Preparing for Your Website to Grow
Every webmaster dreams of a big website with massive traffic, but success of this type comes with a few issues that need to be addressed before the website grows too big, so you can avoid or minimize the problems. The best way to avoid these issues is to think big right from the start.
A big website generally means having many pages to keep up to date. Keep that in mind when you are designing your website, and ensure common things are kept in a separate location rather than on every page.
For example, if you manually add your logo to every page, and your logo is changed as your business grows, you will have to change every single page. This is no problem when your site is small, but if it consists of hundreds of pages, updating can be a nightmare.
As your website’s traffic grows, the bandwidth required also expands, and you may need to upgrade to accommodate the increasing number of visitors. A bandwidth of 5GB may seem plenty for a new website, but this figure can soon be outgrown. When you do outgrow your bandwidth your web host will charge you in one way or another for the additional data transfer you need, or could even shut your website down for a time.
If you expect your website to grow, it is wise to think ahead and look at the fine print of the web host terms and conditions even before you select one. Make sure you know beforehand what the host’s policy is if you exceed bandwidth. Will you have to pre-pay for a large block, or will you be able to just pay for the extra bandwidth you use as you use it?
Upgrading Web Hosts
A growing website might outgrow the cheap host that seemed perfectly suitable for it in the beginning. The problem is that as the website grows, so can the technical hitches and your need for support, and the cheaper hosts tend to have less knowledgeable support personnel.
Another factor that becomes more important as the site grows is “uptime”, because your site will lose repeat visitors if they arrive to find the site is down. Cheap web hosts are generally less able to guarantee uptime than the more expensive hosts.
The best way of avoiding all these problems is to think about your site’s future growth from the beginning in the way it is designed, and the specifications of the web host you choose. If you need to move to a new web host as the site grows, do your homework and make sure you check the fine print and know what you are getting into before you make the move.