Scalability: What It Is and Why You Need It This Holiday Season

“Scalability” is an important term for website owners to know, particularly around the holidays. The term means “the ability of a computer application or product (hardware or software) to continue to function well when it (or its context) is changed in size or volume in order to meet a user need.”

In regards to hosting, “scalability” refers to the ability of your website to handle a huge spike in traffic within a small window of time. In order to have a successful level of scalability, you and your hosting provider need to predict how much extra room is necessary in the servers  you are using. Your services should be balanced between several servers so that rises in traffic do not throw a wrench into the works.

Your needs will partly depend on the type of business you are. Seasonal businesses, for example, will need different levels of scalability during their “on” season than their “off” season. Almost all businesses will experience a larger rise in traffic during the holidays. Ecommerce businesses hope for huge spikes during prime shopping times. If you are expecting a huge rise in traffic during only a few months of the year, cloud hosting may be the best option for your business.

Without scalability, your website will not be able to accommodate the amount of visitors, and could crash. It can also slow down or stop being user-friendly in other ways. If potential customers are having a difficult time using your website because of server overloads, sluggishness, and crashing, your business will lose thousands of dollars in possible sales.

Talk to your hosting provider about the spikes in traffic you are expecting at any time. Your hosting provider should be aware of what kind of business you are and the product you are selling so they can help predict what levels of scalability are necessary.

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“Scalability.” (19 Nov. 2013).

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