Whether you are running your WordPress website on a cloud hosting system or a virtual private server (VPS), you know that there can be issues with load times when your site gets a spike in traffic. Getting too many visitors to your website may sound great, but it can actually be detrimental to your website’s overall success.
Here’s what you need to know about whether your WordPress site is up to the task of meeting your traffic needs.
How Does Traffic Hurt?
To get an understanding of how traffic works and how it can negatively impact your online business, let’s think of an actual brick and mortar store. If you have people visiting, they may browse around and then leave without buying something while others may browse and then come back later to pick up an item that they like.
But if your store becomes so crowded that the “browsers” are outnumbering the paying customers, you can run into problems. You may be too backed up to take care of the ones who want to buy something. If this happens, your paying customers may leave and go to your competitors.
That’s exactly what can happen with a website. You want as many people as possible to come in and browse because this could translate into sales. But if the website can’t handle all the traffic, it could slow down to a crawl or, worse yet, crash. This leaves your paying customers with nowhere to spend their money except with your competition.
In today’s technology-heavy market, a customer expects a page to load in just a few seconds. If heavy web traffic slows down your load time, they will move on.
Which Hosting Plan Is Best For You?
One thing that you really need to look at closely when determining if your website can handle the traffic isn’t the website, but the server that it is stored on. When you start out, chances are you are going to go with the most affordable option available for hosting—namely, a shared hosting platform.
With shared hosting, your website will be placed on a server that carries hundreds of other websites on it. All of the resources, including memory and processing speed, are shared by the various websites. If one of those sites gets a lot of web traffic, then it will cause a drain on the resources that the other sites can pull from.
This means that your website will slow down significantly and won’t be able to handle much traffic.
One way to ensure that your website can handle the traffic is with a virtual private server. This type of hosting won’t break your bank as it is generally just one step up from a shared server.
The difference between a VPS and a shared server is that a VPS is partitioned so that each website has a set portion of the resources set aside exclusively for it.
If one website on the server gets a traffic spike, it will not slow down the traffic going to any of the other sites on the server. This will make sure that the website loads quickly when visitors go to the site.
Optimize Your Site – Is a Virtual Private Server Better?
It’s also possible to optimize your WordPress site so that it loads faster with heavy traffic. One way to do this is to refrain from using themes and templates that are heavy on images and videos. These may look great, but they can significantly slow down your website if you have thousands of visitors trying to load these graphics over-and-over.
Plugins can also be limited for better optimization. Although they provide a lot of bells and whistles, these plugins may not all mesh well together and may slow down your website significantly if a lot of people visit all at once.
By choosing a virtual private server over a shared server and optimizing your WordPress website for better performance, you can ensure that your site is able to handle heavy traffic.
A web host provider, such as InMotion Hosting, can assist you in setting up your site and optimizing it for the heavy traffic flow that you hope to get.