How To Scale Your WordPress Site as Traffic Increases

You didn’t just pluck WordPress out of a hat; there are a myriad of reasons why you chose to build your website using WordPress as your CMS and 35% of all website owners agree with you; WordPress is huge and over 500 new sites a day are added to the fold. Solid security options, access to a wide support network of skilled WordPress pros, quick deployment times, ease of SEO implementation, and scalability are all key.

With scalability in mind, stay tuned to proceed if your new website is starting to outgrow its initial user base and you are becoming a victim of your own traffic success.

Cure your bottlenecks

A sudden surge in traffic levels can lead to a ‘bottleneck’ in your traffic; a huge demand on the server for resources that can result in slower working speeds. The poor performance caused by bottlenecks can not only cause poor user experiences, putting off potential customers, or crash your site completely. This can affect your website’s organic search rankings as Google does not like to promote a poorly performing, or slow website any more than it likes websites that don’t efficiently resize themselves to mobile devices.

Dealing with this is probably the most efficient step that you can take to help with performance when traffic demand is high. In the first instance, you should be addressing the resource demand itself, ensuring that your website is a lean mean loading machine. Reduce the burden on the server as much as possible by keeping the code clean, animations to a minimum, the files small, and the load generally as light as possible.

Remove unused plugins to reduce database strain, and go for a lighter theme design, keeping your site easy to render and serve. You also need to make sure that you have a solid caching system enabled so that you’re not forcing the server to double handle data.

Alternatively, you can also set up a Virtual Waiting Room, if you are looking for a low cost solution. For the uninitiated, it works by allowing customers to wait in a virtual queue. The major upside is that they can choose to leave the queue and will be notified when it’s their turn. This means nobody will be disappointed or leave frustrated. This is a great way to manage customer expectations while ensuring that the site doesn’t crash.

Good housekeeping

If you want peak performance, then you should aim for a high quality, high availability service like the one offered by Onyx. You should make every effort to improve your website by going the extra mile with your database housekeeping. Choosing a lighter theme or removing excess plugins might reduce pressure on your options table, but it can leave traces of data and residual files that need sweeping up after you’ve made changes. If you’re going to the effort of reducing server load, make sure you’ve done a thorough sweep afterward to maximize the effect.

Don’t forget, whenever you’re making administrative changes to your WordPress site, or generally messing about behind the scenes, always make sure you are backing your site up so you can roll back if things go awry.

Maintain your databases

All of the data in a WordPress website is held in databases, and so, a poorly maintained or inefficient database is always going to slow down proceedings. Make sure your Options Table is optimized (probably a job for a pro as there’s a lot to break in here) but you’ll probably find that you don’t need everything that’s stored in there.