Website Scaling Explained: Why It’s Hard & How To Do It Right

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Website scaling enables you to welcome more visitors to your website by adding extra computing resources to your hosting solution.

Receiving more traffic to your website is undoubtedly rewarding. But, if your website hosting solution isn’t equipped to handle a large amount of traffic, you may experience a drop in your website’s performance.

In the worst-case scenario, your website might crash, leading you to a loss of visitors, revenue, and reputation.

To make sure your website can effortlessly handle all incoming traffic, you should consider scaling your website.

Not sure what website scaling is or how to scale your website? Read along to learn all about it!

What is Website Scaling?

Website scaling is the process of improving your website’s performance by adding resources to your hosting server so it can effectively handle more traffic.

Simply put, the goal of website scaling is to have your website perform as smoothly with 100,000 visitors as it does with 100.

Depending on the type of web hosting service you use to host your website, scaling can be done manually or automatically.

Why is Website Scaling Difficult?

Despite being necessary while growing your website, scaling can be difficult to implement.

For this reason, before you scale your website, you need to be aware of the website scaling challenges you might run into.

The most common website scaling challenges include:

  • Estimating website traffic. Predicting how much traffic your website will receive can be tricky, so it’s important to constantly track how much traffic your website is receiving. This will help you scale up your website in time to meet the growing demand.
  • Financing the scaling process. No matter which website scaling strategy you choose, scaling your website can get expensive. As such, you must carefully plan your budget.
  • Improving website performance. Although website scaling allows you to increase your website’s performance, it doesn’t guarantee it. As such, you might have to improve your website’s performance in other ways besides scaling. That can be done by reducing the number of plugins on your website, optimizing image size, and more.

4 Main Reasons for Scaling a Website

Here are the 4 main reasons why you should consider scaling your website:

#1. Accommodating Larger User Bases

As your business starts growing and attracting more visitors, you need to make sure that your website can easily accommodate all of them.

By adding more resources to your hosting service, website scalability improves your website performance. This allows you to accommodate a larger user base.

As such, website scaling helps to avoid downtime, slow website loading times, and similar inconveniences that may leave your visitors dissatisfied.

#2. Higher Website Availability

With website scaling, you’re adding more resources to your hosting solution. In turn, this allows your server to handle more incoming requests without imposing any additional wait time on your website visitors.

For this reason, website scaling allows more users to access your website at the same time without having to wait additionally.

For example, with horizontal scaling, you can scale your website by adding a bare metal server to your existing server configuration. This way, you can distribute the incoming traffic and the workload between both of them, allowing more users to access your website at once.

#3. Handling Unexpected Traffic Surges

Scaling up your hosting enables your website to handle unexpected traffic surges. As a result, it helps you avoid downtime that might come with such unexpected traffic surges.

So, for example, if you run an e-commerce website and one of your products becomes popular overnight, it will bring a heavy load of traffic to your website. If your hosting is under-equipped to cope with the traffic, your website might crash, resulting in revenue loss.

However, if you scale your website, you can be sure that it will effectively handle the traffic spike without affecting your website’s performance.

#4. Increased Website Speed

Having a fast-loading website is vital to your company’s success – in fact, as your page loading time goes from 1 to 3 seconds, the likelihood of users leaving your website increases by 32%.

Eventually, a high bounce rate leads to a loss of revenue – and that’s why you want to optimize your website’s speed.

One way to increase your website speed and keep users on your website longer is to scale up your website.

By improving server speed and performance, website scaling allows your website to load faster. This means that users are more likely to stay longer on your website, return to your website, and recommend it to others, all of which are crucial for the growth of your business.

How to Scale Your Website

Here are the three main website scaling strategies:

#1. Horizontal Scaling

Horizontal scaling allows you to scale your website by adding additional servers to your web hosting solution to increase your website’s performance.

This way, you’re creating a server cluster that can manage heavy traffic coming to your website by distributing the load across several servers.

As such, horizontal scaling increases your website’s availability as well as helps you prevent website crashes caused by overloading your server.

#2. Vertical Scaling

With vertical scaling, you’re adding hardware components, such as memory or storage to your existing server to boost your website’s performance.

If, for instance, your current server is using all the RAM, your website will become very slow and might crash. To avoid server downtime, your best solution might be to add more RAM to your server.

One thing you should keep in mind, though, is that each web hosting server has a set amount of resources you can add to it, meaning that there are certain limits to vertical scaling.

#3. Automatic Scaling

Perhaps the easiest way to scale your website is by using cloud dedicated servers to host your website.

Cloud servers differ from dedicated hosting servers as they automatically take up resources from a cloud network of bare metal servers. Therefore, you don’t have to contact your hosting provider to upgrade your server and scale up your website.

Aside from being a quick and easy way to scale your website, the main benefit of using cloud dedicated servers is cost-efficiency.

As automatic scaling adjusts the server resources to meet your website’s demand, you only have to pay for the resources that your website uses.

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Website Scaling Explained: Why It’s Hard & How To Do It Right

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