A website is only as good as how well it can scale. In order to be successful, a website must be able to handle large amounts of traffic and still function properly. There are two main aspects to consider when building a scalable website: technical scalability and content scalability. This article will discuss how to build a scalable website – both from a technical standpoint and from a content standpoint.
What is a scalable website?
A scalable website is one that can handle large amounts of traffic and content without compromising performance, time and cost. In order to be truly scalable, a website must be able to grow and adapt as needed.
There are two main aspects to consider when building a scalable website: technical scalability and content scalability. Technical scalability relates to how well your website can handle increased traffic and load times. Content scalability, on the other hand, refers to how easy it is to add new content to your website as needed.
For high traffic websites that don’t have much content or don’t change often, you need to focus on just technical scalability. However, for most businesses it is important to build a website that can also scale in terms of content – providing the possibility to add loads of content fast.
How to build a technically scalable website
There are a few key things you need to consider when building a technically scalable website:
1. Choose fast website hosting
Make sure you choose a reliable web hosting provider that can handle increased traffic without affecting performance. There are plenty of reliable and fast web hosting providers to choose from.
2. Optimize the design of your website
Keep your website design simple and clean so that it can load quickly even with increased traffic. The more design components you use, the heavier the page gets (literally, in terms of the amount of code that has to be transferred to the user’s device).
While you can remedy a heavy site with agressive caching or by using a CDN, we usually recommend to get rid of the bloat first.
If your website is like a boat, adding caching or a CDN is like adding a larger engine on the back of the boat. A larger engine is more expensive and drinks more fuel. A more sustainable approach is to get rid of everything that’s non-essential on the boat.
3. Rely on caching
Use caching techniques to improve website performance and reduce load times.
There are two main types of caching: client-side caching and server-side caching. Client-side caching stores resources locally on the user’s device, while server-side caching stores resources on the web server itself.
Both types of caching can be used to improve website performance. However, server-side caching is generally more effective since it allows for more control over how and when resources are cached.
4. Use a fast database
Use a database that is scalable so that it can handle increased traffic and data without affecting performance.
A website database is literally a list of all the information (data) that is in you website. This data can include website content, user information, and website configuration settings. Website databases are typically used to store data that is retrieved by the website’s server-side code.
A fast database can quickly retrieve and return data to the web server. This helps to reduce load times and improve website performance.
On the other side, a slow database is not able to quickly retrieve and return data to the web server.
There are a number of different databases types that you can choose from, each with their own strengths and weaknesses. Some of the most popular databases include:
Choosing the right database for your website can be a technically complicated question. Here we suggest talking to an expert. If you need any assistance, leave us a message here.
5. Make updates regularly
Make sure your website is secure so that it can withstand attacks even with increased traffic.
Updating a website is important because it helps keep your website safe and secure from attacks. It also ensures that your website is running the latest software and is compliant with the latest security standards. This helps to protect your website and its users from any potential security threats.
In addition, updating a website can also help improve its performance and scalability. Newer versions of software often include performance improvements that can help your website load faster and handle more traffic.
Updating a website regularly is therefore important for both security and performance. However, it is also important to test any updates before applying them to your live website. This helps to ensure that the updates do not break your website or cause any other problems.
6. Use a content distribution network (CDN)
A content distribution network (CDN) is a network of servers that are used to store and deliver content, such as images, videos, and websites, to users. A CDN can help improve website performance by delivering content from a location that is closer to the user. This can help reduce load times and improve website usability. Cloudflare is a popular and reliable CDN that is relatively easy to set up.
7. Use a load balancer
A load balancer is a device that is used to distribute traffic across multiple servers. This can help improve website performance by evenly distributing the load across multiple servers.
How to build a scalable website in terms of content
Adding new content to a website can be a difficult and time-consuming task, especially if the website is not designed to be easily scalable. In order to make sure that new content can be added quickly and easily, it is important to design the website from the beginning to be scalable.
There are a few key things to keep in mind when designing a scalable website:
1. Use a content management system (CMS)
A CMS is a software application that is used to create, edit, and manage digital content. A CMS can be used to easily add new content to a website without having to edit the underlying code or structure of the site. This can save a lot of time and effort, especially when adding large amounts of content.
2. Use content templates
Using templates can help to standardize the look and feel of your website content. This can make it easier and faster to add new content, as well as making it simpler to maintain a consistent style across all of your website’s pages.
3. Keep the design simple
A complex website design can make it difficult to add new content. Keeping your design simple and easy to understand can make it much easier to add new content without having to redesign the entire site.
4. Avoid using too many images
Images can make it difficult to add new content to a page. This is because images often have to be resized or rearranged to fit into the new content. Using too many images can therefore make it more difficult and time-consuming to add new content.
5. Use external services for dynamic content
Dynamic content, such as video and audio, can be difficult to add to a website. This is because the file sizes of these types of content can be very large. Using external services, such as YouTube or Vimeo, can help to make adding dynamic content to your website much easier.
Why website scalability matters
Website scalability is important because it ensures that your website can handle increasing amounts of traffic. As your website grows in popularity, it will need to be able to handle more and more traffic. If your website is not scalable, it will eventually reach a point where it can no longer handle the load and will begin to slow down or even crash. This can lead to a loss of customers and revenue.
Creating a scalable website is therefore essential for any business that wants to grow and succeed online. There are a number of things to consider when making your website scalable, such as the design, content, hosting, and infrastructure. By taking the time to ensure that your website is scalable from the beginning, you can avoid any problems down the line.
By following these tips, you can make sure that your website is designed to be easily scalable. This will make it simpler and faster to add new content, as well as improve the overall usability of your site.
If you need help to build a scalable website take a look at our web development service or contact us.