How to Build Scalable Mobile Apps?

scalable mobile app

Scalability is something most businesses don’t plan for when developing a mobile app. This leads to severe issues once the app witnesses increasing user traffic and engagement. Dealing with performance issues once your app becomes well-known can do permanent damage to your brand image. This is why building a scalable mobile app is critical for success.

What’s Scalability

Basically, scalability is the ability of your mobile app to handle increasing traffic while delivering consistent performance and user experience. It can be measured using various metrics, such as throughput, response time, availability, and reliability. Primarily, it’s measured using Requests Per Minute (RPM), which is the number of requests the app can handle in one minute.

There are two types of scaling:

Vertical Scaling

This is the process of increasing the capacity of a single machine by adding more resources, such as memory, storage, CPU, etc. A simple example would be increasing the RAM of a system from 32 GB to 64 GB. However, certain servers have a limit to which they can be upgraded.

Horizontal Scaling

This is the process of adding more instances of the same type of machine to the system, such as adding more servers or nodes. Taking the previous example, horizontal scaling would mean getting another system with 32 GB of RAM.

Both vertical and horizontal scaling have to be used to effectively handle incoming traffic.

Advantages of Scalable Mobile App Development

Unless you’re absolutely confident that your app will have a restricted user base, you must ask your mobile app development company to implement scalability. At WDI, we make all our apps scalable to make them future-proof. But certain companies won’t provide the same unless specified. So, make sure you do so.

Here are some reasons why you should go the extra mile with scalability:

Stable Performance

The chances of crashes, errors, downtimes, and other issues reduce drastically when you build a scalable mobile app. This helps users have a seamless user experience.


Planning to make your app scalable somewhere down the line usually doesn’t turn out well. It’s always better to be prepared instead of trying to fix the problem later. This helps you prevent downtime during unprecedented traffic spikes.

Increase User Loyalty

Crashes, slow loading times, and failures can do a number on your reputation once your app becomes popular. You can avoid that and build a loyal user base by making your app scalable.

Steps to Develop a Scalable Mobile App

To build a scalable mobile app, you need to follow the steps mentioned below:

Define Your Scalability Requirements
How scalable your app should be depends on the amount of traffic you’re expecting from it. Start by defining the user capacity you want to implement. Here are some questions you need to answer to define your scalability requirements:

  • How many users do you expect to use your app?
  • How much data will your app generate and store?
  • How fast do you want your app to respond to user requests?
  • How reliable and secure do you want your app to be?
  • How often do you plan to update and maintain your app?

The answers will help you estimate the resources you need to develop and maintain your app.

Choose the Right Tech Stack

The technology you choose to develop your app plays a huge role in the load-handling capacity of your mobile app. A reputed mobile app development company like WDI will guide you in selecting the best tech stack for your project. However, you might have to do the work in the case of certain companies or if you opt for in-house developers.

You need a backend framework that supports scalability. Some backend frameworks that are known for their scalability are:

Node.js: Node.js is fast, lightweight, and asynchronous. This allows it to handle multiple requests simultaneously without blocking the main thread.

Django: This Python framework supports horizontal scaling by allowing developers to add more servers or nodes as the traffic increases.

Ruby on Rails: This framework is famous for its convention over configuration approach, which simplifies the development process and reduces the amount of code required. It can support horizontal scaling by using load balancers and caching techniques.

Choose the Right Infrastructure

Along with the tech stack, the app’s infrastructure is also critical. In simple terms, the infrastructure is the set of hardware and software components that support the app’s performance. You can use Platform-as-a-Service (PaaS) solutions like AWS, Azure, or IBM to make your app scalable.

Design for Scalability From the Getgo

There are multiple things you need to implement to enable your app to handle high-traffic loads. Here are two things that will help you:

User a Load Balancer: A load balancer is a device that distributes incoming requests to multiple servers. This minimizes overload on any particular server. You can use a load balancer provided by your platform or a third-party service, such as Nginx or HAProxy.

User a CDN: CDN stands for Content Delivery Networks. It’s a network of servers that delivers static content, such as images, videos, or CSS files, to the users from the nearest location. This reduces latency and bandwidth consumption.

Use Object Storage: This is a service that stores and retrieves unstructured data. Amazon S3 and Google Cloud Storage are some services you can use.

Use Caching: This is a technique that stores frequently accessed data in fast, temporary storage. It reduces the number of requests to the main server and improves app performance.

Develop for Scalability

Your mobile app development team has to follow certain coding practices to ensure that your app is scalable. Here are some of them:

Implementing RESTful APIs: These are a standard way of communicating between the client and the server using HTTP methods, such as GET, POST, PUT, or DELETE. In English, this means RESTful APIs make your app more modular.

Microservices: These are small services that communicate with each other using APIs. These make your app more scalable, as they allow you to scale each service independently without affecting the rest of the app.

Asynchronous Programming: This is a way of coding that runs in the background without blocking the execution of the main thread. It allows your app to handle multiple requests concurrently.

Scalable App Development Services

As the leading mobile app development company, WDI is known for its scalable mobile apps. Whether you want a small B2B app for internal communication or a massive eCommerce store, we can deliver the right solution for your needs.

With scalability, our solution grows with your business, adding new features and improvements to meet user requirements.

Contact WDI today to learn how we can develop a scalable app for your enterprise or startup.

Author: Wdipl

WDI, founded in 1999, is a leading mobile app development company. We believe in making a change with our mobile apps and highly researched blogs that explain complicated technological aspects in a simplified and enjoyable manner. We take pride in guiding mobile app startups to bring their app ideas into reality with our expertise.

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