Without being a full time server administrator it is very challenging to determine rather your server or hosting is properly sized for your website or workload. In the back of your mind you may be constantly thinking: "Can my server handle a surge of traffic? Will I go down? How do I prepare for this?"
You only want to pay for capacity you're using, but on the flipside, you also don’t want to negatively impact the performance of your application or website. So what is the solution? Take some time to review your current and future needs and the current hosting capacity configuration. This will save you a lot of headache and money in the long run.
Lets consider two key points:
- Are you using a managed hosting provider? If so, why? If not, why not?
- Do you feel your server and application security is at peak performance?
Why consult a managed hosting provider?
Things change. Evaluate your environment at least once a quarter.
Capacity planning is absolutely critical. Your workload could quickly exceed the capacity of your server environment. When that happens your website will appear extremely slow or even worse... DOWN!
Sound like a bit of a headache? You can always have someone manage this process for you.
However if you prefer a more hands on approach we've outlined some best practices below:
- Plan server cpu capacity based on traffic trends. Holidays and breaking news are times of rapidly increased load. You will want to keep server cpu allocations expandable as the load increases.
- Add more servers to your load balancer in anticipiation of new traffic surges. You can always resize or terminate servers later.
- Use static assets and html where possible to prevent cpu overload and contention. Wordpress sites are great for flexible editing but are intensive to host without proper caching.
Keep in mind that this process must be done for every site or app you have hosted on the server. If (for example) you run twelve domains on the same setup (like Kroger does with its food brands), take the time to add up the page sizes, visitors and pageviews across all domains. This may sound meticulous and overkill but trust me...it will save you the headache in the long run. Plus, it is also just a good routine to get in the habit of so you have a better understanding and knowledge of what you have running on your server(s).
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Don’t forget to leave room to grow
After doing the math, you still need to step back and consider what real-life challenges and opportunities may be on the horizon. And plan accordingly.