If you’ve created relevant, high-quality content and implemented a solid search engine optimization (SEO) strategy, it’s likely you’re seeing website traffic growth. While this is great news, it’s important to ensure that your website can handle the traffic you are driving.
This is especially critical if your website is new, or hasn’t been generating much traffic and is suddenly hit with thousands of visitors every day. More users on your website means an increased number of requests happening simultaneously, and without the right optimization or infrastructure in place to handle it, you could start driving those customers away and negatively impacting your reputation and authority.
Here are three vital factors to consider to improve the performance and keep visitors on your website.
1. Website Hosting
Many new companies opt for a shared hosting plan when creating their first website. This is great to begin with, as it’s a low-cost option. However, as you begin to scale, you’ll quickly outgrow the hosted plan, as they are not designed to handle the bandwidth needs of high-traffic websites.
Shared hosting plans may also come with strict rules about your allotment of the shared server capacity. Instead, consider a virtual private server, also known as a VPS. While more expensive, these are dedicated servers, which are better suited to handle high-traffic websites without compromising performance.
2. Site Speed
Your bounce rates and conversion rates can be quickly and negatively impacted with a slow-loading website. Consumers are busy and expect quick results. According to recent research, 53% of mobile visitors will leave a site if it doesn’t load within three seconds.
First impressions count, and if your website doesn’t load quickly, they will quickly move onto a competitor. Your authority, trust, and reputation will in turn suffer. Make sure you optimize and compress any large files and images, and run a site crawl to check for elements of your website that are not efficient. You may also consider hiring a website developer to help you optimize your site for performance.
Securing your website will not only increase the trust your consumers have for your business, but will also help prevent any malicious attacks on your website which can have severe consequences for your business. With more users coming to your website, you face increased risk of falling prey to a cyber attack.
Make sure you use a trusted site host that offers security measures, as well as implement your own. For example:
- Install additional security software such as a firewall;
- Only install plugins from trusted developers;
- Keep your software and plugins up-to-date;
- Regularly update your passwords and always ensure they are strong and unique;
- Protect the areas of your website that hold sensitive and financial information; and
- Keep your security certificates up-to-date.
It’s crucial to take steps to ensure your website, and your business, can handle the traffic that you are successfully attracting.
Lisa Sicard says
Hi Tom, This reminds me of a blogger years ago who went viral with a post and his site could not handle the traffic. His site went down while he was traveling on a plane.
It made me think to get more hosting space so that would not happen. But actually, it did for me as I had to change hosting companies a few years ago.
As they say, “you get what you pay for!”
Great points on the security too. Thank goodness I have a techie who does work on my blog because WordPress plugin updates can wreck havoc from time to time. Thanks for the info Tom.
Tom Pick says
Glad this inspired you, Lisa! To your last point: so true. I’ve had weird things happen to my blog where it turned out two plugins were conflicting with each other. Without a technical expert I can contact in such cases, I’d have never figured these oddball things out.