If you are a business owner or just a regular person with a website, you probably already know a thing or two about how to run and maintain a website, and about hosting as well. You know what bandwidth means, what uptime is and why it’s important, and you know your way around the control panel. However, there is one term that keeps confusing many people when it comes to hosting and websites, and it’s scalability.
In terms of web hosting, scalability can be defined as the ability to handle a surge in input and output when additional resources are introduced. By resources, we mean both software and hardware. Scalability means the ability of a system to store more data, deliver more information, run at a faster speed and so on. Similarly, the system needs to remain stable when some of the resources are removed.
There are two types of scalability – upward and downward scalability. Upward scalability is when the resources are increased and, logically, the downward kind is when something is removed or reduced. Both are equally important for website owners, because without the ability to cope with rises and falls in input and output, there is no way a website can function properly. Web hosting providers should be able to make their services easily scalable both ways, and it’s definitely one of the qualities to look out for when choosing a provider. Here are some of the main reasons why you should care about scalability.
You will be able to relax and focus on your matters or your business better if you are confident that your provider will be able to handle extra traffic or extra data going in and out. This is especially true for business websites. If you need to expand your website, and you trust your host will be able to handle it, both in terms of hardware and software, it will greatly help your growth plans and, eventually, the growth itself.
No one likes or trusts a website that keeps crashing due to extra traffic. It makes you, the website owner, look unprofessional. With proper scalability, when the provider is able to automatically increase your parameters whenever it’s needed, the chance of crashes is reduced to minimum.
Scalability Saves Money
If the traffic on your website fluctuates, which is often the case, you (i.e. your hosting provider) needs to increase or decrease the resources accordingly. Say you upgrade to more resources, but only use it occasionally, when the traffic is high. The rest of the time they sit idly, and you paid a lot of money for them. With a good scalability plan, this is done automatically, which saves you quite a sum of money.