There once was a time when businesses thought that having a website is optional. Since then, however, more business activities have migrated online. Almost everyone has a computer in their pocket and they’re using it to search for products and services in their area. The new law of the land is that every business needs an online presence and that most businesses need a website.
A business website is not an asset only corporations and big business use. The majority of small businesses also have websites, with only three out of every ten of them still failing to catch up. And because websites are a long-term investment, they require planning for very specific outcomes. Especially the outcomes that require your website to grow.
When Is the Right Time to Talk About Scalability?
Scalability is probably not among the first things you’ll think about when building a website. Creating a serious business website is not an easy process. There is a very long list of things you need to consider, and scalability is usually mentioned in relation to other elements. Usually, it comes up when thinking about hosting options.
That makes sense because hosting is important for the scalability of a website. However, scalability isn’t just about the hosting plan you choose. For that reason, you should consider scalability separate from hosting and see how other features and technologies might influence it. And that means that the right time to talk about scalability is as soon as possible.
Prepare Your CMS for Scalability
WordPress is the CMS of choice for 30% of all the websites that are currently online. And while you’re in no way obligated to use it, you might consider it. There is a reason why so many websites, even the ones that experience traffic a business website could only dream of, chose WordPress for their CMS.
You should understand what your CMS needs to be scalable to the levels you might need. Reverse proxy page caching and persistent object caching will improve the speed and volume of your website. Proper database distribution and management are also very important. An architecture that allows horizontal scalability will enable your website to stay up even when an individual server goes down. These are concepts you should implement, or choose a host that implements them.
The Right Hosting Option
Unless you plan to have thousands of visitors on the day your website goes online, you will probably be happy with any website hosting you choose. However, as your website gets more visitors, you will see the performance go down. And as you put more content or products on your website, you will start reaching limits of what you can and cannot do.
The choice to make here is to start with a scalable hosting plan. Enterprise WordPress hosting solutions, for example, can offer to increase the resources your website has at its disposal as they are needed. As long as the terms of progression through the tiers are transparent and easy to understand, this is among the best options for scalability. Pick a hosting provider that will be able to handle the demands of your expanding website.
Your website can use a variety of third-party services and APIs to expand its functionality. These might perform perfectly well while you’re not experiencing heavy website traffic. But when your website really takes off, they can start slowing down to the point where they cost your website some of its functionalities.
Choosing scalable integrations from the beginning is a sound strategy. However, you can also think ahead and set up a sequence of solutions you will use as your website becomes bigger. Either way, you must have a plan for the moment when your website starts demanding more from these services and they stop delivering.