Is Your WordPress Website Scalable Enough For More Traffic?
In this article, digital marketing consultancy Tudor Lodge Consultants takes a closer look at whether your WordPress website is scalable enough for higher volumes of traffic.
WordPress is one of the most popular content management systems in the world. It currently powers around 43% of all websites in the world. It is an open-source CMS that enables people to quickly get a website online with minimal coding knowledge. The easy-to-use interface makes it possible for anyone to learn how to build and update a website.
While WordPress may have started life as a humble blogging platform, it has now grown into a platform capable of hosting heavy-traffic websites, including media organisations and eCommerce stores. With this in mind, many people wonder how they can scale their website and ensure a good user experience as traffic increases.
What does scalability mean?
WordPress scalability is the ability to increase the resources available so that your website can serve more visitors or provide a faster experience. The good news is that WordPress websites aren’t limited in any way, so every website is scalable, provided it is designed and built in the right way.
The factors that influence the scalability of the website include:
- Hosting – the type of host that you use and the resources available to you will be one of the biggest factors that influence how you scale your website. Shared cloud hosting will be the slowest option, as this will mean your website is sharing resources with other websites on the same cloud server. Dedicated cloud hosting with elastic load balancers will offer the best option for scaling your website.
- Code – websites that are designed to scale will have sleek code that provides a fast user experience. If your website code is bloated and buggy, you will find it difficult to scale your website.
- Content delivery – using a content delivery network will help to prevent sluggish websites. This service hosts large media resources remotely and then loads them from the fastest source, which helps to speed up your website.
- Website architecture – the way your website is built and serves content will have a huge impact on how scalable your website is. Choosing elastic architecture will help to ensure maximum uptime.
- Integrations – if you use an API on your website, your site will always be limited by this resource.
How do you know if your website is scalable?
If you are hoping to increase website traffic, you need to make sure that your website is up to the task. The first step is to check the current website speed. You can use resources like Google PageSpeed Insights to get a closer look at what is happening behind the scenes.
You should also look at your current hosting provider to see if you’re on the best hosting plan for your needs. You can increase resources horizontally to be able to serve more visitors, and vertically to provide a faster experience.
If you want to guarantee uptime and minimise the risk that a user lands on a broken website, then mirroring your website and using an elastic load balancer setup will help. This creates multiple iterations of your website that are hosted in different server locations. When a user lands on the site, the load balancer selects the fastest server option to deliver the content. If a server is down, your website service won’t be interrupted.
What if my website isn’t scalable?
If your website is built on WordPress, the good news is that it is always going to be scalable. There is nothing in the WordPress architecture to hold you back, so it might be a case of updating your theme, migrating to a new website host, or getting rid of a sluggish API.
If you have a very large website, such as an eCommerce site with lots of products and categories, then you will also need to make sure your website database is up to the task. The database is responsible for storing the information and making it accessible to website users. WordPress websites use a database management system called MySQL. Keeping this updated and streamlined will also help to ensure your website is scalable.
WordPress websites can easily be scalable if you choose the right resources behind the scenes. If you want to rapidly grow your website traffic, focus on getting the right hosting and website architecture to ensure success.