A fair amount of web entrepreneurs have this common question in mind: How to handle High Traffic on WordPress Websites? This is a concern that makes so much sense because no one wants to invest in a website infrastructure if they can’t scale it.
In digital marketing, we always talk about a buyer’s journey. This is the process that your potential buyers go through from searching for your product or services to buying it. Let’s say that your business took off fast, and your marketing team is doing a great job.
What will happen next?
If your content goes viral due to digital advertising or a social media campaign, you might end up getting tons of high-quality website traffic. And while that’s good, your website infrastructure must be ready to handle it.
Why Use a WordPress Site?
Most of the time, WordPress is the CMS that startups would use for their websites. Not because WordPress provides the fastest solution but it’s an amazing website building tool that can be used by non-technical people. That’s quite a vital factor because you need your digital marketing team to be able to implement their strategy. And ideally, without the help of a web developer to speed things up.
I have been running various projects on WordPress sites and PHP sites or so-called static sites. The difference in terms of performance marketing is day & night. WPbeginner.com states that WordPress used to be a blogging tool but turned into a powerful website building tool over the years. I agree!
Some big corporations don’t prefer WordPress due to security reasons. Also, simply because they don’t have anyone in-house to take care of the WordPress site. So mostly, they prefer working with a web developer or a web agency. The custom CMS interface is quite not functional in these cases. Or at least, I can tell that nothing can beat the simplicity of WordPress.
If you are doing anything related to SEO, digital advertising, or social media, you need a WordPress setup. I have been running a search engine optimization project recently without a WordPress site, and it’s a complete disaster because, for each optimization, I have to work with the web agency.
Do they know SEO? Not at all! I need them to build landing pages, optimize pages on a code level for search engines. The whole process is so slow and unmanageable. Even implementing a simple Java Script base tool becomes problematic, such as a chat tool! I don’t blame the developers, at the end of the day, it’s not their job.
I guess you get my point, you better have a WordPress site from the start if you are going to sell anything online. This way, you can have full control of your marketing & sales efforts. But this often raises the question: How to Handle High-Traffic WordPress Websites?
Don’t worry, because I got you covered! There are simple steps you can take and great tools out there to scale your WordPress site for high visitor traffic. Let me go through these essentials, and you will see it’s not that complicated.
5 Tips for High Traffic on WordPress Websites
If you are expecting lots of website traffic to your WordPress site, that’s great news! Now, you have to ensure that your infrastructure is ready. The world of WordPress is long-discovered, so the essential things to do are not a secret. I will explain these from a marketing point of view, so no one is overwhelmed or get lost.
1. Embrace & Practice Minimalism
If you have a minimalist approach with your business plan, you can reflect this to your WordPress site. This is already going to prevent a lot of problems before-hand. Start by creating a brand that’s easy to understand. Also, try to sell fewer services or products under one brand. This is going to reduce the pressure on your marketing efforts, and that will significantly affect your website.
Start by choosing a well-know and straightforward WordPress theme. A well-built theme can help you handle high traffic a lot better than a standard theme. Sure, you want your website to look handsome. But you can never tell that a WordPress theme will perform because it looks good. Check out your competition and see how their sites’ WP theme performs. Also, check out the reviews of the themes. The theme file size is also an indicator of how smooth it will operate; the lower, the better!
The same story goes with your plugins as well. You have to be very careful with each of the plugin you are adding to your site. You are adding vulnerability because let’s face it plugins are useful but forcing resources. Limit the total amount of plugins you add to your site. For example, instead of using a WordPress Plugin for Google Analytics tracking, you can implement the code by using Google Tag Manager. And you can add your tag manager directly to your source code.
2. Pay Attention to Your Hardware
In my previous article, I introduced Linux Cloud Servers as one of the best scaleable website hosting options. It’s so obvious if you are going to get lots of website traffic to your WordPress site, your hardware is vital. Since you won’t be hosting your site at home (hopefully), you have to rely on your hosting provider’s equipment and infrastructure.
If you are a hobby blogger, you can go ahead and neglect this. On the other and, if you are getting loads of visitors, you better investigate your hosting provider’s hardware and, eventually, their network provider and so on. It’s not so complicated, you need a powerful processor and a memory for starters, and you should be able to adapt to dramatic changes in traffic.
3. Learn to Use Caching Like a Pro
Caching is a great way to serve your content more efficiently. In simple terms, caching means, your visitors get the HTML versions of your posts and pages. That means WordPress doesn’t use its native PHP to call your content; therefore, the total load is less.
This is pretty much making a careful prep at a restaurant before the busy evening service. When your guests arrive, all you need to do is heat & serve! Although WordPress caching can get quite complicated. You would be using caching plugins for such as W3 Total Cache or Redis, and most of the time, the plugin settings are a bit technical.
Let’s save the details of the best caching plugins for WordPress and discuss them later on, in a different article.
4. Start Using a Content Delivery Network (CDN)
In the beginning, we talked about being minimalistic. That also includes your content. Using fewer images or serving them through your social media are some of the easy-to-implement strategies. However, in some projects, you might need to have high-quality photos.
That happens when there is a high-quality product in question that you have to showcase, such as a luxury Swiss Watch. Can you think of a product page of a + $5000 watch with only a couple of low-quality images? I can’t because the higher the price point comes with, the higher the level of convincing needed!
Thanks to CDN technology, we can serve our high-quality content in a much more efficient way. By using a Content delivery network (CDN), you can serve your content from the closest data center to your audience. It’s a straight forward yet the convenient approach to content delivery.
When you need bread, you get it from the closest bakery, right? Why would you need to travel to the other side of the world to get it? That’s the whole logic behind using the CDN, and it’s one of the greats ways to handle high-traffic WordPress websites.
5. Use a Tool to Scale Your WordPress Website
If you have been dealing with digital marketing for a while, I’m sure you have built a habit of using Saas or Paas tools. That made me thinking; maybe we can use a tool to scale WordPress sites? As you can see, there are many steps to take to speed up your site under high traffic.
These steps are not too complicated but it would be so much better to control them from one place. Sometimes, all-in-one tools can get quite expensive, so I was in search of something that’s not going to break the wallet. The good news is I found a budget-friendly tool called CloudJiffy!
CloudJiffy has developed a great solution to handle high traffic WordPress websites, and It’s pretty easy to use. Depending on your expected traffic, you can choose between the Standalone WordPress Hosting Kit or the Auto-Scalable WordPress Cluster.
It’s effortless to implement, so I did a test-run myself. It has built-in Redis caching, web application firewall, and automatic SSL installation. You can choose between LiteSpeed & Nginx and work with Maria DB or MySQL databases. You can also set up a CDN within this tool and even integrate WordPress multisite function. It’s actually pretty cool!
CloudJiffy WordPress Cluster Hosting gives you the auto-scaling option when there is a high traffic load on your website. There are three options to choose from: low, medium, and high traffic. By choosing your expected traffic, you simply scale up and down your resources at your hosting.
To sum up, the steps through optimizing high-traffic WordPress sites are, in fact, well-known. However, most of us marketers don’t have that much time or knowledge to tweak our WordPress site’s technical details continually.
That’s why I have shared with you the essential tips on “How to Handle High-Traffic WordPress Websites,” and the last one pretty much covered it all. I can finally wish you tons of website traffic, now that you know how to handle it!