Nowadays, WordPress is the most prominent content management system in the world. But it does not mean that each site built on top of WordPress is elastic or scalable. Hence, most of the WordPress websites aren’t supportive of traffic spikes by default. Is WordPress Scalable or not? We will decide after discussing its large scale website solutions. Indeed, there is no shortage of WordPress websites that cannot manage their current peak traffic without slowing down. You might be spending money and time to drive viewers to a site that isn’t even enabled for serving those visitors. WordPress scalability is an important factor for various businesses.
It is mainly upsetting for ecommerce industries that depend on WordPress to work with their shopping cart apps. This software helps to produce sales and revenues. Two main shopping cart tools are WooCommerce or BigCommerce. Without any doubt, it’s a necessity and needs for any site’s vendor to have a super-fast website that offers all of the services to its visitors in a seamless manner.
Though, in this blog post, we’ll discuss is WordPress scalable? If you are looking for the answer to the same question, read out this article till the end.
Let’s Have a Look!
WordPress- A Large-Scale Website Solution
WordPress controls nearly above 27million sites. These include the approximately 4,000 top websites present on the internet. Wappalyzer indicates WordPress as powering a full 75% of the Content Management System (CMS) marketplace. Moreover, the close contestants are Joomla and Drupal. As each is controlling 4% of the market.
Though, WordPress.org indicates that its open-source software controls 35% of the website. And it varies from small blogs to more extensive, and most visited sites in existence. However, WordPress scalability matters a lot on big sites. No doubt, a scalable website is bound to showcase more services. Scale-up involves the process of increasing the hardware capacity such as RAM and CPU. At the same time, the scale-out activity involves the enhancement in the visibility of the websites through the maximum number of nodes.
Does WordPress Scale?
Scaling WordPress means that website can meet the requirements of high traffic. Though, large scale website can scale to get the maximum traffic. But it doesn’t mean that each WordPress site is ready to retain 100% uptime during traffic rushes. Scaling WordPress is essential to focus on aspects related to your specific website. These factors may include,
- Scalable WordPress themes
- Scalable WordPress plugins
- Scalable hosting
Steps for Scaling a WordPress site
However, WordPress by itself is a changeable platform. It is a good thing to give your site suitable hosting and clear all the bottlenecks. Moreover, several factors can control or manage traffic on WordPress websites. Now let’s have a look at the various steps for scaling WordPress.
1: Code Best Practices
Your custom code can influence page loading and WordPress scalability in multiple ways. Thus, the code must be clean, refactored, and bug-free. Likewise, avoid dependencies on third-party facilities that won’t scale.
So, everything from a stock ticker to a live chat method that is not made to handle huge surges in traffic. Consequently, software such as NewRelic can be beneficial in finding coding errors, as we all know that bugs cause glitches that either eat up all the available resources or brings the web app down.
2: Vertical Scalability
Occasionally your website requires more means to handle the traffic. Though, Hardware resources like RAM and CPU are essential to control traffic spikes. Typically, dedicated servers have sufficient processing control to handle little spikes. But they cannot handle the sustained traffic surges. On cloud hosting companies, it’s relatively easier to assign extra resources to your server by adding new CPU cores and RAM. On the flip side, not assigning enough hardware resources to your web application guarantees downtime as soon as a web app gets more traffic than its resources can afford.
Pro Tip: Always use a dedicated hosting plan rather than shared hosting. Dedicated hosting gives you more power to upgrade and offers a more secure way to host a safe site from web attackers.
WordPress Horizontal Scaling
In most cases, more CPU and RAM alone won’t be sufficient to fulfill your requirements. The hosting server, either a committed server or cloud version, will bottleneck. As a substitute, you will want to apply load-balancing so as to manage the peak traffic and to ensure that your site offers all of its features efficiently to end-users.
Though similar to vertical scaling, WordPress horizontal scaling will also help you to achieve the goals. Hosting service providers can assist you to auto-scale horizontally by rotating up more website nodes as required. You can achieve this on various public nodes like in AWS. Consequently, WordPress horizontal scaling plays a crucial role in entertaining high website traffic.
A typical web page is a collection of media, text, and input controls. The same is the case in WordPress as sites built-in WP house scalable WordPress themes, images, scripts, and content. It is recommended to use techniques such as Full Page Caching (FPC), introducing CDNs to store scripts and media files to ensure a faster page load. This technique of caching not only saves unnecessary usage of the hardware resources but also ensures to make the best use of them in peak times.
4: Content Delivery Network
5: Database Optimization
A database is a place where we store all the dynamic data securely. It is the foundation of any given web or mobile application. It should definitely be secure and strong. Make sure that your database is rightly optimized and configured. In this way, you can reduce the chances that can affect your WordPress scalability. By all means, make use of database normalization techniques such as 1nf, 2nf, and even 3nf if required.
6: Search Indexing
WordPress’s built-in site-search aspect can be a blockage in some circumstances. As your website scales up, you must consider another selection, such as ElasticSearch.
Nowadays, WordPress protection is a moving target. Your web host must install web application firewalling, malware scanning, and intrusion detection solutions. Though, it’s significant to make sure that these arrangements are not disturbing your scalability. For instance, malware scans use vital server resources during the worst conditions. Undoubtedly, a WordPress security check can assist you in identifying liabilities and risks. Don’t use a shared hosting plan as there are significant changes that if one site gets infected, yours can definitely be in trouble too. Make sure to sanitize all of your site’s entry points to protect the site from attackers. Make use of vendors such as Cloudflare to protect your site from DDoS attacks. Use encryption while storing sensitive information in the database. For starters, change the DB tables prefixes so it gets difficult for attackers to second guess your app’s tables’ names.
8: Available Disk Space
Running out of RAM and CPU resources is momentary during a traffic spike. But running out of hard disk space is disastrous. Thus it requires manual intervention. So, it’s significant to place certain disaster management services in your app’s infrastructure in a case similar events arise. Pay close attention to the similar alerts that you get from the hosting provider in such events. It leaves no harm to acquire additional hardware resources from your hosting server just have peace of mind, knowing that your app is already prepared to handle spikes in traffic.
Always make sure,
- Themes and Plugins that are being used in your website can always be customized and must offer good development support in case of any customization (if needed).
- Any 3rd party API that you are integrating must ensure the highest percentage of uptime.
- Plugins that require low-level permissions must be first assessed before any integrations.
10: Server Software
The hosting server should offer the latest versions of software such as NGINX and Percona DB. As we know that new versions of software such as PHP work more powerfully than old ones.
So it will help your whole scalability, not just the security. The overall configuration is important. Merely installing the software will not guarantee effective scalability. It takes a skilled hand and the correct settings to circumvent bottlenecking.
11: Hardware Performance
As with all CPUs, not all hardware is identical, and it’s not only about size. For example, selecting a host that practices Solid State Drives (SSD) by TLC technology can lead to much better loading speeds. Moreover, it possesses better scalability than SSDs or Spinning Disks using QLC. While purchasing a hosting solution, it is essential to check the right architecture with high performance. Always pick the right plan as per your budget and need.
12: Speed Optimization
Generally speaking, the improved your WordPress loading speed means the better optimized your website. Thus, your structure should be able to serve more operators more gracefully. It should not choke or block the codes and big files on the site. It would help if you had a Time to First Byte (TTFB) below 200ms, which is stress-free to analyze a WordPress speed test.
Top Practices for WordPress Scalability
Now we will check out the influence of top practices on scalability and elasticity of WordPress. Also will discuss how does WordPress scale due to changing factors or practices.
Let’s Check Them Out!
1: Use the Precise Hosting Provider
As we observed that most of the steps for scaling mentioned above need web hosting optimization.
So the selection of the right and appropriate hosting is another important step. With the help of precise web hosting the scalability of WordPress will increase with time. So you must have a team of experts who will guide you in choosing the best hosting for your website. They will monitor the whole hosting environment, and you will get successful scalability chances.
2: Lightweight Themes
If your theme is poorly coded or choked, it might be weighing down your website. The choking features may limit your capability to handle big web traffic. So use scalable WordPress themes to enhance the page speed. Moreover, lightweight themes will help you in strong coding and achieve scalability needs.
3: Simplified WordPress Plugins
Each plugin adds bulk and risk to your ecommerce store. While it comes to plugins, less is more. Hence, pick up your plugins judiciously. If you’re functioning an ecommerce site, consider using BigCommerce to WordPress site. This practice will unburden your ecommerce associated workload to BigCommerce’s SaaS solution. Also, using the simple and scalable WordPress plugins will help you in achieving the scalability goals.
4: Load Testing
Indeed, the load test is vital for WordPress sites. It should run to check out that the website is capable of fulfilling all the needs. A website should meet all the traffic goals and requirements. Additionally, it would help if you retested from time to time, for example, after making modifications and updates.
Indeed, WordPress sites are scalable. You can make changes or updates according to your specific needs. But to scale WordPress, you must apply some best practices and strategies regarding development and hosting. All necessary steps for scaling should be followed for effective results.
Moreover, the cloud environment will help your WordPress site to handle all the traffic surges. All the glitches and issues can be resolved by choosing the best hosting and plugins for your business sites.
To achieve the scalability goals, you must adjust and test the sites for evaluation. Choose the experienced team to monitor your website activities and loading speeds. We hope you will get the answers to all your queries regarding how does WordPress scale or is it scalable or not?
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