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What are the common goals of every website? The answer is simple — to attract more visitors and get high traffic. In the beginning, every website is a low-traffic site. With time, based on the website’s quality of content and performance, the number of visitors increases.  

Getting heavy traffic, however, has its challenges. eCommerce websites and blogs with thousands of visitors at a given time can experience slowdowns. That is because the web servers cannot keep up with the amount of traffic, impacting the website’s functionality.  

As a result, the audience gets a bad experience that impacts their actions, leading to disastrous results for the website. According to Unbounce, the purchase decisions of around 70% of visitors depend on the website’s page speed.  

Small businesses with expected high-traffic WordPress websites should consider this factor. Read along as we discuss the problems of high-traffic websites and share tips for getting fast WP hosting.  

What constitutes high-traffic periods? 

High website traffic refers to a significant number of visitors accessing the site simultaneously. If not managed properly, this can strain site resources. 

High traffic might mean thousands of visitors per day for small to medium-sized websites, while for larger sites, it could mean tens or hundreds of thousands of visitors.  

Handling high-traffic scenarios without performance degradation is crucial for maintaining the user experience, search engine rankings, and the site’s reputation. 

High-traffic threshold and WordPress websites  

If your eCommerce website or blogging platform is built using WordPress and has a basic hosting plan backing it, you can run into problems managing high traffic.  

The problem with basic hosting plans is that you get shared servers, not a private server. That means that you do not get dedicated hosting for your website. As a result, when the server receives heavy loads, your website will experience slow site speed because of high traffic.  

Sometimes, the issue of managing heavy traffic also arises because of unexpected heavy traffic. If a post goes viral or a product starts getting popular, millions of users can browse your website at a given time.  

That said, can WordPress handle high traffic? The short answer is yes. However, you need to take some steps to ensure that your website maintains high performance and quality at the same time.  

Can WordPress handle high traffic?  

The core question of whether WordPress can handle high traffic is one that surfaces frequently among website owners and developers. The straightforward answer is yes, WordPress is fully capable of managing high-traffic volumes efficiently. However, the key to WordPress’s ability to scale lies not just in the platform itself but in how it is set up and optimized.  

How to optimize WordPress for high traffic?  

If you’re a blogger with a WordPress website, you must make your website responsive to reduce the impact of heavy traffic. Additionally, you should also focus on scaling the site to balance loads.  

To improve the performance of your website, it is essential that you also focus on high page-load times, on-page performance optimizations, plugins, and dedicated server resources to deal with traffic spikes.   

Some of the best ways to manage high traffic WordPress sites are listed below.  

Select a quality managed WordPress hosting provider  

One of the major factors in managing high-traffic websites and web services is the hosting provider. Market Research Future states the web hosting solution business is expected to reach a value of $76.2 billion, which shows how vital this is.  

Getting the best website hosting for WordPress is the first step in managing high-traffic websites. The price of the hosting package, available bandwidth, customer service, and scalability are some of the key features to consider while choosing what is best for your website.  

The main types of hosting – shared, Virtual Private Server (VPS), dedicated, and managed WordPress hosting – cater to different needs and traffic levels. 

  • Shared hosting is the most cost-effective option and is suitable for new or small websites with low traffic. However, sharing server resources with other sites can lead to performance issues as traffic grows. 
  • VPS hosting offers more control and dedicated resources than shared hosting, making it a good middle-ground solution for growing sites. However, it requires some technical knowledge to manage. 
  • Dedicated hosting provides a website with its server, offering maximum control, security, and resources. It’s ideal for high-traffic, resource-intensive sites but is the most expensive option. 
  • Cloud hosting: Bluehost Cloud hosting distributes your website’s load across multiple servers, and offers a 100% uptime SLA, even with unexpected traffic spikes.  

Related: What is Managed WordPress Hosting? 

The impact of hosting on website performance in high-traffic situations cannot be understated. The right hosting can improve load times, enhance security, and ensure uptime during traffic spikes, directly influencing user experience and SEO. 

Explore scalable infrastructure for high-traffic management 

When planning for high traffic on a WordPress site, having a scalable infrastructure is non-negotiable. Scalable infrastructure means that the hosting environment can handle increases in traffic without sacrificing performance or user experience. This adaptability is critical during unforeseen traffic spikes, like during promotional events or when content goes viral. 

Cloud hosting is an excellent solution for WordPress sites that experience high traffic. It offers exceptional scalability and reliability. Unlike traditional hosting environments, cloud hosting distributes your website’s load across multiple servers, which reduces the risk of downtime. This ensures consistent performance, even during traffic spikes. 

If you’re looking for a cloud hosting service for your WordPress website, Bluehost Cloud is the way to go. It’s a managed WordPress hosting environment that is fast, reliable, and scalable. Bluehost Cloud is specifically designed for WordPress websites and is an excellent example of cloud hosting. It’s the perfect solution for those who want a top-notch cloud hosting service for their website. 

wordpress cloud hosting

Pick a lightweight theme for your WordPress sites 

Another important concern for high-traffic websites is WordPress themes. If your theme is heavily loaded, your website will automatically experience slow speed and high page-load times.  

The best way to resolve this issue is to have a minimalistic theme that helps improve site performance. OceanWP, for instance, has an excellent collection of lightweight themes.   

There are several other themes that are both aesthetically pleasing and hold the promise of not being a burden on your database server.  

When choosing a theme for your site, make sure that you do not compromise on the performance and optimization of your website, particularly if you’re expecting heavy traffic.  

Reduce the size of heavy elements  

When optimizing your website for heavy traffic, it is also essential to consider the impact of media and interactive elements.   

Images, videos, popups, and other CSS elements, if not carefully managed, can slow your website down and thus impact its overall performance. Limit the use of visual content on your website and ensure your content is optimized, even when you get a high volume of visitors.   

By reducing the size of images and other media, you will save the database and server from overloading. As a result, you can guarantee a quality experience for the visitors.  

Use a content delivery network  

Using a content delivery network (CDN) is another excellent way to manage heavy traffic on your WordPress website. CDN allows the content on your website to be served from the server location closest to the visitor.  

With the help of that cached content, the distance between your website’s server and the end user’s browser is reduced. Additionally, it can help in distributing the load from your server. The pages, therefore, load quickly, improving the performance of your website.  

Avoid using excessive plugins  

When it comes to WordPress websites, plugins are both useful and tempting. However, using too many plugins negatively impacts your website’s performance. Plugins contribute to the load on your WordPress database server. Even with the fastest hosting, plugins can cause slowdowns.  

Make sure the plugins you choose for your website are plugins you really need. Remember to also conduct an audit of your existing plugins. That will help you get rid of the plugins that are not valuable anymore or the ones that are sitting idle.  

While looking for plugins, make sure you have a caching plugin for your website. Plugins such as WP Super Cache and W3 Total Cache help reduce slowdowns and manage high traffic easily.  

Make sure to choose the right WordPress plugins! 

Optimize server resources on your WordPress site 

Optimizing server resources is essential for a WordPress site to handle high traffic. CPU usage, memory, and disk I/O are critical resources directly affecting a website’s ability to manage concurrent requests and maintain optimal performance during traffic surges.  

Managing the following resources efficiently will determine whether the site scales gracefully or fails under pressure. 

First, high traffic increases the number of simultaneous requests to your server, each requiring processing CPU cycles. Using efficient coding practices, optimizing WordPress database queries, and implementing caching can significantly reduce CPU load. 

Second, WordPress plugins and themes can be resource-intensive and consume valuable memory. Regularly auditing your site to remove or replace inefficient plugins and themes can free up memory resources for more critical tasks. 

Third, disk input/output operations can become a bottleneck, especially with dynamic content and high traffic levels. Leveraging object caching can reduce disk I/O by storing database query results in memory, decreasing the need for repetitive reading and writing to the disk. 

Finally, adequate bandwidth is essential for site performance, particularly for sites serving large files or multimedia content. Content Delivery Networks (CDNs) can alleviate bandwidth pressure on your primary server by distributing static content across multiple locations. 

Implement security measures for high-traffic sites 

The importance of security in maintaining site performance, especially under heavy traffic, cannot be overstated. As traffic increases, so does the potential for malicious attacks, which can range from Distributed Denial of Service (DDoS) attacks aimed at overwhelming your server, to more subtle attempts to exploit vulnerabilities in your WordPress site.  

Here are five security measures to implement: 

Proactive monitoring: Regularly monitoring your site for unusual activity can help you catch and mitigate potential attacks before they escalate. This includes monitoring traffic patterns for spikes that could indicate a DDoS attack and monitoring your site’s performance metrics for signs of compromise. 

Firewalls and DDoS protection: Implementing a web application firewall (WAF) can filter out malicious traffic before it reaches your server, preserving server resources for legitimate users. Many managed WordPress hosting providers offer built-in WAF and DDoS protection, providing an essential layer of security for high-traffic sites. 

Regular updates: Keeping your WordPress core, plugins, and themes up to date is critical for security. Many attacks target known vulnerabilities that have already been patched in newer software versions. Automated update services can help ensure your site runs the latest, most secure software. 

Secure configuration: Ensuring your WordPress configuration is optimized for security can prevent common vulnerabilities. This includes securing wp-admin access, implementing strong passwords, and restricting file permissions. 

Content delivery network (CDN): Beyond improving site performance, a CDN can also enhance security. CDNs can help absorb and distribute traffic during DDoS attacks, preventing a single point of failure that could bring down your site. 

Common questions about WordPress and high traffic 

How to handle high traffic on WordPress? 

Handle high traffic on WordPress by optimizing your website for speed, using a reliable high-performance hosting provider, implementing caching plugins, using a Content Delivery Network (CDN), and regularly monitoring your site’s performance. 

Does high traffic slow down a WordPress website? 

High traffic can slow down a WordPress website if the hosting plan lacks the necessary resources to handle the increased load. However, proper site optimization and a robust hosting plan can mitigate this issue. 

Can WordPress handle millions of users? 

Yes, WordPress can handle millions of users. However, it requires a robust infrastructure, including a powerful server, a scalable hosting plan, and an efficient caching system. 

What is a Content Delivery Network (CDN) in WordPress hosting? 

A CDN in WordPress hosting is a network of servers located globally that deliver web content to users based on their geographical location. It helps high traffic sites by reducing server load and improving site speed and performance. 

How to monitor traffic on my WordPress site? 

Monitor traffic on your WordPress site using tools like Google Analytics, or plugins like Jetpack or MonsterInsights. These provide insights into user behavior, traffic sources, page views, and more, helping you manage high traffic. 

Final thoughts: Can WordPress handle heavy traffic efficiently?  

YES! High traffic on your website means success in the online world. However, you need to take steps to prevent heavy traffic from becoming a problem for you and your website.   

Prioritize the fastest hosting for your high-traffic WordPress website to ensure visitors get the best experience.  

Bluehost offers the best WordPress hosting for your website. Check out Bluehost’s WordPress hosting plans to leverage its scalability and optimization features and take your online business to new levels.

  • Devin Sears

    Devin is a Senior Event Marketing Manager for the Bluehost brand. He is our brand steward for all things Bluehost and WordPress. You'll always see him supporting Bluehost at WordCamps around the world!

    Education
    Brigham Young University
    Previous Experience
    Social Media, Customer Experience, Field Marketing, Sponsorships, Event Coordinator
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4 Comments

  1. NetSocialBlog Reply

    Heavy traffic is most bloggers dream but what made them worry a lot is usually the downtime. May i ask what plan you guys would recommend for a site having up to 2k visitors in a day?

    • Desiree Johnson, Content Specialist Reply

      Greetings,
      Thank you so much for your inquiry, please refer to https://www.bluehost.com/ to get assistance on the best plan for your site.

  2. Yes, in my experience WP can handle lots of traffic as long as it’s optimized and not bloatloaded with plugins.

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