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Three Simple Tips to Help Your Website Scale in High Traffic Periods

It’s exceedingly rare for a website to experience consistent levels of traffic at all times. Everything from event attendances, media mentions, and even the time of year can lead to spikes in your traffic. Traffic spikes translate to increased interest in your service or product so it’s key that your website performs well in these situations. 

It can be tricky to navigate such a rapid increase in traffic which is why so many websites buckle under the stress of traffic spikes and suffer downtime. As you can imagine, downtime during a period of high interest can be catastrophic, so we recommend keeping your website’s scalability in mind at all times.

If you can predict an impending traffic spike due to circumstances within your control, such as a high profile event attendance or a much-hyped new product launch, your first port of call should always be to speak to your WordPress agency to discuss the steps to keep your website stable. Of course, not every traffic spike can be predicted so here are three tips you can implement today to help your website scale effectively in high traffic periods.

Implement a CDN

A CDN, or content delivery network, is defined by Cloudflare as follows:

“A geographically distributed group of servers which work together to provide fast delivery of Internet content.

A CDN allows for the quick transfer of assets needed for loading Internet content including HTML pages, javascript files, stylesheets, images, and videos. The popularity of CDN services continues to grow, and today the majority of web traffic is served through CDNs, including traffic from major sites like Facebook, Netflix, and Amazon.”

Helping to boost site load times, increase content availability, and reduce bandwidth cost, we recommend looking into whether a CDN is a viable option for your WordPress website – and Cloudflare is a great place to start.

Improve Your Hosting

Hosting is a key component of your website’s performance for a whole host of reasons and choosing a first class hosting provider will help build the foundation that allows your website to scale as and when it needs to.

There are hundreds of hosting providers to choose from so it can be tricky to settle on the best choice for your business. We recommend looking for providers who offer a managed WordPress solution who have a proven track record of handling traffic spikes with ease.

WP Engine are a great place a start for all things related to WordPress hosting.

Audit Your Security

It goes without saying that security is paramount whether or not your website is experiencing high levels of traffic but it often tracks that the more traffic your website receives, the bigger target it becomes to hackers.

If you haven’t sat down to perform an audit of your WordPress website’s security then today is the day. Set the afternoon aside to take stock of what your website currently does employ in terms of security and implement any security strategies that you haven’t got around to setting up yet. Trust us when we say you’ll thank us for the reminder.

As well as keeping your website up to date (think regular core, plugin, and theme updates), you’ll also want to review your plugins and remove any that aren’t required, as well as running through the same procedure for site users. Remember, users should always have the lowest level of access that they require.

Additionally, if you don’t already have one installed, consider a reliable security plugin. One of our favourites is Sucuri.

Finally, don’t forget to swing by the AWESEM blog archives for more posts focusing on WordPress website security.