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Scalability: Balancing Function with Future Growth

Aug 29, 2017

Most of our website design clients are like us — small businesses who want to grow and want to use the internet to do it.

As our clients grow and expand their businesses, their online presence and traffic often grows too. And when it does, these same clients start to get concerned about their website’s “scalability.”

What is Scalability?

“Scalability” is a fancy business word for the flexibility to change in size or scale without disrupting your core operations.

For example, a website client who is experiencing an increase in online traffic or expanding their website with large images or videos might worry about their site’s functionality, load time, and ability to serve more traffic without hiccups. A “scalable” site will continue to perform well under this workload.

snake.jpg Pictured: Different kind of "scale-ability."

WordPress: Our Not-so-Secret Scalability Hack

WordPress is a content management system (CMS) that supports roughly 28 percent of the entire internet. Sites ranging from Mercedes Benz to Snoop Dogg to your local mommy-blog rely on WordPress to connect with their audience and manage their online presence.

As a WordPress-based agency, we rely on the flexibility of our chosen CMS — and our hosting partner, WP Engine — to build and maintain sites for our clients that are easy to scale as their business grows.

By building on WordPress, we create a simple and flexible framework that can support everything from a few pages of marketing content to a highly-customized and interactive user experience.

tree.jpg

When your website grows this big, the roots (WordPress) better be strong.

Want to learn more about our love of WordPress? Click here.

Scalability Considerations in Web Design

Because WordPress is a user-friendly CMS, we’re able to show our web design clients how to edit their own sites at the end of every project — how to change images and text, create blog posts, make security updates, etc. However, the more customized a website is, the harder it will be to maintain, and the odds of something breaking down as the site’s traffic goes up are much higher.

Similarly, websites with large volumes of media or files that are stored on the website can struggle with loading speeds, especially under an increased workload. Storage solutions like a content delivery network can assist with these issues of scale and keep your site fully functional.

Our Process — Setting Clients Up for Sustainable Scalability

Our ultimate goal is to help our clients succeed and grow online long-term. And as we’ve mentioned before, creating a new website is only the first step in establishing your business as an authority online.

With that goal in mind, every site we build is designed to be extremely flexible, so third-party developers or online marketers that need to access or use the site will have no trouble doing so. To maintain this flexibility, we only install a select few plugins before the site goes live.

plugin.jpg

Pictured: Questionable plugins.

The plugins we use provide specific benefits that aren’t available within the standard WordPress theme, and are regularly maintained and updated for security’s sake.

(Side Note: We know that there are a lot of cool plugins available for WordPress that can make your site do just about whatever you want. We’ve played around with a few of them, but we really just don’t know about most of them or what they do. We don’t want to offer plugins or functions outside of our skillset if we can’t guarantee their success — especially over the lifespan of your new site.)

Click here to learn more about how we use (and don’t use) WordPress plugins.

So, if you’re looking for a new website for your business and you’re worried about managing online growth, WordPress with a lean plugin list is a great place to start. If you have more questions, let us know — our answers are scalable too.

Topics: Web Design

Tyler Bales

Written by Tyler Bales

Tyler can design like nobody's business. Scratch that. Actually, he can design like everyone's business. Tyler is one talented guy who always delivers a beautiful product. He is also the nicest human on planet Earth. We really enjoy this combination of traits and we think you will too.

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