Drupal Website Scalability & Why It’s Important

Good Design Is Good Business

As a consumer, when you’re looking for products, services, entertainment, or even a nonprofit to support, where do you go first? Most likely, a browser search that points you to various websites. And if you ask most businesses, they will say their website is the most important marketing tool they use to educate and encourage visitors to action. 

As a nonprofit, how do you view your website marketing tool? Is it something that is designed and developed, and then left alone until a redesign in a few years? Or is it a platform that should grow and change right along with the growth of your organization? We believe your website should grow, and that’s called scalability.

The Definition of Website Scalability

In simple terms, website scalability means your website can be just as effective being small as it is large. In more techy terms, scalability refers to how many concurrent pages your website can serve up to visitors without negatively affecting performance. Website performance is the perceived user experience and includes, but isn’t limited to, these areas:

  • How fast does the website show what the user wants to see?
  • Is the website easy to navigate and find information?
  • Can the user click on buttons to get to other content?
  • Are pop-ups quick to open?
  • Does the website stay up even during traffic spikes?
  • How many content contributors can the website handle?

In this digital era, being able to reach out to your donors, volunteers, and community is critical. And one of the best ways is to ensure your website functions quickly and provides a great user experience.

The Importance of Website Scalability

A highly scalable website is important to handle all the traffic you receive as people learn more about your nonprofit and visit your website. Even if you have the best content around, a poor website visitor experience - like slow uploading of content or the website going down - can cause a negative impact to your traffic. Simply put, if your website doesn’t provide a great user experience, then people will stop coming to your website. That means fewer online donations, fewer resources being shared, fewer people seeing your great stories, and more. Not good for your bottom line. We know what works, and that’s why we build nonprofit websites on Drupal. 

Drupal Scalability Feature

Scalability in a website refers to traffic, content, and users. Let’s take a look at each of them.

Traffic

Through your nonprofit’s marketing efforts, you drive traffic to your website to generate leads, grow your email list, gain donations, share the good you’re doing in the communities you serve, and more. Drupal can keep up with your traffic and ensure your website stays up and running, even when your traffic grows. And as you head into the calendar year end fundraising season, you can’t afford to have your website go down!

Did you know, Drupal powers more than a million websites across the globe? It doesn’t matter if it’s traffic spikes or constant traffic, Drupal handles it all. For example, NBC Olympics and the GRAMMY Awards use Drupal for their websites. They are examples of traffic spikes where the websites receive bursts of visitors for shorter periods of time. Then there are sites like The Weather Company, among the busiest sites in the world, that use Drupal to handle constant traffic year round. Either way, Drupal is scalable to handle it all.

What does this mean for your nonprofit website? Drupal is highly scalable, which means that no matter if your traffic is slow or crazy busy, your website will have great performance.

Content

As a nonprofit, you use your website for multiple reasons:

  • Accept donations
  • Share educational resources
  • Increase brand awareness
  • Store event registrations
  • Provide updates on your projects
  • And more! 

Your website needs to be able to accommodate the growth of your content as you build it. No worries! Create all the content you need to. Drupal can handle it, all while ensuring your site stays up and running.

Users

When we refer to website users, we mean both internal and external users. 

Many nonprofits rely on multiple people to build and contribute content to their websites. We refer to these as internal users. This includes bloggers, event planners, volunteers, community partners, marketers, and communications/public relations. And that’s not even a complete list! Your website needs to be able to handle multiple - even hundreds - of content contributors. 

With regard to external users, we’re referring to website visitor traffic. Thanks to Drupal's scalability, you can have as many people creating content as you need, while at the same time high volumes of visitors accessing that content.

The NASA Scalability Case Study

We know your nonprofit isn’t the size of NASA, but Drupal’s case study provides some amazing scalability stats from NASA’s usage of Drupal for their website. 

Here are just a few:

  • Migration of over 250,000 pages and 3 TB of content went from a proprietary on-site system to the open source Drupal platform without any service interruptions
  • The redesign of the site had a mobile-first approach
  • Website was built with Drupal on the Amazon cloud to ensure content was stored safely 
  • 500 content editors perform over 2,000 updates each day
  • Nearly one million page views per day
  • During the 2017 Total Solar Eclipse coverage, the website handled over 40,000,000 page views on a single day (that’s a lot of zeroes!)

The point is, if a Drupal website can handle NASA’s needs, it can handle your nonprofit’s needs. And OneEach is here to help you design and develop just what you need.

Conclusion

At OneEach Technologies, we focus on building websites for nonprofits that grow with them. With over 20 years of hosting experience and over 14 years of using Drupal websites, we have website designs and custom options that work for all nonprofits. We believe that by providing you with a current and modern website, your nonprofit can help spread the word, share important information about your organization, build credibility, share achievements, and express the impact of volunteers and donations. 

And here's a few more important things that set us apart: our team is available 24/7 to guide you through the website build, provide 24/7/365 support, and offer hands-on training and resources for you and your team. 

Want to chat with one of our representatives to learn more or ask questions? Schedule an appointment today!