Onward and Upward: Scaling Your Website into the Future

by | March 24, 2015

Scaling Your Website into the Future


scalabilityWhether you’re a budding company or you’ve just launched a new website, chances are you’ll start experiencing steady increases in site traffic as you expand your business. You may be equipped for a few dozen customers now, but what happens when you reach thousands or (ideally) hundreds of thousands?


If your site isn’t prepared for sudden or even gradual traffic spikes, you may end up with seriously slow response times or even a crashed server. It’s vital for online companies to have plans in place to deal with traffic surges–before they actually happen. Otherwise, your customers’ experiences can be negatively impacted by sluggish load times and downtime. As they say, an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.


Scalability is a site’s ability to function in the same capacity with 100,000 users as it would with 10 users. There are two very important factors to consider when scaling your site: network utilization (bandwidth) and server utilization (CPU, RAM, etc.). You have a variety of options when it comes to implementing changes in your utilization of each, including auto-scaling, which automatically adjusts your server utilization depending on site traffic.


But even if you have your scaling in place, how can you be sure it works? An untested scaling system can be just as risky as not having one at all. It’s necessary to regularly test and monitor your site’s scalability to ensure that it pulls through when you need it to.


Load Testing


Speed is all-important when it comes to your site’s load time. Highly accurate load testing will help you pinpoint slow code, bottlenecks, and other risk factors that could bring your site down during a traffic spike. Taking your testing seriously will not only help you avoid potential disaster, but will also enable you to plan for increased traffic.


There are services available for every skill level, from self-service for full-fledged developers to full-service for those who aren’t technically inclined. No matter which you choose, it’s important to test your site’s performance often.


Web Monitoring


Each user will experience your site differently than the next. It can be invaluable for you to understand how your customers interact and engage with your site, as well as validate site uptime, availability and SLA. That’s where Synthetic and Real User site monitoring comes in. Monitoring can provide insight not only into how your site behaves on different browsers, but also into its behavior in different countries. The right monitoring software can give you detailed, real-time reports, alerts, and valuable analysis of every stage of your website–from simple browsing to making a purchase.

Go Lean

It’s no secret that leaner websites are typically faster than their heavy competitors, but a lean website also makes for better scalability.

Optimizing a site for performance has a direct impact on scalability. A well-optimized site is both fast and positioned for future growth (literally and figuratively).


Is your site ready?


Preventing sluggish response times and downtime isn’t simply about having a plan in place. It’s about testing that plan and ensuring that it will protect your company when it’s needed. With the right testing and monitoring service, you can keep your site scalable and your customers satisfied.

Apica Product Team