Creating a highly-scalable WordPress build that performs excellently can be a real challenge. Lots of website owners, facing uncertainty on how to approach their scaling initiatives, discuss this issue with our team.
According to Techopedia, Scalability is defined as:
“The ability of a process, network, software, or organization to grow and manage increased demand. A system, business, or software that is described as scalable has an advantage because it is more adaptable to the changing needs or demands of its users or clients.”
There are many aspects that can help you decide on the different WordPress Scalability strategies. But, having a proper plan at hand might hold the key to addressing most website growth challenges.
The Benefits of a Scalable WordPress Website
When building a scalable WordPress website, you will benefit from the following:
- Handling Higher Traffic: You can grow your user base to new heights. More traffic means more business opportunities. With the right structure and technical expertise, you can grow your site to any number of visits.
- Better Integrations: With a scalable website, the process of integrating new features should be a cinch. That makes your site open to constant innovations and improvements. The codebase itself is adaptable to new features, allowing continuous scalability in the process.
- Maintenance Investment: Good scalability also means that you must make investments in quality maintenance, so it can support the build’s scalability process.
What Makes a WordPress Website Scalable?
To know what your goal is, here is how a scalable WordPress website is defined:
- Impeccable Speed: Your website must have a swift performance that doesn’t fluctuate. If not, the side effects could include an increased bounce rate and a declined position in SERPs.
- No Downtime: Your website must be available at all times. For example, for SaaS, it’s vital to provide unbroken access to the features, anytime, any place. Keep in mind that 100% uptime does not exist. System failures can happen that can delay the experience for a few moments.
- Quick Data Retrieval: With third-party technologies for data access, integrations can be complicated. When you try to intersect the site’s core with an external database service, obstructions are bound to happen. You need to ensure that doesn’t happen.
- 24/7/365 Maintenance: The website must be easy to update, use, and maintain. Each issue should be easily traceable and fixable. You can achieve this through proper organization and segmentation of your WordPress site.
- Server Response: The speed of your WordPress build is crucial. Regardless of how useful your site features are, fractions of a second will decide whether someone stays on your website or not.
Factors That Influence Web Scalability
There are multiple factors that influence the scalability of WordPress websites:
- Architecture: This is one of the most integral aspects of web scalability. The architecture must be scalable and capable of handling high traffic influxes.
- Coding Quality: Code quality can also have a significant impact on the scalability of your WordPress site. Clean and well-organized code allows easier integrations.
- Performance Testing: Through testing, you can find and fix issues on your site so you can keep it growing.
- Hardware Constraints: Hardware can significantly affect the scalability of your WordPress website. All types of software depend on the machine they are run on, the same with websites.
- Third-party Integrations: They can either be the reason for better scalability or one of the biggest obstacles.
- Proper Hosting Environment :This is a must-have if you want to achieve good scalability.
To develop a better understanding of what’s involved when scaling your WordPress site, we will cover the four key steps involved in responding to project demands.
Four Main Steps for Developing a Potent WordPress Scalability Strategy
Starting with the right approach is pivotal! Everything must go hand in hand with the development processes of the build. All you have to do is define the right process, and optimize as the site progresses.
1. Manage Project Expectations
When you haven’t scaled a site for millions of visits, it’s easy to underestimate the work required to keep WordPress stable in high traffic.
There are lots of challenges on the path to perfect scalability, such as:
- Not having sufficient resources to host an increase in web visitors and traffic.
- Page code and additional files that may negatively affect the site’s performance.
- Overcomplicated changes in the structure done by inexperienced teams that must be resolved.
It is more than clear that you need to set the right expectations from the start. Having the right strategy sets you firmly on the path for successful growth.
Make sure that you have data regarding the features and performance to ensure that your site can support each stage of your scalability strategy. Understand the financials involved in the project, and how much each step of the process will cost you.
Furthermore, ensure that you communicate every possible challenge with your team of developers. With that, you will minimize the chances of spending too much time inspecting potential failures.
2. Test Your WordPress Build for Scalability
Before you scale, you must assess if the site is capable of growth in its current state. Testing can help you uncover issues before they become a problem for your site.
But, before testing, you need to decide what you are going to test so that you can get a sense of where to proceed. For example, the amount of traffic that your configuration can handle and how you will deploy the required optimizations.
The following are the fundamental properties that you need to focus on when testing your WordPress site for scalability:
- Response Time: A website’s response time is the time required for the site’s functions to react to a user’s request. A website is scalable when it has a constant response time for every user. The lower the response time, the better the scalability is.
- Throughput: It measures the amount of user requests that your website can handle during a specific timeframe. Your site is scalable if it has an identical throughput for different levels of requests.
- Memory Usage: The amount of memory spent on each website task. Aim to reduce memory usage as much as possible. Do this through caching, database optimization, SQL queries optimization, and best coding practices.
- Bandwidth Usage: The amount of data passed from your server to its users, calculated in bytes per second. Your website is scalable if it can perform flawlessly under substantial bandwidth bottlenecks.
Evaluating the scalability of your site will help you uncover limitations and issues that you need to first address. It will also help you determine if your site supports your business goals during the process.
3. Consider Your Hosting Environment
If you’re planning to cope with high traffic, you could always use a quality hosting provider. If your current host can’t handle a surge in traffic, you need to re-examine your options again.
For a simple blog, an ‘affordable’ yet simple hosting package might be enough. But, if one blog post goes viral, all of a sudden, you may need additional resources to keep your site alive.
There are many options available. But, the worst-case scenario for your site’s scalability is having a $1.50 per month package. It’s a booby trap! Shared hosting providers run multiple websites at once from one server, that means if a site needs more resources they are out of luck.
A managed hosting provider such as Pagely, on the other hand, is perfect for dealing with traffic spikes and issues.
Having first-class support is a crucial asset for choosing managed hosting. With a managed host, there’s always someone that keeps an eye on your WordPress website, 24/7/356. A managed provider also brings greater security compared to a shared package with multiple accounts.
Managed hosts always achieve greater performance than shared ones. A shared host limits your site’s scalability and often places your business in a tight spot with fixes and new options. The power of your hosting service is also pivotal for a high quality WordPress scaling.
4. Integrate and Implement on the Go
A well-coded website and quality hosting are prerequisites for any future enhancement.
It’s important to keep in mind that your WordPress website will depend on many third-party technologies, APIs, and databases. To ensure that everything works, keep an eye on every detail that can affect your site, especially increased traffic.
The architecture of your WordPress website should be based on quality implementations. Everything on your site must be of highest quality.
Estimating the project needs and integrations requires you to address each website aspect. The more details you can outline, the better. Set up a time frame for each development stage of your project and the functions that you need.
Each function needs resources, which must go unnoticed when the users navigate on the site. Talk with the team of WordPress professionals to help you evaluate requirements. Let professionals work towards building a limitless WordPress solution.
To sum things up, to make any WordPress website scalable, you need to plan things out carefully. There are many aspects to address, but also, many benefits for the UX, functions of the site, and your bottom line.
Scalability is essential for every successful WordPress project. So, if you want to expand, you need to plan things beforehand.
At DevriX, we work proactively when it comes to scaling WordPress publisher websites to billion monthly page visits. We evaluate requirements, and we implement solutions that delight, save time and money, and grow one’s business in the process.
Contact us today and explore the benefits that our methods can bring to your WordPress project.
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