So you have a website that has, or will soon have a lot of traffic – Congratulations! To keep your site moving forward in the internet race, you’ll need a well-structured, secure platform that can easily beat the competitors – also known as the ideal WordPress hosting partner!
As the amount of traffic grows, you’ll need a server that can handle millions of requests without crashing. Quality web hosting will cost you a bit more than standard hosting, but believe me when I say it will pay for itself.
While you’re searching for your host, here’s a checklist of must-haves you should look for high traffic WordPress hosting.
1. Instant traffic scaling
When you have a site that tops the charts in visits, downtime is probably one of your biggest concerns (and rightfully so)! Imagine you own an eCommerce site and you just knocked it out of the park with your latest marketing campaign to drive online purchases. Or maybe you had a post that just went viral, bringing in tons of new visitors to your site.
In addition, you want to make sure your site doesn’t crash with a 502 error while potential customers are waiting to purchase from you. As soon as they see the white screen of death (or even just a never-ending loading screen), their chances of leaving and never returning drastically increase, shorting you of potential sales and cash.
So how do you avoid downtime? Let’s break down traffic scaling a bit.
Think of it as a line: If there’s no one ahead of you, you can get to the front almost instantly and be on your merry way. If a lot of people are all in line for the same thing, you might have to wait before getting what you came for. But if there are too many people in line – you might never get to the front before closing time.
When someone views a web page, the device they’re using (such as a computer or mobile device) has to connect to a server to download the site’s content. This is like our hypothetical line – when the number of people trying to access your site exceeds the server’s ability to load the content, delays or crashes can occur.
To keep your server strong and drastically decrease the chance of downtime, you need a reliable hosting provider that can partner with your business. Look for one that has an instruct that scales (quickly!) and that doesn’t charge fees just for hitting a certain traffic number. If uptime is a top priority, you may even want to look for a host that provides redundancy. In short, this feature keeps your site up by duplicating and backing up all the information. It’s a system designed to ensure your site never, ever goes down and is even set up to heal itself in real-time.
Having multiple layers of redundancy in place ensures that your site data is safe and maximizes your uptime. This will help you make sure your sites are always ready for the visitor and customer spotlight, whenever your marketing campaign or post may go viral!
2. Enterprise-grade security
There’s no doubt that security, especially top-notch security, is a big concern when handling any site, especially one with a high volume of traffic. While there are a lot of ways to keep it secure, here’s what we’d recommend prioritizing when comparing different WordPress hosts.
Free Malware Removal
No matter how great your security practices are, there’s always a small chance hacker could find their way around your defense. If your site were to get hacked, having a hosting partner jam-packed with premium WordPress experts that can quickly and carefully remove malware from your site will help keep your site’s reputation intact. Bonus points if they do it for free!
A Stellar Support Team
Building off of the last point, a host that has a superb support team stacked with WordPress experts who are happy to answer any and all questions makes a huge difference, not only with your hosting experience but your website’s general performance. Nobody wants to sit on a phone call and listen to a robot ramble off other places you should look for an answer. Skip that and find a hosting partner who has a team that is excitedly waiting to help you out, no matter how big or small the question might be.
This little acronym has been getting thrown around a lot in the web atmosphere. SSL stands for “Secure Socket Layer,” and is visualized, depending on the browser, by a beautiful little green padlock located in the address bar. In a technical sense, it’s a protocol for securing and encrypting computer communication. In layman’s terms, it ensures that critical information on your website is kept extremely secure. SSL was once primarily used by websites gathering sensitive information through forms. This included e-commerce sites, financial institutions, and any other website that collects information such as credit card numbers, home addresses, or even login passwords.
You can always obtain this certificate with a third party, but there are also hosting providers who take care of this for you – sometimes for free! When looking at providers, just be sure to ask about how they handle SSL and whether it’s included in the hosting package or an extra fee.
Ahh, speed. It’s what helps your site win the online race! While there are plenty of things you can do as the site owner to help keep it blazing fast, your hosting provider is also a big part of that equation.
Here are a few things you should look for when comparing options:
First things first, make sure your hosting provider includes robust server-side caching instead of just recommended plugins to handle the load. Let’s rewind a bit, what’s caching? We’re so glad you asked! The short answer – it makes websites load incredibly fast. Without getting too technical, caching is when the browser stores the web page’s information so it doesn’t have to do all of the complex, and often time-consuming, calculations to retrieve the page from the server. It’s like when you’re doing a math problem. The first time you may have to use a calculator for the answer, but after two or three times of doing the equation, you have the answer memorized. Caching handled at the server level saves a lot of time loading content because the server doesn’t have to use PHP to communicate to the database every time a page needs to load. So as you’re searching for the ideal WordPress host, make sure they have some robust caching in place so you don’t even need to think about it.
CDN (Content Delivery Network)
CDN is an additional feature that allows your site to run at the speed of light. Your visitors will get images and static files from the server that is physically nearest to them while using CDN. That proximity means that their time on your site is always lightning-fast, no matter where they are in the world. If you have a very local audience, a CDN may not be necessary, but if your site visitors are roaming the web to get to your site, it can make a significant difference in performance.
Another thing to look for is to make sure your site will be running on PHP 7 – which again, falls on your hosting provider. PHP, a server-side language, is what every WordPress site is built on, and mostly comes into play when loading web pages. It’s the language the browser uses to communicate to the server so it knows what assets to load on the page. PHP 7 is the latest version that is incredibly fast compared to older versions of PHP. Version 7 has been benchmarked as being twice as fast as PHP 5.6 – that’s a huge improvement to take advantage of!
4. Managed Update
If you’re running a wildly successful website, chances are you’re pretty dang busy. We all know that staying on top of updates is a must for both performance and security, but performing updates can often get lost in our ever-growing to-do lists. That’s why it’s nice to have a hosting provider that will help take care of updates for you!
WordPress Core Updates
WordPress.org recommends keeping every WordPress core up-to-date for many reasons. WordPress is continuously improving upon their versions and release updates to enhance the product and patch security holes. Running an outdated version of WordPress can lead to a hacked site, which is why it’s important to stay on top of updates. To skip the headache of always making sure your version is good-to-go, look for a hosting provider that takes care of it for you.
Best High Traffic WordPress Hosting
Finding the best host for your site isn’t always easy, but if you can find one that checks off all these qualities, it’s almost a sure guarantee that your high-traffic site will be flying straight to the finish line!
Still looking for the WordPress host that’ll help you finish the race in the first place?
What if we told you that the web hosting below passes every single item on our checklist with flying colors? They offer world-class managed WordPress hosting that’s blazing fast and super secure, no matter how much traffic is coming to your site.
In addition to their suite of performance features, they offer you a professional managed WordPress hosting platform that’s packed with sleek workflow tools. The result is a completely unique, next-level platform that allows you to quickly and easily build, launch, manage, and ultimately scale any (and all!) of your WordPress sites.