WordPress is a fantastic option for anyone looking to build their online presence.
Around 36% of all websites online use a website as a content management system (CMS) making it the most popular choice in the world. WordPress sites around the world welcome millions of users every single day.
The platform’s ability to scale has been doubted in the past and some have questioned the number of posts a WordPress site can handle.
There is no hard limit on the number of users a WordPress site can handle. WordPress dominates 65% of the CMS market share and for good reason. It is easy to use, scales with your needs, and is completely free to use.
However, there are some other factors that affect how well WordPress handles the number of users on your site.
Let’s take a look at the things you need to watch out for if you intend on having a lot of users on your WordPress site.
Do WordPress sites have a user limit?
In this section, we will only be discussing WordPress.org. WordPress.com is a hosted platform that costs money, we cover the details on this later.
WordPress.org is the free open-source variation of WordPress that has become the most popular CMS on the internet.
You can start a site for free but have to purchase your own hosting, domain. You can either opt for a free theme or choose from the thousands made available by talented developers online.
A WordPress.org installation has twelve tables in the database. The wp_users table contains all of the users on your site. Thankfully, WordPress doesn’t restrict the number of users you can have.
The ID field, which generates a unique ID for each person, has a type of BIGINT(20). This means there is a theoretical limit of 18,446,744,073,709,500,000.00 on the number of users set.
In reality, that is more people than have ever existed on earth so it is safe to say WordPress can handle as many users as you need.
WordPress is built using technologies called PHP and MySQL. They handle everything from user creation to displaying web pages. They are incredibly robust and keep WordPress ticking behind the scenes.
The platform is open-source so any limitations on users or the number of pages a WordPress site can have would be down to these underlying coding languages.
Visitor Limits and Users Roles
One of the things people often get confused about is the difference between a user and a visitor. In WordPress, a user is someone who can create, edit, update and delete content on your site. There are different user roles that limit these things but typically users on your site may be employees or people that access content behind a paywall. If you want to give one user the ability to edit content but another only the ability to create content, this can be done via user capabilities
Visitors are different. They are the people who find your website by either searching a query into Google or finding a link to your site on social media or other platforms. Visitors are primarily people who consume the content on your site
There are also no limits to the number of visitors a WordPress site can have.
Can multiple people use WordPress at the same time?
WordPress can easily handle multiple people using it at the same time. It was purpose-built to take the stress out of building a functioning website and allow webmasters to focus on creating and managing content.
The same user account can also be logged into at the same time on different devices. The only issue with multiple people using the same account is that they won’t see the change each other make to the documents until they refresh the page.
If you want users to access your site to post, add, or edit content just makes sure they have their own login credentials and aren’t all logging in under one account. It won’t break WordPress but just avoids any issues.
Microsoft News is one of the biggest sites in the world using WordPress. They average around 1.7 million visitors a month, so people accessing the same WordPress site at the same time is no problem at all.
To avoid any issues with user accounts, make sure that each user has their
What can limit the number of users WordPress can handle?
There are a number of factors that influence how well your site performs when a lot of people are using it. WordPress itself doesn’t set any restrictions but the hardware you use can cause you some issues.
Let’s take a look at some limiting factors for your WordPress site.
Your hosting provider is the company responsible for serving your site up to the people who want to see it.
Hosting is the arguably number one reason people complain about slow site speeds. Cheap hosting can’t handle a lot of traffic and as the number of users you have grows it puts strain on your hosting resources.
Serving a website quickly has now become a ranking factor in Google search results because it’s key to a good user experience.
Below are some hosting options that are suitable for both small and bigs sits.
- Managed Hosting – WP Engine – Great for high volume traffic sites and perfect for those who don’t want to handle the specifics of setting up a site.
- Best Allrounder – Siteground – Siteground has fantastic support and lightning-fast servers that can handle any number of users your WordPress site throws at it.
- The Technical Option – Cloudways – If you have some technical knowledge and are happy to dig into the specifics then Cloudways offers awesome performance.
- The Beginner Option – Bluehost – When you just start out you don’t need a lot of capacity for users and visitors. Bluehost is a budget option perfect for beginners’ sites.
As the number of users on your site continues to expand, move away from shared hosting. You should consider getting a dedicated server that improves performance significantly. Providers like inMotion offer quick and easy setup and are great.
Caching page stores a copy of the webpage so that it can be quickly given to people vising your site.
There is no need to serve a new version of a webpage if nothing has changed. As the number of users and visitors you have grows, caching becomes incredibly important.
To make sure your site doesn’t slow down as your page and post count grows, caching is essential to accommodate the growing number of users. I’d highly recommend the WordPress cache plugins below:
- WP Fastest Cache – A great free option but the premium version includes mobile caching that makes a big difference.
- WP Rocket – Without a doubt the best cache plugin on the market. You have to pay but the speeds you achieve are fantastic.
- W3 Total Cache – Perfect for those wanting a simple approach with a lot of options such as fragment caching and file splitting.
- WP Super Cache – Ideal if you don’t want to splash out on a cache plugin but still need the basics.
Can WordPress handle millions of users?
Yes, WordPress can handle millions of users. Some of the biggest websites on the internet today with millions and millions of users are powered by WordPress. Walmart, Yelp, TechCrunch, and The White House websites are all powered by the CMS giant so it is more than capable of handling huge numbers of people at a time.
It is important to remember that WordPress is only the system that manages your content and how it is displayed to the user. While you do need a well-optimized WordPress site to handle millions of users, the server you utilize is more important, as is the CDN you use. If your server isn’t up to scratch your site will crash if it receives too much traffic.
Having a flexible hosting plan that auto-scales, as your user count does, will enable you to have millions of people on your site at once. You will also want to have a dedicated server to yourself, rather than shared hosting which most budget provider offer. This gives you fell control over your server and also means it isn’t partitioned into smaller chunks with other sites using the same server.
Does WordPress.com have a user limit?
WordPress.com is a proprietary blog hosting platform. Unlike, WordPress.com it is not free and requires a monthly subscription to use.
WordPress.com used to have a limit on the number of users you could have on a single site. They have since done away with the restriction. Now, similar to WordPress.org, it can handle as many users as you need.
WordPress.com is far more limited than its open-source cousin. By hosting a WordPress website yourself, the possibilities are almost endless. The same is not true when using WordPress.com, some restrictions include:
- Monetization – You are limited with the advertising networks you can use and must use their own WordAds platform. If you use their free tier you can’t have any advertising at all.
- Plugins – The best thing about WordPress is its open-source nature. People create and give away plugins for free. WordPress.com limits the plugins you can use and won’t allow you to upload your own plugins.
- Themes – Similar to plugins you can’t upload or use a theme of your choice. They also limit the use of CSS so you can’t customize anything.
- Accounts – If WordPress.com is not happy with your activity on their platform they can suspend you without warning. They can hold your account indefinitely and not allow you access to any content. If you use the open-source WordPress, you own all elements of the site and have total control.
While WordPress.com doesn’t put a limit on the number of users you can have, it is a very restricted platform. Customizing and modifying your site is far easier using WordPress.org and means you retain total control.
Thankfully there is no arbitrary limit on the number of users a WordPress site can handle. The technologies that WordPress is built on are rock solid. So, the only limiting factor is likely to be your hosting and cache plugins.
Remember, as your site grows the demand for your hosting increases and if you don’t have an adequate hosting provider things will slow down.
Despite not having a user limit either, we recommend avoiding WordPress.com if you want to have control of your site and opt for WordPress.org instead.
Nathan Britten, the founder and editor of Developer Pitstop, is a self-taught software engineer with nearly five years of experience in front-end technologies. Nathan created the site to provide simple, straightforward knowledge to those interested in technology, helping them navigate the industry and better understand their day-to-day roles.