Website scalability refers to the ability of a website to handle sudden changes in website traffic without compromising its performance. A scalable website can easily deal with huge traffic and incredible number of requests without downtime, without errors and with great speed.
A scalable website will perform flawlessly no matter how much traffic it receives.
Importance of website scalability for website owners
If you expect to see growth in your website’s reach, then you better learn about website scalability right away. A website can be made scalable by optimizing its hardware and software and improving the network infrastructure.
You need to make sure that your website is scalable because users are not willing to interact with slow and unresponsive websites. If you are a business owner, scalability should be one of the first things you consider when purchasing a web hosting service.
Apart from user experience, website scalability also helps you improve SEO rankings. It is also cost-effective because it ensures optimized utilization of your website’s resources.
Challenges derived from the poor scalability of the website
You may be wondering what are the problems you may face if your website is not scalable. Let’s discuss some of the challenges here.
If your website is not scalable, it will perform poorly. This can especially happen when there is a sudden increase in traffic. The website will be slow and may even stop responding at times. This makes users frustrated, resulting in higher bounce rates and lower rankings.
Website downtime could also increase. Downtime increases because the website is not capable of handling such high traffic. This can lead to lost revenue, lower ranking, and bad reviews.
Security issues can also increase due to poor scalability. Outdated software, inefficient infrastructure, and a lack of resources to deal with security threats are some of the downsides of a poorly scaled website. So, to avoid all these problems, it is better to make your website scalable from the start.
Let’s take a look at some steps you can take to manage your growing website and map out an effective website scaling plan.
How to plan the scalability of the website?
1. Identify the objectives of the website
As a website owner, you must have a vision for the growth of your website. Identify what are the objectives you want to achieve with your website and draw a path to achieve them.
Your website goals can be anything. You may want to increase traffic to your website, generate revenue, or just focus on user engagement.
This will help you assess a rough range of resources to allocate to your website. Clearly defining your goals makes it easier to plan for future growth because you’ll have a better idea of the challenges you’ll face.
2. Analyze the current infrastructure
Understanding the state of your infrastructure would go a long way in planning your future growth. It will help you pinpoint the exact requirements for your website. You can start by analyzing your servers. See if there is enough capacity on the server to handle a constant increase in traffic and content. This step will help you understand if you need to update your server or not.
Similarly, you can query your software and databases. Check the third-party apps you have already installed and determine if it is suitable for your goals.
To help improve the scalability of your website, there are other techniques that can help. In addition to using the CMS and CDN, there are a few other steps you can take that will help you improve your scalability.
1. Horizontal and vertical scaling
In horizontal scaling, more servers are added to increase capacity and ensure the proper functioning of the website. The workload is distributed, making the entire system work more efficiently. With horizontal scaling, there is better fault tolerance and availability.
In vertical scaling, more resources are added to existing servers, such as RAM, CPU, and storage. This type of scale upgrading is simple to execute and can be done at lower cost.
Caching temporarily stores frequently used data so that the number of requests made to the server is reduced. This helps reduce server load, increase speed, and create a better user experience.
Tools like Redis or Memcache can be used.
Caching can reduce downtime for your website. In this way, you increase the reliability and availability of your website.
3. Use content management systems
Using content management systems can help a lot with website scalability due to the modular architecture. With the modular architecture, removing and adding functionality is much easier. This means that it will be easier and faster to add new features when extending a website because there is no need to change the underlying code.
4. Use the content delivery network
Content Delivery Network is used to optimize a server by distributing multiple servers across multiple different geographic locations. This improves the speed of the website, especially when accessed by users who do not share the same location as the server.
In website scalability, CDN helps by improving security, speed, and reliability. It also reduces the load on the main server. Since the content can be delivered from many different servers, the origin server is not overloaded. This allows for scalability.
Partitioning or fragmentation improves the scalability of the website by dividing large data sets into smaller ones. These slices are stored on a separate node or server. Thus, the workload of a server is reduced.
Each of these nodes or servers handles a specific subset of all data. Websites that receive particularly heavy traffic that handle large volumes of data can greatly benefit from this technique.
Website scalability is an essential part of growth. It’s important for website owners to understand how to plan and scale their websites for best performance. Website owners looking to provide a seamless user experience, increase SEO rankings, reduce downtime, and gain better resource utilization can benefit from understanding website scalability.
If your website scales poorly, it will negatively affect its performance, SEO rankings, user engagement, availability, and security. So, plan how to scale your website by identifying your website goals and analyzing your current infrastructure. Implement scalability techniques such as scaling out and scaling up, caching, CMS usage, CDN usage, and sharding.
A scalable website will help you deal with any level of complexity with ease while still being functional and secure.