We are living in on-demand times, and it’s no secret that the modern consumer has little to no patience with poorly designed applications, slow loading sites or, worse, the infamous website crash. Although coding errors, expired domains and other related issues can result in a website crashing, one of the root causes is a mismatch between website infrastructure capacity and traffic levels. That’s where scalability comes into play.
One of the core factors that contributes to a site's success is its ability to seamlessly accommodate growth without interrupting the customer journey. Scalable sites are able to handle any increase in users, regardless of whether the increase occurs abruptly or gradually.
There are three key factors that determine whether a website is scalable:
Often also described as a system’s elasticity, scalability can include scaling down, scaling up and scaling out, based on whether you choose to implement X-axis (horizontal) scaling, Y-axis (vertical) scaling or Z-axis scaling.
X-axis scaling, or scaling out, involves adding additional machines or nodes to your site infrastructure to increase traffic capacity capabilities. This type of scaling is similar to dividing a single employee's workload among several employees.
Y-axis scaling, or scaling up, is the process of adding additional resources to a system in order to meet demands. While horizontal scaling focuses on adding additional nodes, vertical scaling focuses on adding more power to your current machines or replacing a server entirely.
Z-axis scaling is the process of scaling at a business level, allowing each server to run an identical copy of the code but dividing data responsibilities (in that each server is only responsible for a subset of the data). With Z-axis scaling, the system is responsible for routing each request to the appropriate server, which improves cache use, transaction scalability and fault isolation.
There's a wide variety of processes and tools businesses use to scale their sites, but these are the most popular:
There are a wide variety of factors to take into consideration when scaling your site and building scalable web applications from scratch. Choosing the correct frameworks for your needs and following design best practices is better left with the professionals. After all, if you don’t have the budget to scale your site the first time, when are you going to have the budget to redo it? Get in touch and let’s discuss how to scale your site and help you achieve your business goals.