Building Scalable and Maintainable Web Applications

In an era where the success of a business is determined by its online presence, web applications are momentous. 

Despite their vitality, businesses are grappling with a critical pain point. Their websites are unable to keep up with increasing business size, changing requirements and added loads. As a result, the websites continuously crash, which increases the churn rate. 

Your business must future-proof the web application before diving into the development. You need to hire a web developer who understands the nuances of building a scalable web application. This includes adding the correct tech stack and planning the infrastructure. 

In this article, you will learn all about scaling a web application to handle your growing business needs. 

An Overview of Scalable Web Application

A scalable web application can easily handle the increasing traffic and data without compromising stability or performance. 

For example, your application was built to handle 500 users, and you see a surge in the number of users. The scalable application will accommodate the surge responsively by adjusting the resources. 

These are three key elements that make a scalable application. 

#1 Flexible Architecture

You can go with a modular design that allows you to break down the entire app into modules or components. These components are individually developed, deployed, and scaled. 

A microservices architecture is another way of scaling the app. Each functionality becomes a separate service that can be scaled independently.   At least 85% of the users belonging to 5000+ employee organizations claimed they used microservices in 2021. CRM, Data Science and Finance applications use microservices architecture. 

#2 Efficient Resource Handling

There are two ways to scale the resources- horizontal and vertical. 

In case of horizontal scaling, you will add more servers to distribute the load. This can dynamically handle the increased traffic.

Vertical scaling is when you upgrade the existing server to handle the increased workloads. 

#3 Load Balancing

You can either distribute the traffic to the diverse servers. The load-balancing technology will ensure that a single server is not impacted by incoming queries. 

You can also use dynamic load balancing that will automatically adjust the incoming traffic fluctuations. The resource allocation occurs on-demand in this case.

How to Build Scalable and Maintainable Websites?

Careful planning, complete work scope definition and efficient resource management techniques can help deliver a scalable app. Here are all the steps you must follow when developing web applications. 

#1 Define Your Scope

The first step is to assess your business and determine the requirements. You must include the performance, maintenance and scalability of the application. Make sure to include the sales, marketing and other teams to understand the user requirements. 

They will be able to gather the requisite feedback and offer them to document the needs/requirements of users. 

#2 Select your Tech Stack

When developing a scalable application, you must look into the tech stack to choose the right frameworks and tools. This would help you manage your future needs without compromising on the reliability or stability of the app.

Make sure to evaluate the frameworks and tools before making the technology-specific decisions. 

#3 Introduce a Scalable Architecture

You can choose between Microservices, Serverless and Event-driven architecture to meet the unique pattern needs of the app. You can even opt for a modular or layered architecture design to ensure accessibility and maintenance. 

#4 Optimize Database Design

The database is crucial to make a scalable website. You must incorporate factors like normalization and indexing for an efficient database.

You can also use techniques like sharding to improve the workload distribution. 

#5 Incorporate Vertical and Horizontal Scaling

Your application must be prepared to scale on demand. You must implement the vertical and horizontal scaling instances. This way the app can scale as per the demand and needs expressed by the surge. You can also use auto-scaling for efficient traffic management. 

#6 Build-to-Deployment Automation

Introduce the CI/CD pipelines to your development process. This would help you improve the build-to-deployment processes. It will automate the testing phase and ensure committing a bug-free code. 

This automation can reduce manual intervention, thus enabling high-quality and reliable code development. 

#7 Design for Security

You must include security measures like encryption and authentication to prevent unauthorised access. It is equally crucial to monitor the dependencies and update them. Lastly, you must patch the vulnerabilities within the application. 

#8 Monitor the Performance

You must continuously monitor the app’s performance. Check the response time, initial load time and error rates in real-time.

You must keep a check on the critical performance components. This would help manage the scalability and enhance user experience. 

#9 Iterate Continuously

You must gather feedback from the users of the web application. This will help optimize the solution and continuously improve it.

You can also refactor the code or architecture to reduce the technical debt and operational overheads. 

Best Practices to Deliver Scalable & Maintainable Web Apps

#1 Implement the Microservices Architecture

This architecture allows you to break down the entire application into small and loosely coupled services. You can build, deploy and scale each service independently. 

This enhances resource optimization and improves fault isolation to manage and maintain the websites. 

#2 Use Caching Techniques

You must incorporate caching techniques to store the frequently accessed data for reduced server load. You can use Redis and Memcached to cache the queries and API responses for better data retrieval. 

#3 Leverage the CDN

You can use the content delivery networks (CDN) to cache the images, CSS and JavaScript files. It can cache the assets to the user’s location.

CDN can also help reduce content latency and optimize the bandwidth of the servers to ensure scalable web apps.

#4 Introduce Auto-scaling and Elasticity

Auto-scaling can dynamically adjust and adapt the app architecture and resources to handle the traffic. It will help increase the resources or servers as needed.

You can also use cloud-based platforms like Google Cloud and Azure to automatically scale the servers or infrastructure. 

#5 Incorporate Asynchronous Processing

You must offload the time-consuming tasks to prevent loading the server and causing crashes. Asynchronous processing can put these tedious tasks in the background. You can also use worker queues to ensure that the main application is not affected by the load.  If you are looking to develop a scalable web app, here is a CRO expert’s guide to effective conversion rate. Must read to know about developing web apps that convert.


Building scalable and maintainable web apps is no longer an afterthought. It is a crucial decision if you want to create future-proof solutions. 

You must blend careful planning with architectural decisions, coding practices and the right tools to build a scalable and easy-to-maintain web application.

The scalability strategies and maintenance best practices will help you craft a defined strategy. this will help you adopt the right technologies and plan the best infrastructure for the web app. 

This will help you deliver a smooth user experience while reducing the operational overhead and technical debt.

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