What should I do if my account uses excessive resources?

Any time our systems administrators flag your account for excessive resource usage, we try to provide the option to either reduce your resource usage, or upgrade your account to a VPS or Dedicated platform.

In some cases it may not be possible to decrease your usage to levels that are acceptable on a shared hosting platform. Sites that require larger databases or are controlled by server-driven software (like PHP, Python, and Perl) and/or have larger images and files being hosted naturally require more resources in order the function properly. Resources usage intensifies as traffic increases, which is why higher-traffic server-interactive sites tend to outgrow a shared platform more easily than static HTML sites. If your site is generally too resource-intensive for a shared system, an upgrade may be in your best interest.

Keep in mind, we cannot offer programming assistance or support for third-party software, and we cannot provide definitive solutions to decrease your usage. However, when possible we can offer tips and suggestions that have helped other customers in similar situations.

Any site has the potential to be resource intensive, but some software has a greater potential to use more system resources than others. Software we commonly see associated with high resource usage are listed below:

Enabling Caching

Since PHP and MySQL are server-side languages, the server has to compile every PHP page and process every MySQL query. If your site uses PHP or MySQL , caching can reduce your resource usage and improve the performance of your website load times. Caching stores PHP pages as static HTML files, so the next time the page is loaded, the HTML page is loaded instead. If you are using a Content Management System such as WordPress or Drupal, you likely have a caching system in place or can download a third party plugin to help with caching.

Optimizing MySQL 

As databases grow they may need to be re-indexed. Indexing databases help speed up how data is retrieved when a query is ran. This reduces how hard the server has to work to get the data. Think of database indexes as a table of contents in a book. The index or table of contents allows the server to go to the specific place where the data is stored without having to “read” the entire database.

The easiest way to accomplish this is by logging into your cPanel > phpMyAdmin and running the ‘optimize’ or ‘repair’ commands against your database. Please read our article on How to Use phpMyAdmin to optimize a database.

Enabling Hotlink Protection

Hotlinking is more common with sites that serve a lot of images, such as gallery sites. Hotlinking is a term that describes when another site directly links to images on your site, and is generally frowned upon and described as “bandwidth stealing.” You can enable hotlink protection in your cPanel, but be sure to include your addon/parked/sub-domains in the ‘allow’ list so that all your sites function properly. Please see our article on Enabling Hotlink Protection for more information.

Using a Robots.txt File

Search engines and robots can account for a large percentage of a site’s traffic, and most of this traffic can be unnecessary so reducing it can save a lot of resources on the server. You don’t want to eliminate search engines altogether, but you should restrict them from being able to access directories that don’t contain content you need indexes, and you should block unfamiliar bots and spiders that are frequenting your site. You can identify the spiders and bots crawling your site by looking at your AWstats, and restrict their activity using a robots.txt file. Also, they may be crawling youor website too quickly. You can use Webmaster Tools to set a crawl delay to help in this case. Please see our article on how to block search engines from crawling my site and our article on how to set a crawl delay using Webmaster Tools.

Upgrading your hosting plan

If your website is using a large amount of system resource it isn’t always an issue with the site or coding. It’s not uncommon for popular websites to start out on a shared hosting platform and eventually outgrow it.

If this is the case, typically our systems administrator’s will notify you of the plan you’ll need to upgrade to that will provide minimum platform requirements to meet your site’s resource usage. For more information please see our article on upgrading your hosting package in AMP.

In most cases when you choose to upgrade we will handle moving your account over to the VPS or Dedicated server, and most moves do not result in downtime for your site(s).

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