WordPress is the most popular Content Management System (CMS) and one of the most flexible website building platforms available. According to a report by WordCamp, there are currently 75 million websites that use WordPress as the base web platform. Now with so many sites competing with each other for top ranking and more visitors, it may seem hard to gain and maintain traffic for your site.
But suppose your site gained a huge amount of traffic or faced a spike in traffic someday. Will your site function perfectly in this situation and withstand the traffic load? Now, here comes the scalability factor of your site in the picture.
Your WordPress site should always be ready to face a big surge in traffic at any given time. If it is not capable of doing that, your site may halt or the performance might decrease rapidly. So, to avoid these kinds of problems, your website scalability should be high.
In this post, I will be discussing how you can increase the scalability of your WordPress website. So, keep reading.
What is High Traffic and how Scalable are WordPress sites?
Any WordPress site will function correctly under normal traffic conditions but if suddenly it faces huge amounts of traffic or a spike in traffic, there will be a lot of strain on the site servers and this might reduce the performance and increase the loading time. Here the servers will be overloaded and if the resources are not enough, your site might severely underperform during peak traffic hours which will result in fewer visitors. This is called “Bottlenecking Traffic”.
Now, a WordPress website is highly scalable. With the right guidance, correctly chosen themes, plugins, and right configurations, the potential of the site is almost limitless. With proper scalability, your site will be able to handle millions of visitors in a peak traffic situation.
Tips for Making Your WordPress Website More Scalable
Reconsider the custom Codes
The custom codes of your WordPress site are generally written to give a smooth performance but in some cases, it might affect your site performance or hold it back from reaching its full potential. Your site codes should be clean and efficient and without any errors to avoid any kind of unnecessary bloat.
Fortunately, WordPress lets you tweak your site’s code so you can review and edit them if needed. For instance, if your site is dependent on a third-party app or plugin that is not scalable or can’t handle a huge surge in traffic, you should try to reduce dependence on them or replace them completely with another scalable option. Remove any unnecessary plugin to avoid slow load speeds.
Choose a Hosting Plan With Vertical Scaling
One of the main reasons for bottlenecking traffic is not having enough resources on your web servers. Well, the basic concept of vertical scaling is to add more resources like CPU power and RAM so your website could handle more spike of traffic. In this case, a hosting plan that allows you to upgrade your plan to get more resources on the server will be the right solution.
Generally dedicated servers or VPS hosting has the good processing power to operate properly in moderate to high traffic conditions but there must be an option that lets you more access to server resources.
Elastic Architecture and Horizontal Scalability
When your WordPress website is occasionally or constantly facing a truly huge surge in traffic, vertical scaling might not be enough for handling it. In this case, the presence of more CPU or RAM won’t help the bottlenecking issue regardless of the server brand. Here, horizontal scalability or elastic architecture is the key.
In vertical scaling, it keeps your whole website on a single server with more resources but in horizontal scaling, it uses load-balancing to split the load into multiple layers and spread the traffic across multiple servers. Public clouds like AWS allows horizontal scaling service.
Use Hosting plans that uses SSD
You should check your hosting plan if it uses HDDs or SSDs (Solid State Drives). As we know, SSds are a lot faster than HDDs so if your hosting plan uses HDD, try to switch to a plan that uses SSD. It is a lot more reliable and faster. Another factor with SSDs is the hosts who use SSDs based on TLC technology are way faster than hosts using SSDs based on QLC technology. This will help your site to handle heavy traffic.
Regularly Update Your Platform Version
Now, this might seem like a basic solution but sometimes just simply keeping your WordPress software may increase your website performance noticeably. You should also keep your server technology up to date as well as the plugins and other third-party services. Also, remember to check if your host is compatible with the latest version of the software. There is a very good chance that it will give a boost to your website loading speed and help to handle incoming web traffic or traffic surges.
Use CDN or Content Delivery Network
In your WordPress website, aside from HTML and CSS codes, many other different elements like themes, images, fonts, scripts, content, etc need to come together to successfully produce and display a webpage. Now it is a long work to load all these elements from your individual hosting account and as a result, the loading speed of the site is affected.
CDN or Content Delivery Network is the best solution to avoid this. It will distribute the copies of required files across many globally interconnected fast CDN servers. It will solve the load speed issues of your website and offer better security service and resilience.
Another way of scaling WordPress websites is optimizing the database server. Most of the data related to the content of your WordPress site is stored in the database. Though you can store a lot of data in your database, it should not be overstressed or it will result in a weak link and decreased scalability. So, it is important to configure your database.
In order to do that you should first configure MySQL or MariaDB. Put a cap on auto-loading queries. A maximum limit of 200 is good. Also, In the options table, you should not let hit the maximum limit for too many columns as it might affect your WordPress website’s load time and user experience.
Use a Good Security Plugin
In most cases, security is the weak point of a WordPress site as WordPress is a CMS. So, if your host does not provide proper web application firewalling, malware scanning solutions, etc, you should install a good security plugin to save your website from any threats: malware, spam, DDoS, etc.
When choosing a security plugin, keep in mind the=at it should not be a very heavy plugin and does not use too much server resources. All the necessary features like scanning, monitoring, blacklist, two-factor authentication, etc. It is especially recommended for e-commerce websites that experience a huge server load.
Also, remember that the scheduled malware scan should not be during the peak traffic times or it will drastically reduce your WordPress site’s performance.
Optimize the Heavy Visual Content on Your Site
Now visual content or media files are used to make the webpage more appealing and draw your visitors’ attention. But if these visual contents are too heavy, it might take too long to load. So, in case of an increase in traffic, your visitors might become frustrated and leave the site.
That’s why you should only host those files that you need most. For video files, if you can embed them on your site and take the help of video streaming services like Youtube, do it. It scales your WordPress site.
Use Lazy Loading
Lazy loading is a technique that loads the images or content when the visitor reaches the particular area of the webpage where the images supposed to be. This scales your WordPress site and reduces the loading time. You can also optimize the images in your content using plugins like Smush pro and compress their size. It will also boost your WordPress site loading speed and give a better user experience.
You can also use a backup plugin just in case of an unfortunate server crash. Snapshot pro is a light and efficient backup plugin.
I hope this article answered most of your queries. If you liked the article, leave a comment below, and do not forget to share. Thank you for visiting us, have a nice day.