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.

Do you really need a control panel? Here’s what we think

Control Panel - Do You Need One?

Web hosting control panels have become wildly popular over the last years for the rich features they offer hosting users. These software solutions allow users easily manage their VPS and dedicated servers as well as shared accounts. And without deep knowledge of system administration too – which in turn simplifies various tasks. Many consider control panels to be absolutely essential, especially on Unix and Linux servers. Others, however, see them as a needless cost.

The Pros of a Control Panel

Control Panel Pros

Your server’s purpose will have a drastic effect on how useful a control panel is for you. If you provide hosting services, a graphical interface to manage websites is a service your clients will expect. However, if you have a single-function server, a free tool like phpMyAdmin might be the only thing you regularly use. Making a control panel unnecessary.

The Cost of a Control Panel

moneyicon2

If you’re considering a control panel, you probably know it may not be free. You’ll need an annual license for most control panels. Unless a web host integrates this extra service into your monthly costs of server leasing. Of course, free control panels do exist. However, the reliability and quality level of these products is in question. And they hardly can be compared to commercial control panels.

A Control Panel and Hosting Business

Control Panel In Hosting Business

For those who hold solid skills in server administration tasks, a control panel can just be an extra, unnecessary layer. There’s no real need for a control panel of any type. Don’t fix what isn’t broken, as they say.

However, if you run a hosting business and care about scalability, it’s a different matter. Having a control panel will likely make completing tasks simpler and more efficient. And therefore, it’ll be a worthwhile investment for yourself and your customers.

The Versatile Plesk Onyx Control Panel

The versatile Plesk Onyx control panel

Plesk is an ideal multi-OS control panel for four main groups: administrators, digital professionals, resellers and end-users. Making it an extremely versatile tool for almost any web host.

Administrators

Admins, including web professionals and hosting providers, enjoy the Plesk control panel for a couple of reasons. Firstly, it is a great tool for configuring services, so providers can use an all-in-one service instead of separately configuring a web or FTP server. After configuring, hosts can combine these services with server resources, such as disk space or traffic, to make hosting packages. These service plans could contain web applications like mail accounts and websites and be sold to clients.

Web Professionals

Such as web design agencies. They often buy VPS hosting that already has Plesk installed, or they add it on themselves. The benefits of this control panel for those in the web design industry include managing multiple aspects of their web presence and controlling service management operations.

More on VPS Control Panels here.

Web developers may use the Plesk control panel as a hosting platform to build websites, test them and show the results to clients. It gives control over their server backup and PHP settings – both important for a web administrator.

Resellers or Web Hosters

Another group that will appreciate the benefits of the Plesk control panel. Your business will resell HSP hosting services, using Plesk to purchase tons of resources. And then dividing them.

You can then sell the reduced packages to end-users with additional services. And you, as a reseller, will get to lower your expenses by allowing HSPs to perform server management.

End-Users

Even end-users benefit from access to a control panel. Through a host or reseller, customers can obtain a hosting plan and use Plesk to manage their various services.

Some of the features of the Plesk control panel for end-users include creating sites that they can then populate with their own website content and adding mail accounts.

So, is a hosting control panel actually for you?

Functionality is the main reason to think about it here. Will your server gain functionality with a control panel – and if so, what kind?

Consider if a control panel would save you time, whether it would make the server more attractive to potential clients, and if it could simplify regular tasks.

Get in touch with the button under here to find the right Plesk Onyx fit for you and your business. Or simply sign up for one of our free trials by clicking below. 

Which VPS Control Panel is right for you?

Which VPS Control Panel is right for you? Plesk, cPanel/WHM or HSPcomplete

We’ve firmly established the VPS control panel (Virtual Private Server) as an important component in the web hosting landscape. For web hosting admins and end-users, it’s been a blessing to centrally manage every website on their server. This simplified account management helps avoid the tedium of performing the same essential tasks on different systems every day. 

More on the Web Hosting Panel     More on the Developers’ Panel

But as with any good idea, everyone wants in on the action. Same happened here. Competition has given rise to a rapid increase in the number of control panels on the market. With some even beginning to specialize in particular hosting environments. 

To help you find the solution that’s right for you, let’s take a look at HSPcomplete, Plesk, and cPanel. These are the 3 control panels users most often go for in Virtual Private Server (VPS) hosting.

Plesk Onyx

Award-winning Plesk garnered its accomplishments from exemplary abilities in VPS and shared hosting environments.  Plesk’s superior VPS control panel can install and handle all the systems and applications you might need to host on a single VPS server. With its great versatility and scalability, Plesk users can even expand and manage anything up to thousands of virtual hosts on one server. It’s customizable to meet customer requirements and truly offers users an impressive VPS control panel.

Ask Plesk a Question     Try Plesk for Free

HSPcomplete

HSPcomplete is a lightweight piece of software that provides a single UI to help users manage their VPS hosting account. Its main selling point is that it’s simple to use. But it does also offer a comprehensive array of useful features. Overall, HSPcomplete is a competent VPS control panel offering great reliability. The let down is having less functionality than you need to successfully manage reseller accounts.

cPanel/WHM

cPanel has also received award recognition for its performance as a leading VPS control panel. It trails Plesk in second place, although quite a lot of web hosts and users have adopted it due to its clean interface and rich variety of features. The UI is simple to use, allowing even beginners to get up and running relatively quickly.  However, there’s a disadvantage to its icon-based approach compared to the templates used in the control panels above. Because it tends to be resource-hungry and place greater demands on disk space.  

Our VPS Control Panel Recommendations

It can be challenging to find a clear winner when auditioning for the ideal VPS panel solution, so let’s try and make it simpler.

The cPanel/WHM (Web Host Manager) will always be a good choice thanks to its simplicity, but its weighty footprint and icon-heavy interface design slow it down compared to the other VPS control panels. cPanel is certainly adequate on a VPS front, but it might not offer the same high level of performance that a VPS control panel like Plesk Onyx can give.

Talk to Plesk for Free     Get a Free Plesk Trial

In the end, the right control panel is the one that best suits the individual, and individual choice is of course very subjective. The best way to manage your virtualized environment or typical hosting arrangement is to try out the solutions and see which one you like most. You should be to able to find live demos of all these packages to give them a test drive.