In terms of web performance, scaling essentially refers to the ability of a website to support any traffic load. Truth be told, most business owners don’t give much thought to this until the website simply goes down because of heavy traffic. But, you wouldn’t want your website to behave any differently when the load increases, right?
Thus, it’s crucial to anticipate the peak load in advance and plan for scaling. Once you have a clear idea about your present load and the appropriate tools, you can take the right steps to avoid frustrated visitors and repeated downtime.
With all that in mind, here’s bringing you the top eight tips that will help you in scaling your website.
Start Your Research on What Can Go Wrong
So, what happens to a website that doesn’t involve doing enough research about scalability and traffic load beforehand? It is bound to be an epic fail in its ability to work, even with a simple surge in traffic for even a day.
To create a scalable web application or website, the first thing you need to focus on is the performance review. There has to be a daily, or at least regular, performance review of the site.
You need to check if there are operations that are taking a bit longer than usual as these might create issues later on.
Take the Real User Monitoring Approach
The real user monitoring method is an approach that involves capturing and analyzing all user interactions on a website. It is a kind of passive monitoring that shows whether the users are getting quick responses from the site.
When the system finds a lag in the service, it will immediately point out the issue so that the operators can quickly address the issue.
Several real user monitoring tools are there to use for gaining performance insights about user interactions. There is a free, essential tool that is right there in your Google Analytics dashboard under the ‘Behavior’ option.
Use Load Testing to Figure Out the Site Needs
Load testing tools offer a simple and easy way to throw thousands of concurrent visitors against the website to monitor how it holds up. If you have converted the user interface of iphone settings for android, carrying out such deep testing methods becomes even more critical.
Just as it was with the earlier approach, you will find a number of tools for load testing, as well. Some of the tools even let you install a local server agent that gives you added backend insights like memory usage, CPU usage, Network I/O, and Disk I/O.
Get Help From a Content Delivery Network
A content delivery network (CDN) can be an affordable way to help you scale the environment by allowing it to deliver all the static and dynamic assets.
In many cases, people have managed to decrease bandwidth usage and total requests considerably in this way. It lets the origin server to take more load than its usual capacity.
A CDN distributes all the requests across various edge servers all over the world. Therefore, it has a better shot at handling a spike in web traffic compared to a standard server. A CDN is even more critical when you’re targeting a global audience.
Proper Use of the Database Can Come in Handy
The programming language used to write your website is probably something very general and generic. It’s undoubtedly optimized for greater flexibility, but not really for high efficiency.
A database is like a highly optimized computation engine for relational algebra. And, there can be several problems arising from it, such as N+1 query issues or missing indexes.
Usually, the N+1 query, which makes it easy to unknowingly write bad questions or sets of queries, is the biggest issue with databases. This is followed by the issue of the missing index, which occurs on tables that are smaller than 10k records.
Adding More Servers Might Not Be the Solution
Adding more servers is definitely a crucial part of the equation, but that’s not what scaling is all about. You also need to focus on database and programming optimization.
After all, when a user is putting things in the cart, pulling up webpages, or submitting orders, these operations must be completed in nothing more than a few milliseconds. If this goes up by even a tenth of a second, you might be in trouble.
In such a scenario, suppose you start getting several users coming in, and it begins to queue up suddenly. This is precisely where you face outages.
Make Provisions to Keep Appropriate Caching
There is a common saying in the developers’ community that two of the hardest things to get right in computer science are caching and naming. If caching is not done right, it might lead to stale value bugs that are difficult to track.
You can use it in the right way, and then it can be a weapon in your arsenal.
There can be several cacheable responses, such as a logged-out homepage, sitemap.xml, and API endpoints. Making the best use of these factors can bring significant performance improvements for your website.
Remember to Favor Performance Over Beauty
Most of the websites that you see nowadays are content optimized for modern gadgets, such as tablets and smartphones. But, this does not mean that all of them are great in terms of actual mobile performance.
It’s surprising to note the number of major brands that are yet to find a way of delivering a site that’s both beautiful and fast. In a world where everyone expects a webpage to load within two seconds, anything that’s beyond that time limit is like testing the patience of the visitors.
Though this is not a comprehensive scaling guide, these tips have the ability to take the scalability of your site quite far.
Scaling your tools and processes to meet your increasing web traffic demands is undoubtedly a time-consuming and complicated process. But, in the end, the results will make everything genuinely worth it.
So, if you still do not have a scaling plan in motion, it’s high time for you to focus on it.