Scaling a Multisite Network for High Traffic Usage

Posted on May 2, 2023 at 8:29 am

No Comments

Running a multisite network can be a challenge, especially when it comes to handling high levels of traffic. As your network grows in popularity and attracts more visitors, you’ll need to ensure that it can handle the increased load without compromising on performance or stability.

To help you overcome these challenges, we’ve put together this guide that will cover everything you need to know about scaling a multisite network for high traffic usage. From determining network capacity to optimizing database queries, this article will provide you with a comprehensive view of how to ensure your site remains up and running to provide the best user experience possible.

At the heart of this guide are five sections, each of which provides practical solutions and tips to help you manage your multisite network. By reading this guide, you’ll learn how to determine your current network traffic and capacity, how to select a suitable hosting plan based on your traffic patterns, how to implement server-side caching and load balancing techniques, how to optimize database queries to speed up site load times, and finally, how to monitor network performance and make necessary adjustments.

Whether you’re launching a new multisite network or trying to keep an existing one running smoothly, this guide will provide you with a wealth of knowledge and insights to help you succeed. So let's dive in and explore how to scale your multisite network for high traffic usage.

Determining the current network traffic and capacity

Before you can determine which hosting plan to select or which optimization techniques to implement, it is essential to understand your website's current network traffic and capacity. Without an accurate understanding of these factors, you risk selecting an inadequate hosting plan or implementing optimization techniques that do not address the root of the problem.

Here are some steps you can take to determine your website's current network traffic and capacity:

Step 1: Gather website analytical data

Website analytical tools like Google Analytics, Matomo, or AWStats provide valuable information about website visitor traffic, such as the number of visitors, page views, and session duration. Analytic reports reveal the peak traffic hours, website load times, and user behavior on different devices, which can give you insights into your website's traffic patterns and audience.

Step 2: Check the server logs

Server access and error logs provide detailed information about every HTTP request made to the server, including the status code, requested file, and response time. By analyzing the server logs, you can determine the number of requests per second or minute, identify slow loading pages, and detect if there are any server errors.

Step 3: Use network monitoring tools

Network monitoring tools like PRTG Network Monitor, Nagios, or Zabbix can give an overview of the current network traffic, bandwidth usage, and network latency. They can also alert you if a service or server becomes unavailable, which is critical for ensuring that your website is always available to users.

Step 4: Estimate future growth

By analyzing website analytics and server logs, you can project future growth patterns. This can help you identify potential bottlenecks and plan for future capacity needs.

Once you have determined your website's current network traffic and capacity, you can make informed decisions about selecting a suitable hosting plan, implementing caching and load-balancing techniques, optimizing database queries, and monitoring your network performance.

Note: It is recommended to track and analyze your website's traffic and capacity regularly to identify any potential issues before they cause problems.

These tools and techniques can help to set a baseline for understanding your network. By gaining a deeper understanding of what your network looks like today, you can improve site performance, navigate the challenges of handling network traffic, and adjust for tomorrow's growth.

Selecting a Suitable Hosting Plan Based on Traffic Patterns

Choosing the right hosting plan is essential to ensure website performance and user experience. When selecting a hosting plan, consider the traffic patterns of your website. If your website attracts high traffic, a shared hosting plan may not be suitable, and a dedicated or virtual private server (VPS) may be necessary.

Shared Hosting

Shared hosting is an affordable option for small websites with low traffic. In this model, multiple websites share resources on a single server. While shared hosting may be cost-effective, it can be detrimental to website performance if other sites on the server are consuming excessive resources.

Dedicated Hosting

Dedicated hosting provides an entire server for a single website, offering complete control over server resources. This hosting option is optimal for large websites that expect heavy traffic and require high performance. However, it is relatively expensive and requires expert knowledge to optimize server configurations.

Virtual Private Server (VPS) Hosting

VPS hosting offers a balance between shared and dedicated hosting. In this model, multiple virtual servers are hosted on a single physical machine, each with its own dedicated resources. It gives the ability to customize server configurations while keeping costs low. VPS hosting is suitable for websites with moderate to high traffic.

Factors to consider when selecting a hosting plan

When selecting a hosting plan, consider the following factors:

  • Traffic volume
  • RAM and CPU requirements
  • Storage space
  • Bandwidth
  • Level of control required


Selecting a suitable hosting plan is crucial to ensure website performance and user experience. Evaluate your website traffic patterns and needs and choose the best hosting model that fits your budget and business requirements. Remember to also consider the hosting provider's reliability, support, and uptime guarantees when making your decision.

Useful resources:

Implementing Server-Side Caching and Load Balancing Techniques

One effective way to improve website performance and decrease server load is through the use of server-side caching and load balancing techniques.

What is server-side caching?

Server-side caching involves temporarily storing frequently accessed data on the server's RAM or hard disk, rather than repeatedly fetching it from the database, which can be slow and resource-intensive. This can significantly increase website loading speeds.

How to implement server-side caching

There are many server-side caching techniques available, such as:

  • Opcode caching: Caching PHP scripts in their compiled opcode form, making them faster to execute.
  • Object caching: Caching frequently-accessed database objects or HTML fragments using the server's RAM or a dedicated cache server.
  • Page caching: Storing whole HTML pages in cache to reduce database queries and server load.

To implement server-side caching in your website, you can use popular tools like Varnish Cache, Memcached, or Redis. These tools offer easy configuration and setup for server-side caching, allowing you to improve website performance almost instantly.

What is load balancing?

Load balancing involves distributing incoming network traffic evenly across multiple servers to prevent any one server from becoming overwhelmed with requests. This can help improve website uptime, scalability, and reliability.

How to implement load balancing

To implement load balancing, you will need at least two servers and a load balancer to distribute the traffic between them. Popular load balancing tools include NGINX and HAProxy, which offer easy setup and configuration.

Once you have set up load balancing, you can further optimize server performance by configuring the load balancer to use techniques like:

  • Session persistence: Ensuring that requests from the same user always go to the same server.
  • Health checks: Monitoring server health and automatically removing or adding them from the load balancer pool based on their state

This will help ensure that website visitors have a fast, reliable, and consistent experience across all servers.

In summary, implementing server-side caching and load balancing techniques can significantly improve website performance, scalability, and reliability. By using modern tools and techniques, website owners can increase website speed, decrease server load, and provide a seamless user experience.

Optimizing Database Queries for Faster Site Load Times

One crucial aspect of optimizing your website for faster loading speeds is optimizing your database queries. Every time a website loads, it sends requests to the database to retrieve data and generate the content of the page. If these queries are poorly optimized, they can slow down your site and frustrate your users.

Here are some tips to help you optimize your database queries for faster site load times:

  1. Minimize the use of subqueries. Subqueries can be useful for complex queries, but they can also be a major bottleneck. Instead of using subqueries, try to use joins and other methods to retrieve the data you need with a single query.

  2. Use indexing wisely. Indexes can help speed up database queries by allowing the database to quickly find the data it needs. However, too many indexes can also slow down your site. Make sure to only index the columns that are frequently queried, and avoid indexing columns with low selectivity.

  3. Avoid using SELECT * queries. When you use a SELECT * query, the database has to retrieve all columns in the table, even if you only need a few of them. Instead, specify the columns you need in your query to reduce the amount of data that needs to be retrieved.

  4. Optimize your database schema. Your database schema can also have a big impact on your site's performance. Make sure to use appropriate data types, avoid redundant data, and normalize your data to reduce duplication.

  5. Consider caching database results. If your site has a lot of traffic and your database is under heavy load, caching database results can help speed up your site. You can use tools like Memcached or Redis to cache the results of frequently used queries.

By following these tips, you can optimize your database queries and improve your site's loading times. Remember to regularly monitor your site's performance and make adjustments as needed.

Useful resources:

Monitoring Network Performance and Making Necessary Adjustments

Monitoring the network performance of your website is crucial to ensure that it is running smoothly and meeting the user's expectations. It helps in identifying the bottlenecks and areas that require improvement. Here are some tips on how to monitor network performance and make necessary adjustments:

Use Network Monitoring Tools

There are various network monitoring tools available such as New Relic, Pingdom, and Uptime Robot that provide real-time data on website performance. They can detect anomalies, track website uptime, and notify you when your website goes down. Using these tools, you can identify the sources of trouble and take necessary actions to resolve them.

Analyze Server and Application Logs

Server and application logs can provide insight into any problems that may be impacting website performance. You can use log analysis tools like Splunk, Loggly, or Graylog to sift through large amounts of log data and get insights into system performance, website traffic, and user behavior. This data can help identify performance bottlenecks and take necessary corrective action.

Implement a Content Delivery Network (CDN)

Implementing a Content Delivery Network (CDN) can significantly improve your website's network performance. CDN allows you to serve content from multiple server locations, making it easier and faster to deliver content to users. Cloudflare and Amazon Web Services (AWS) are two of the most popular CDN providers that help distribute website resources across multiple servers, reducing the load on your server.

Optimize Website Images and Videos

Images and videos contribute significantly to website load times. You can reduce their impact by optimizing their size and format. For images, use compressed formats like JPEG or PNG to reduce their size without affecting their quality. Videos can be compressed using codecs like H.264 or WebM to reduce their file sizes. These small optimizations can significantly improve website load times.

Monitor Network Latency and Response Time

Latency is the time taken for data to travel from the user's browser to the server and back. Monitor network latency and response time using tools like WebPageTest or Google PageSpeed Insights. These tools will provide detailed metrics on website performance, indicating areas that require improvement. Optimize the website based on these metrics to improve the website's network performance.

Monitoring network performance and making necessary adjustments is an ongoing process. Regular monitoring allows you to identify problems before they escalate and take corrective action. By following these tips and monitoring your website's network performance closely, you can ensure that it is reliable, fast, and provides an excellent user experience.

For more information on monitoring network performance, check out this resource.

In conclusion, scaling a multisite network for high traffic usage can seem like a daunting task, but by following the guidelines and techniques outlined in the previous sections, it can be achieved successfully. By starting with a thorough analysis of your current network traffic and capacity, you can accurately gauge the amount of resources you will need to handle a peak influx of visitors. From there, selecting a suitable hosting plan and implementing server-side caching and load balancing techniques can help to optimize site performance and reduce downtime.

Another crucial element in scaling a multisite network is optimizing database queries for faster site load times. By identifying problematic queries and addressing any inefficiencies, you can significantly improve site speed and overall user experience. Lastly, monitoring network performance on an ongoing basis and making necessary adjustments can help to ensure that your site continues to run smoothly and efficiently, even as traffic patterns fluctuate.

It’s important to remember that scaling a multisite network is an ongoing process and requires constant monitoring and maintenance to remain stable and reliable. As your site continues to grow and evolve, it’s essential to stay up-to-date with the latest technologies and best practices for optimized performance.

At the end of the day, the primary goal of scaling a multisite network for high traffic usage is to provide a seamless and enjoyable user experience, regardless of visitor volume. By taking a proactive and strategic approach to network optimization, you can ensure that your site remains fast, reliable, and responsive, even in the face of heavy traffic loads. With the information and techniques outlined in this article, you should feel empowered to take the next steps in scaling your multisite network and continuing to grow your online presence.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *