How to scale up your server to serve more traffic

Product launch coming up? Huge ad campaign? Then you’re expecting an increase in website traffic. This can be heavy on your server, leading to longer load times and errors. But a high traffic event doesn’t have to be a bumpy ride. You can keep it all running smoothly by following these seven tactics on how to scale server to serve more traffic.

Tactic 1: Get VPS to up your site’s tolerance

When you first build the infrastructure of your site, do so with contingencies in place for dealing with increased traffic. Instead of using shared hosting, consider adopting a Virtual Private Server (VPS) plan. Giving you built-in tolerance to cope with added traffic long term.

Tactic 2: Speed up loading times with CDN caching

Scale Server using Servershield by Cloudflare

Integrating a Content Delivery Network – like ServerShield by Cloudflare that Plesk supports, is a good technique before an event. A CDN lets you store copies of your site, known as caching, on data centers worldwide.

Find out how to enable NGINX caching on Plesk here.

So, when the increased traffic sets in, visitors will be directed to a copy of your site from a data center, instead of your web host’s main servers. The result is faster loading times for visitors and less strain on the server.

Check out how to reduce server load with Memcached too.

Tactic 3: Make your site as light as possible

Strip away what isn’t necessary to make the essentials as streamlined as can be. Lighten the load for pages expecting more visits by excluding images or Flash wherever possible. Use text instead of images in the site navigation and put most of the content in HTML. Choose static HTML pages over dynamic ones as the latter places more load on your servers. You can reduce server load further by caching the static output of dynamic pages.

Tactic 4: Minimize HTTP requests and file sizes

You can speed up load times by combining all JS files together, and all CSS files together. Also, by using CSS Sprites and combining most of your images into a single sprite, you turn multiple images requests into just one. And presto, you have another way to scale up your server to serve more traffic.

Tactic 5: Test out how to scale up your server

Don’t wait until the event to discover how well your site will perform under stress. Introduce load gradually to your website beforehand using a service, like radview or smartmeter, that does load testing with simulated traffic. Our friends at Digital Ocean sum up load testing nicely. The analysis and performance metrics available will help you to understand how much load your website can handle and where you need to improve.

Tactic 6: Go for automated server scaling

If you prefer to address sudden spikes in traffic without having to monitor constantly or intervene via live personnel, autoscaling is for you. You get an automated method to allocate resources so you can match the amount of traffic you’re experiencing. Autoscaling also provides essential support for website content at any scale if you need another way how to scale up your server to serve more traffic.

Tactic 7: Upgrade your infrastructure independently

To prevent a domino effect of failure, you should make sure critical functions are not too interdependent. Distribute your load across multiple servers and upgrade them. Your hosting provider can upgrade physical and virtual memories and increase I/O and entry processes limits.

With Plesk, you can choose from industry-leading hyperscale cloud services to ensure you always have reliable, high-performance resources on standby to ensure a growth spurt doesn’t bring you grinding to a halt.

So, there you have it – seven ways on how to scale server to serve more traffic. By being ahead of the game, you can ensure your site sails through each high traffic event smoothly.


  1. y u no speak about pagespeed insights? it helps A LOT to identify bottlenecks in the site performance

  2. What about 500 errors caused by too many files open under high traffic? Upgrading the server or splitting the load is a waste whe you can increase the OS limits, but it appears plesk offer no help with that.

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