discussion has provided you with a better understanding of WP scalability, why scaling up a WP website is necessary, and how to achieve it. To scale out your website, you may not need to expand your network bandwidth or spread out your servers, as discussed in the final section of the article. WP plugins can also assist you in preparing your website for higher visitors.

However, the first metric we described in the previous section also presents a compelling argument for hiring a solid managed WordPress hosting company. If your budget permits it, you should choose a hosting plan that allows for both vertical and horizontal scalability. With this comprehensive knowledge at your disposal, you’ll be able to address all types of WP scalability issues in the near and far future.

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