There is a natural progression that website owners face when their traffic volumes start to increase to serious levels. Website monitoring programs may begin to show a slowdown in your page load times. They may also show a higher percentage bounce rate, and you need to start looking in more detail at your web server hosting options.
The bounce rate is a measurement of the number of visitors who leave the website without any interaction with it, such as by clicking or entering information. (It is often mistakenly described as the number of visitors who visit only one page). If this figure starts to rise, it is often an indication that there is a problem with the website.
One of the problems it could indicate is that potential visitors are getting fed up waiting for the pages to load, and are going to some other website. All modern web browsers allow tabs, and it is very common for people to open a new tab to navigate to a new website. It is also common for people to right click on search engine results to open suggested sites in a new tab. They open sites that way so that they will not have to redo the search if they cannot find what they want on the site they have opened.
When sites are experiencing slow page load times, the bounce rate will likely increase.
That’s because the potential visitor will often try to open the page in one tab, and will move to another tab while the page is loading if it looks like it is going to take some time. Once the surfer has gone to another tab, which almost always means he or she has gone to another site, there is a very high chance that he or she will not return to the site whose load time was too slow. That means the surfer will not have any interaction with the site.
Time For Action
It is impossible to know for an absolute certainty why any visitor to a website leaves without interacting with it. There could be many different reasons that have nothing to do with the website or its page load times. However, if the bounce rate starts increasing sharply, it is reasonable to assume there is a problem, and page load time is likely to be the main culprit.
The normal progression when your page load times begin to increase is to move the website to a dedicated hosting server. The website has had to share all the resources on its original shared server, and that level of performance is no longer acceptable. Moving to dedicated web server hosting means the website has all the resources to itself. That will have a positive impact on page load times, and that impact will be immediate.
Continued Traffic Growth
Just like your initial traffic growth eventually led to your original web server hosting package no longer being enough to keep your website performing at top speed, if the traffic continues to increase at the same rate, you will eventually experience the same problems on your dedicated server.
When this happens, you will once again have to take action to get page load times back up to an acceptable level. Since your website is the only one on the server, it has exclusive access to the server resources. That tells you that the key to your slower performance levels is the actual server.
More Expansion To Your Web Server Hosting
Your first option is to simply increase the capacity of the server that is hosting your website. You can request additional RAM be added to your server. We can do this for you. You do not have to buy the RAM outright. Instead, we install the RAM, and add a small increase to your monthly hosting bill.
The amount of additional RAM you can order is dependent on the type of server your website is on. That, in turn, is dependent on the web server hosting package you have with us. Likewise, the maximum RAM will depend on the particular hardware chassis that your server is in.
You may need to move to a higher specification server if increased RAM does not bring the desired performance improvement. Even on a higher specification machine, it may still be necessary to augment the RAM even further.
Maximum Resource Capacity
There is always the possibility that even when the server hosting your site is at maximum capacity, and it has been expanded as far as it can be, that your website performance is still problematical. When you reach that stage, you need to look at the website to find a solution to your problem.
Exactly what you can do will depend on the nature of the website, but it is normally possible to get a big performance boost by restructuring a website in some fashion. One of the most popular options is to logically split the site up into subdomains. Each subdomain can then have its own server, instead of the entire site relying on just one server.
Nearly every website is a candidate for division into subdomains. For example, if you are an online computer store, it makes sense to divide your website into categories that correspond with the products you are selling. Thus, you could have the following categories:
It is logical to divide your products into these general categories, and it also makes sense to set up subdomains for each one of them. Each of the subdomains can be hosted on its own server. That means that the total traffic into the website is being farmed out over several different servers, resulting in a huge performance boost.
Taking this approach also means that the primary site can be very lightweight, and its pages can be built to load in an instant. That means no waiting around for visitors, and little chance of them moving somewhere else through exasperation.
This approach also has benefits in terms of better deployment of resources, and overall site management. For example, of your sales of laptops are three times those of desktops, you can allocate more resources to the former.
Physically Separate The Database
Another option is to have the website’s database residing on a separate server. Your database needs access to server resources to process queries. On a busy site, the database is literally bombarded with requests all the time, and it has to share the server with HTML requests, OS functions, and so on. Giving the database its own dedicated server can be enough to get the desired performance level.
There may come a time when the volume of your web traffic is so high that even a dedicated-server is struggling to deliver the performance you need. There are several options you can avail of to solve the problems. The simplest options are to increase server RAM and/or disk storage space.
If increasing the hardware resources does not solve your problem, you may need to look at splitting up the functions of your website. You can do this by splitting it into subdomains, or you can look at options like having a separate database server.
Here at webdevel.com, our web server hosting model means we can accommodate your requirements if you need to expand your server’s resources. Call one of our experts to find out what expansion options you have.