Hosting UPDATED: 20 June 2024

Scalable WordPress Hosting for High-Traffic Websites

Tassos Antoniou

16 min read
Scalable WordPress Hosting for High Traffic Websites

Scalable WordPress comes as a solution when your website grows and it needs to adapt by scaling its resources to increased levels of traffic, without breaking its performance.

In this article, We’ll look at what scaling is and how it can benefit your business’s high-traffic website. We will also discuss the features of scalable WordPress hosting and how we implement them at Pressidium.

Anyone who has a website understands the importance of growth. Without growth your site languishes, it becomes outdated and it is eventually forgotten. This is why you put so much effort into creating quality content, promoting that content, and getting your information in front of the people that matter. You want to grow your audience, build a community, and generate interest.

Growth can come with a downside though as it may lead to increased traffic. Now let’s see how this can impact your business.

What Scalable WordPress Hosting Prevents

Events like product launches, marketing campaigns, or sudden viral content can cause unexpected spikes in traffic. Without the ability to scale appropriately, the website may struggle to handle the sudden influx of visitors, leading to performance issues and even downtime and unavailability.

Any of these consequences may harm your website’s value in multiple ways:

Poor User Experience and Loss of Revenue

As your traffic increases, the website may become sluggish and slow to respond. This results in a frustrating user experience, with longer loading times and delays in accessing content. Visitors are likely to lose patience and abandon the site. This impact on user engagement will lead to a potential loss of customers or readers.

Especially in e-commerce websites, this kind of poor performance can directly impact sales. When the site struggles to handle a surge in traffic, potential customers may encounter difficulties completing transactions or accessing critical product information. This can result in lost sales opportunities and revenue.

Reduced Search Engine Ranking

Search engines consider website performance and speed as ranking factors. Inadequate scalability, as said, leads to slower page loading times, negatively impacting the site’s search engine optimization (SEO) efforts. As a result, the website may rank lower in search results, leading to decreased organic traffic.

Damage to Brand Image and Business Growth

A slow and unreliable website reflects poorly on the brand’s image negatively affecting your business reputation. Visitors may perceive the company as unprofessional, leading to a loss of trust and credibility. Negative perceptions can be hard to overcome and may drive potential customers away to competitors with better-performing websites.

This may further limit the ability to reach new audiences, expand into new markets, and achieve business objectives.

Increased Infrastructure Costs

Without proper scalability planning, website owners might be forced to make reactive investments in upgrading hosting infrastructure or purchasing additional resources. This reactive approach can result in higher costs compared to a proactive and planned scalability strategy.

How Scalability Solves the Problem

As a website grows and attracts more visitors, it’s crucial to ensure that the site can handle the increased load and continue to provide a smooth user experience.

Scalable WordPress Hosting solution

WordPress scaling offers the room and flexibility to quickly adapt to the changes of an influx of hits. With scaling, your website can seamlessly utilize extra resources and avoid all the risks above.

Without being able to scale, any WordPress website hosted in a standard environment and not with an Enterprise WordPress provider simply won’t be able to cope with the demand of high traffic. This translates to a significantly negative impact on your site’s performance that will consequently harm your business.

Let’s examine the features that provide a scalable WordPress website and how they mitigate the problem.

Key Features of Scalable WordPress Hosting

Scalable WordPress hosting comes with a range of key features designed to accommodate the growth and increasing demands of your website.

Hosting Infrastructure

While shared hosting plans might work well for small websites, as traffic grows, it’s advisable to switch to Virtual Private Servers (VPS), dedicated servers, or cloud hosting solutions. These offer more resources and flexibility to handle increased traffic.

Cloud hosting offers the flexibility to scale CPU, RAM, and disk space on demand. You can increase or decrease resources based on traffic fluctuations, making it an ideal choice for rapidly growing websites.

Virtual Private Server (VPS) hosting provides dedicated CPU and RAM resources in a virtualized environment. It allows you to upgrade your VPS plan to access more resources as your site’s needs evolve.

With a dedicated server, you have full control over the hardware resources, allowing you to customize and upgrade CPU, RAM, and disk space as necessary.

Flexible Resources

A Scalable WordPress hosting solution allows you to adjust your server resources (CPU, RAM, storage) based on your website’s changing needs.

The CPU (Central Processing Unit) is the brain of your server, responsible for executing instructions and processing data. As traffic to your website increases, the server receives more requests that require processing power. A powerful CPU can handle a higher number of concurrent requests and execute server-side tasks efficiently. When your site experiences spikes in traffic, having sufficient CPU resources ensures that your server can process requests promptly and prevents performance bottlenecks.

RAM (Random Access Memory) is used to temporarily store data that the CPU needs to access quickly. It acts as a working memory for the server. When a visitor accesses your website, various elements like database queries, PHP scripts, and web server processes require RAM to function effectively. As traffic grows, more RAM is required to handle multiple simultaneous requests. Inadequate RAM can lead to slow response times and potential crashes, especially during traffic spikes.

Disk space refers to the amount of storage available for your website’s files, databases, media, backups and other data. As your website scales, it accumulates more content and user data, increasing the demand for disk space. Running out of disk space can lead to errors, data loss, or even website downtime. Ensuring sufficient disk space allows your site to grow without interruption and allows you to store and serve content seamlessly to users.

Upgrading these resources is usually a straightforward process. You can perform upgrades through a control panel or dashboard, without the need for complex server migrations.

Caching and Content Delivery Network (CDN)

Implementing caching mechanisms can significantly improve performance and reduce the load on the server. At Pressidium, for example, we implement advanced caching practices like OpCache, Object Cache, or MySQL Query Caching and mitigate issues with Multilayer Caching.

A CDN helps distribute your website’s static assets (images, CSS, JavaScript) across multiple servers worldwide. This reduces server load and improves page load times, especially for users in different geographic locations.

Many scalable hosting providers offer seamless integration with Content Delivery Networks. CDNs distribute your website’s static assets (images, CSS, JavaScript) across multiple servers worldwide, reducing server load and improving page load times for visitors in different regions.

Database Optimization and Load Balancing

The database is a critical component of a WordPress site. Optimizing database queries, using indexes, and cleaning up unnecessary data can enhance performance and prevent bottlenecks as traffic increases.

In high-traffic scenarios, load balancing distributes incoming requests across multiple servers to ensure even resource utilization and prevent overload on a single server.

Scalable WordPress hosting often employs load balancing, which distributes incoming traffic across multiple servers. When traffic increases, the load balancer directs requests to available servers, preventing overload on a single server and ensuring a consistent user experience.

Vertical and Horizontal Scaling

When scaling WordPress, there are two different ways to add computing resources to your infrastructure:

Vertical scaling (aka “scaling up”) refers to scaling by adding more power (e.g. CPU, RAM) to an existing server machine. So, you might choose to vertically scale to meet the increasing demands of your WordPress site for the reasons we discussed in the resources section above.

Scaling a website horizontally (aka “scaling out”), however, means adding more machines to your pool of resources that can all serve your website. Horizontal scaling allows your WordPress site to distribute traffic across multiple servers. As traffic continues to grow, it may get busier and put more strain on the servers. To handle this increased traffic, you can use horizontal scaling.

So, if a server goes down, you have N-1 servers that still serve your website. There’s no downtime, and no one notices anything.

At Pressidium we utilize both scaling strategies, horizontal and vertical, and depending on your specific business case we choose the optimal solution. You can read more about this further down in the article.

Monitoring and Security

Scalable hosting providers typically include performance monitoring tools that allow you to track server usage, response times, and other critical metrics. This enables you to proactively identify and address potential bottlenecks before they impact your website’s performance. Here is an example of how our customers can see their performance analytics through their Pressidium dashboard:

Pressidium Dashboard performance analytics (server usage, response times)

WordPress scalability should also not compromise security. Implementing strong security measures, such as firewalls, DDoS protection, and regular updates, is essential to ensure a safe environment for both your website and your users.

Auto-scaling capabilities

Auto-scaling in the WordPress Managed Hosting industry refers to the ability of a hosting provider to automatically adjust the resources allocated to a website based on its changing needs on real-time traffic. This means that if a WordPress site experiences sudden high traffic, the hosting provider can apply scaling automatically to handle the increased load. When traffic subsides, it can scale down, optimizing cost efficiency.

Apart from avoiding downtime or performance issues, auto-scaling also ensures that website owners only pay for the resources they use, rather than having to purchase a fixed amount of resources that may not be fully utilized.

In Managed WordPress Hosting, auto-scaling typically involves the use of technologies such as load balancers and auto-scaling groups, which automatically distribute traffic across multiple servers and allocate additional resources as needed. 

High availability and Redundancy

A redundant infrastructure minimizes the risk of downtime. Scalable WordPress hosting solutions often provide redundancy and failover mechanisms. If one server fails, the traffic is automatically routed to a healthy server, minimizing downtime and ensuring continuous availability.

We understand that all the above may be a lot to process. That’s why we provide some valuable tips on how to evaluate a hosting provider before buying a plan.

How Pressidium Hosting Handles WordPress Scaling For High-Traffic Sites

At Pressidium, our approach to the scaling topic is to share more detail and be as clear as possible. How are you supposed to make an informed decision, if we don’t clearly describe how our platform scales?

This is why we are completely transparent regarding the Pressidium Platform. We’re the only Managed WordPress Hosting provider with published Enterprise Architecture diagrams available for the public to view online. These diagrams offer our full-blown solution, along with all the gains available to our customers, even for the very lowest plans.

Pressidium Enterprise Architecture diagram

What this means for you is that you can finally see with your own eyes, exactly what you’re getting in regards to our expertise and knowledge. So let’s take a closer look at how we handle scaling.

Before we dig into the details, it’s important to point out that everyone who joins Pressidium, will experience the benefits of our scaling capacities as standard. It doesn’t matter what plan you’re on, you can expect the same Enterprise WordPress support as customers receive on higher-level plans.

Try our Award-Winning WordPress Hosting today!

Our Approach to WordPress Scalability

How we approach WordPress scaling is complete. Our architecture allows us to scale both horizontally and vertically simultaneously. This way we deliver unmatched performance and capacity on every single layer of our Enterprise Architecture Hosting

We use technologies such as parallel file systems, adaptive caching, load-balancing, and horizontal scaling factoring high performance as a baseline. High availability ensures that if one component fails, another will take over, with no glitch.

For our team of experienced DevOps, it means they’re able to perform upgrades to hardware, without any disruption to the service we offer. Similarly, it enables them to apply fixes to failing nodes. Again without any disruption or downtime. But the most important thing is that you get a team on your side.  

The future growth of your website is intrinsically related to the growth of our platform. As user demand grows, scaling allows us to deploy new clusters, enabling mass WordPress scalability for all of our customers’ websites without any barriers. This gives your business unprecedented technological potential.

What This Means For Our Customers

All these might sound like marketing buzzwords to some, however, the truth is that although our Enterprise WordPress infrastructure uses state-of-the-art technology, our intent behind it is different.

We do not care about the latest technology trend, or the new buzzword (most of the time it’s just a new spin on something existing). Instead, we are very cautious about what we put on our platform and in what way. If it ultimately doesn’t bring any value to your business or if there is even a small probability of interfering with it, then it’s out of the question. However “sexy” this new technology might seem. 

The combination of our infrastructure, values, and people delivers the following:

  • Your site will be able to grow and adapt alongside your business.
  • Regardless of how big you get, your website won’t break.
  • The same applies to traffic spikes – your website won’t just handle the load, it will excel at it!
  • You’ll receive the same level of expert performance irrespective of your level of demand.
  • Everything is carried out behind the scenes, leaving you with more time to do what you do best.
  • All this is yours at some of the most competitive prices in the managed WordPress hosting market.

Pressidium Scalable Hosting Solutions

Our scalable WordPress hosting has proven to be especially beneficial to various roles and types of websites. A common case is when an e-commerce site receives tons of requests due to traffic during the holiday shopping season or a special offer period.

The same goes if you are a digital agency. In that case, you’d rather manage multiple websites for your clients, and each website may have varying levels of traffic and resource requirements. Scalable WordPress hosting provides the flexibility and resources needed to handle the demands of multiple websites efficiently.

Businesses and brands that experience fluctuations in website traffic or anticipate growth over time can have the flexibility and performance they deserve and also avoid disastrous downtimes.

As you already know, many educational institutions and eLearning Businesses use WordPress for their official websites, blogs, online courses, and other content. The students’ use will likely cause traffic peaks and high demand on resources, not to mention the necessity of high security here. When delivering WordPress at scale, such issues can be smoothly handled.

Final Thoughts on Scaling WordPress

Understanding the significance of scalable WordPress hosting is crucial for the success and growth of any website. The ability to handle increasing traffic, data, and resource demand without performance issues or downtime is paramount.

It is essential to assess your current hosting solution and, now that you possess the knowledge, decide whether you need high-traffic WordPress hosting. If so, we encourage you to take the next step and elevate your website’s potential with us. The power of a scalable WordPress hosting provider, like Pressidium, ensures your site is always available, from hundreds of visitors per day to millions. All you need to do is make good use of it!

Frequently Asked Questions

Is WordPress Scalable?

Yes, WordPress is scalable. It can handle websites of various sizes and traffic levels with the right optimization and scalability measures. As a content management system (CMS), WordPress has been continuously improved to support high-traffic and large-scale websites. By implementing strategies like caching, content delivery networks (CDNs), and scalable hosting environments, performance can be significantly enhanced. Additionally, efficient coding practices, image compression, and database optimization are essential for handling larger sites.

How Many Products Can WooCommerce Handle?

WooCommerce can handle hundreds to thousands of products without major performance issues on a well-optimized website. However, while WooCommerce can support many products, extremely large e-commerce websites with tens of thousands, or even more, products may require specialized hosting configurations and performance optimizations.

How Do I Make My WordPress Site Scalable?

Scaling WordPress requires taking the following steps:

  • Choose a reliable hosting provider that offers scalable resources and performance upgrades as your site grows.
  • Implement the right server-level caching to reduce server load and improve response times.
  • Use a content delivery network (CDN) to distribute your site’s static resources across multiple servers globally, enhancing loading speed for users from different locations.
  • Optimize your website’s database by cleaning up unused data, reducing overhead, and using database caching.
  • Minimize HTTP requests and optimize images to reduce page load times.
  • Use a lightweight and well-coded theme that focuses on performance and doesn’t add unnecessary bloat. Minimize the use of plugins where possible.
  • Regularly monitor your site’s performance and scalability, and make necessary adjustments based on traffic trends and user behavior.

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