In the quest to achieve the best website possible, it’s easy to become obsessed with speed and performance. There are hundreds of elements responsible for the performance of your site. Regardless of what your final goal and mission may be, the ultimate purpose of a swift and responsive website is to increase your visibility.
So, what happens when you achieve your goal of massive amounts of incoming traffic and it makes your website slow down? In a cruel sense of irony, the goal of reaching thousands of viewers can quickly become the main reason why your site suddenly drops in performance.
While this situation is frustrating, hope is not lost. If you’ve experienced a surge of traffic, which has negatively affected your site’s performance, performance and functionality restoration is within reach. However, the first step is also the most important, and that is understanding how and why traffic impacts performance, and what is making your website slow down.
Too Many Requests, Too Little Resources
The primary reason why your website performance suffers during times of increased traffic boils down to server resources. Whenever your website is accessed, the end-user’s browser sends a request to the server. Upon receiving this request, the server transits HTTP Request Packets, which include website files that are then rendered by the visitor’s browser.
So, what’s the problem? If your server has ample bandwidth and resource allocation, nothing. Unfortunately, this isn’t the case for many low-cost, shared web hosting plans. Therefore, when your site experiences a peak in traffic, it’s unable to handle the sheer number of requests.
The result is a sluggish response time and performance. To solve this common problem, you must increase your web server’s available resources. This may be done by upgrading your current shared hosting plan or adopting an entirely new package.
If you’re looking to eliminate this situation from occurring in the future, consider upgrading your host to a cloud-based hosting package. In short, this hosting level leverages the limitless resources and performance capabilities of the cloud to prevent traffic spikes from hindering performance.
How do you know if it is your server causing your website to slow down? Simple. Run a free test here.
Server Location and Resource Allocation
While this situation both directly and indirectly affects website performance, it’s nonetheless an essential takeaway when dealing with traffic-related performance drops.
Unless you’ve adopted a CDN, or Content Delivery Network, website files are stored on a single server. This proves problematic for a couple of reasons. First, if end-users are geographically far from the server, the overall performance and response rate is diminished. Secondly, one server can only provide so much support.
CDN’s are a powerful solution as they eliminate both of these issues. Defined as a collection of servers located in various geographical areas, end-users are directed to the server that’s closest to them. This reduces the distance data travels, which boosts perceived performance.
Secondly, your site is cached on multiple servers. This boosts resources and provides the supercharged performance visitors demand. Because incoming traffic is leveraged across a series of servers, even when your site experiences unprecedented traffic spikes, its performance remains the same.