Why is my website hitting CPU, RAM or general LVE limits?

Tips and Guides/ 27th Nov 2017/Will Cook-Martin

There is nothing more frustrating than a website being down because it’s hitting LVE limits on a shared or reseller hosting package. Especially after you’ve spent all that time developing it and even more time trying to get traffic to your website.

This guide will explain why you may be hitting these limits and what you can do to avoid them in the future.

Why is my website hitting CPU, RAM or general LVE limits?

There are a number of reasons that your website may be hitting resource limits. It could be any one of the following or all of them. If you find that implementing one of the changes has a positive effect, do also try the others as well.

No cache in place

If you use a CMS (Content Management System) such as WordPress, Drupal etc. and you don’t have a cache plugin in place, we recommend that you put one in place now.

Why do I need to use cache?
Most modern websites rely on a database to do a lot of the heavy lifting and avoid repetitive coding. Whilst this makes things easier from a coding perspective, it puts extra strain on the server hosting your content.

Whenever a user visits your site, not only does your server have to process the static content (images, CSS and JavaScript), it also has to fetch data from the database. All this data processing, particularly on lesser powered hosting environments inevitably leads to slower page load speeds.

By putting caching in place, your visitors are served a static version of the page, which does not require any database calls (or at least far less). This has two benefits:
1. Your site will load more quickly
2. your server will be put under far less strain.

Excessive Plugin Usage

If you use a CMS such as WordPress, the chances are that you use a number of plugins. WordPress is great in that there are a number of plugins, either paid or free, that will enable a feature you need with little or no development experience required. The problem with plugins is that there is little to no auditing on code quality, which can result in excessive server resource usage.

The more plugins you have installed, the more resource they use and the slower your site will be. It’s a bit like a computer, it’s quick and responsive when it’s new but the more software you install on it, the further performance degrades.

Review your plugins/extensions. Do you really need that feature or is it a nice to have? Also if you have any plugins/extensions installed that you are not using them, remove them now – they are a security risk otherwise.

Traffic Spikes

Traffic spikes are a dilemma for a website owner. Assessing whether the traffic is sustained or temporary, often involves a lot of guesswork. This means that deciding whether to upgrade your server hosting can be a difficult decision.

In some cases you may find that offloading some of the traffic to a CDN solution such as Cloudflare, reduces the load on the server sufficiently enough to handle the spikes in traffic. If you are using WordPress you can follow this guide to do so – https://www.clook.net/blog/integrate-cloudflare-wordpress/

Still hitting limits?

If you have followed the above suggestions and you are still hitting limits, you really need to think about an upgrade path. Shared and reseller accounts are perfect for websites with low to moderate traffic. They are not intended to run sites with high levels of traffic or ecommerce stores.

If you are hitting limits and you would some options, please give us a call. We’ll happily suggest a cost effective option that is tailored to your requirements.

Worried it’s going to cost the earth? Don’t, our shared+ packages, which double RAM and CPU limits are only an additional £5 per month

Will's our technical sales guy from the hills of Rossendale. A follower of Stoke City, father to Eddie, husband to Catherine and a fan of gadgets - oh and he's recently mastered the art of really slow DIY.
We have a very strong team here at Clook and we build on everyone's strengths and weaknesses, you have to be able to make a good brew too!

Chris James

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