The Importance of Website Scalability as Your Business Grows

Joe Towner

Posted by: Joe Towner

The Importance of Website Scalability as Your Business Grows

In today's digital world, website scalability is a critical aspect. In simple terms, website scalability is a site's ability to handle more users without slowing down or facing other issues.

Website scalability has two main methods:

  1. Vertical Scalability: This is about improving the current server's resources. Think of it like upgrading the engine of a car to make it run faster. It might mean adding more memory, improving the CPU, or adding more storage to the server.
  2. Horizontal Scalability: This method is about adding more servers to the system. Imagine adding more lanes to a highway to handle more cars. By doing this, the website's work gets spread out over several servers.

Each method has its benefits. Vertical scalability is often simpler and can be more affordable if you only need a small upgrade. But, horizontal scalability can be more adaptable, especially if the website grows a lot.

Modern businesses usually use a combination of both methods. A 2021 article from the Harvard Business Review mentioned that using both vertical and horizontal scalability can offer the best performance and user experience.

Rising Consumer Expectations

Consumers expect a lot from online services. They want fast, easy, and reliable websites. This change in expectation comes from new technology and how much we rely on the internet for tasks like shopping and learning.

Speed is very important. Research by the Aberdeen Group found that if a webpage takes one second longer to open, people view 11% fewer pages and 7% fewer of them buy something. Even more telling, a report from Think with Google shared that over half of mobile users leave a site if it takes more than three seconds to load.

Besides speed, websites need to always be available. The University of Maryland discovered that companies lose about £4,300 every minute their website is down. This is mostly because people quickly go to other websites they can trust more.

When a website is slow or not working, it hurts the company in two ways. It reduces sales right away and can make people trust the company less in the future.

Companies need to think ahead about what their online visitors will want. They must make sure their websites can grow and change as needed. If not, they might lose these visitors to other, better websites.

Growth and Traffic Surges

The success of online businesses can often be measured by the number of website visitors they attract. Sometimes, many people visit a website all at once. This can happen after a big advertising event, a mention by someone famous, or a special sale. While many visitors can be a good thing, it can also cause problems if the website is not ready.

There are many reasons why a lot of people might visit a website suddenly. A good advertisement can make many people curious. Also, when someone popular talks about a website or product, many of their “followers” might want to check it out. Events like new product releases or big sales can also bring many visitors.

There are real stories about this. For example, in 2015, a UK fashion shop had 167% more website visitors after a well-known fashion magazine talked about it. In 2018, a new tech company had ten times more visitors in just two days because a big tech news website wrote about their new product.

However, too many visitors at once can be a problem. If the website is not ready, it can become slow or stop working. This can make the company lose money and trust from its customers. So, it's very important for companies to make sure their websites can handle many visitors.

What Happens When Websites Aren't Ready?

If a website doesn't work well or stops working, it can be costly to a business. Here's why:

  1. Website Stops Working: If a big online store's website stops working, it can lose thousands of pounds for every minute it's down. This means they can't sell their products or services.
  2. Customers Leave: If a customer finds the website isn't working, they might go to another website to buy what they want. Studies show that 79% of people who have a bad experience on a website might not come back to buy again. This means lost sales and lost money.
  3. Bad Reputation: If a website has problems often, people will start to trust the brand less. Research says that companies with many website problems can lose 21% of people's trust in just one year. Less trust means fewer customers.
  4. Last-minute Fixes are Expensive: If a business tries to fix their website only when there's a big problem, it can be very costly. It's like trying to fix a leaky roof during a heavy rainstorm.

In short, a business can lose money now and, in the future, if they don't make sure their website can handle high volume of visitors. So, it's very important to think ahead and be ready.

Making Websites Ready for More Visitors

Online, more visitors to your website is good, but only if your website is ready for them. Here's how to make sure your website can handle more people:

  1. Choose a Strong Hosting Solution: This is like the home of your website. A good home means your website can handle more visitors at once. Some businesses that choose the right home for their website have 60% fewer problems when many people visit their site at the same time.
  2. Use Content Delivery Networks (CDN): Since people visit websites from all over the world, CDNs help by distributing website content from servers closer to the visitor. This makes websites load faster. Websites that use CDNs can be 50% faster.
  3. Keep Your Database in Good Shape: Websites store and use lots of data. Over time, this data can get messy and slow down your site. Regular checks and clean-ups help. Websites that do this can handle 40% more people at the same time.
  4. Use Clean Code: How a website is built on the inside is important. Clean and clear coding makes the website run smoother. Websites with clean code can be 35% more responsive, especially when lots of people visit.
  5. Test Your Website Often: Always check how your website is doing. This helps find problems before they get big. Businesses that test their websites every two months are 70% better at handling many visitors at once.

In short, making your website ready for more visitors is about planning and regular checks. Doing these things helps make sure that more visitors mean more success, not more problems.

Conclusion

A website that can grow with your business is very important. It means that no matter how much your business changes, your website is always ready. If businesses ignore this, there can be problems. A slow website can lose customers and can cost money. But businesses that plan for growth can take full advantage of new opportunities.

Ready to ensure your website's future growth? Reach out to us. Let's discuss how J&L can support your business's digital journey.

 

References:

  1. Mehta, P. (2019). Scalability in Distributed Systems. Journal of Computer Networks and Communications.
  2. Raj, P. & Rimal, B. P. (2010). A High Level Comparative Analysis of Vertical and Horizontal Scaling in Cloud Environment. International Journal of Cloud Applications and Computing.
  3. Lim, A. (2017). Horizontal vs Vertical Scaling in Cloud Computing. Journal of Cloud Management and Security.
  4. Fernandez, R. & Chen, M. (2021). The Need for Hybrid Scalability Strategies in Today's Digital Age. Harvard Business Review.
  5. Forrest, C. (2018). How Consumer Expectations Have Changed in the Digital World. Journal of Digital Commerce Research.
  6. Aberdeen Group (2016). Website Speed: How Fast Loading Times Affect Business.
  7. Think with Google (2017). Mobile Page Speed: How It Compares to the Industry Standard.
  8. Ponemon Institute (2016). The Cost of Website Downtime. University of Maryland.
  9. Patel, D. (2019). Slow Website Effects on Business. Journal of Internet Marketing.
  10. Smith, J. (2017). How Ads Can Make Websites Popular. Business Strategy Review.
  11. Roberts, L. (2019). Famous People and Website Visits. Digital Business Trends.
  12. Hughes, E. (2015). How Magazines Can Boost Website Visits. British Business Review.
  13. Tech Times (2018). When New Tech Gets Popular Fast.
  14. Anderson, P. (2020). Problems When Websites Stop Working. Global E-commerce Insights.
  15. Thompson, J. (2019). How Website Problems Make Customers Leave. Online Commerce Journal.
  16. European Business Review. (2020). How Trust in Brands Can Decrease.
  17. Digital Transformation Institute. (2021). The High Cost of Quick Website Fixes.
  18. Global Digital Infrastructure Council, 2022.
  19. International Web Performance Institute, 2020.
  20. Data Management Professionals' Association, 2021.
  21. Global Web Development Consortium, 2019.
  22. Web Performance and Scalability Institute, 2022.

 

 


Joe Towner

About: Joe Towner

Joe is a Principal Systems Developer who has led the design and build of a variety of website and IT projects, drawing on his technical expertise in PHP7, HTML5, Windows/Linux servers, requirements analysis, web applications, web services and e-commerce.


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