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Wordpress site exceeds resource usage in shared hosting plan

Discussion in 'Hosting & Domains' started by Shekhar, Feb 24, 2016.

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  1. Hi,

    I want some expert's opinion on this problem.

    I converted my main website from html to wordpress during the latter half of 2015 and in the beginning of Jan 2016, I make the site live. However, the moment the site (now a wordpress blog) came alive, it resulted a high shoot up in the resource usage of my host server. ( I am on a shared (Turbo) plan of Site5 )

    However, a few weeks ago, I got an email from Site5 stating that my website has been using too much resources on their shared server and I was asked to reduce my resource usage or else upgrade to their VPS plan. They gave me a 7 day deadline for this.

    It was a surprising news for me because my site (Wordpress based) attracts only a total of 1600-1700 visitors per day. Most of the traffic is organic (Search engine) and no discussion (Forum etc) module is there that may result in excess server usage by few users. Therefore, I was quite surprised as to how and why such low performing site can burden the resource of Site5's server.

    Nevertheless, I took steps to reduce my resource usages: These includes installing Wp-Total Cache plugin, Deactivating Wordpress Heart Beat API (which was triggering admin-ajax.php on every page load) and finally putting it through Cloudflare's server.

    However, despite this, there had been almost no reduction whatsoever in the resource usage of my website. This is really frustrating.

    Then, I installed the P-3 profiler plugin to study the resource usage of my wordpress blog. I found that the Thrive Lead Plugin, Uber Menu, W3 Total Cache and Wordfence were the biggest resource gobblers. I deactivated them all (except Wordfence). Instead of Total Cache, I installed Hypercache extended (which uses almost one fourth of the resources). After this, there has been considerable reduction in plugin's usage of resource.

    However, the above reduction in plugin was still not enough to bring my site to the permissible level of Site5. Their Turbo plan (which is their best plan for shared hosting) allows only 600 resource point per day. My website, even after doing so mush optimization was utilizing 2500 points a day.

    Site5 staff, instead of working with me further to optimize my site, refused to give me any further time and instead upgrade me to their VPS plan (requiring $75/month) by stating that their shared server cannot tolerate huge activities being generated from my sites.

    Since my site is basically a hobby site with very little revenue, the VPS model is simply not affordable to me and I have to change my host.

    Before I change my host, I have following questions: -

    (1) Is it normal for a wordpress site generating 1400-1500 visitors per day to exceed the resource usgae limit 4-5 times than the permisible one?

    (2) I am afraid that if the resource usage was a real issue, the same problem would come at my new host also. The problem is that being a webmsater with very limited network/server's knowledge, it is very difficult for me to find the real cause of my excess resource usage. Is there any newbie friendly guide that can help me reduce resource usage of my sites?

    (3) Has anybody among you faced such problem in past. How did you deal with it? Any other reliable host you can recommend in this situation for me?


    Regards,

    Shekhat
     
  2. Hi Shekhat.

    Sorry to hear about the problems you have had with your website hosting.

    1,700 visitors per day is a lot of traffic for a WordPress website on a shared hosting plan due to the resources that WordPress plugins can use (RAM, CPU time etc). I am surprised that they didn't bring the issue up sooner. Most hosting companies promote shared hosting plans as having unlimited resources, but no company can offer unlimited hosting resources.

    Site5 doesn't look like they are promoting unlimited resources. Their turbo plan, which costs $11.95 per month, states that their turbo plan is suitable for 100,000 daily visitors per month. That is around 3,000 or so visitors per day; so you are well within the limits they advertise. That being said, their shared hosting plans are only allocated a certain amount of RAM, storage, and CPU time. Your website is clearly using more resources than what they allocated to you.

    Whilst Site5 should be given credit for not offering unlimited resources in their marketing material, it is clear that they are not being up front about resource limits to their customers. Unfortunately, if a customer does not want to upgrade, many hosting companies cease offering a good service. They just want rid of you are you are using up more resources than what you wanted to use.

    (1) Is it normal for a wordpress site generating 1400-1500 visitors per day to exceed the resource usgae limit 4-5 times than the permisible one?

    You need to recogise that you are not paying a lot of money for your hosting set up. Hosting companies sell shared hosting packages on the assumption that most customers will get next to no traffic; however, you are generating 1,500 visitors per day.

    In comparison, my personal blog generates about 1,000 visitors per day and is on a fast dedicated server. You probably have less than one hundredth of the resources I have at my disposal and your blog generates 50% more traffic.

    To put it bluntly, you are not paying a lot of money for website hosting and should ideally upgrade to a package that offers more resources.

    (2) I am afraid that if the resource usage was a real issue, the same problem would come at my new host also. The problem is that being a webmsater with very limited network/server's knowledge, it is very difficult for me to find the real cause of my excess resource usage. Is there any newbie friendly guide that can help me reduce resource usage of my sites?

    You are asking the right questions Shekhar. :)

    You can definitely reduce the resources your website is using.

    You have taken the right steps and analysed your plugins and looked at which ones are problematic. That is a great start.

    Next thing to do is to deactivate any WordPress plugins that are not actively being used. For example, WordPress plugins for functionality that is not being used; be it for a widget or whatever.

    Then review all of the remaining WordPress plugins and ask yourself "Is this WordPress plugin necessary?". You need to be really ruthless during this stage and remove any WordPress plugins that are not absolutely necessary.

    You mentioned using HyperCache. You should also consider using a Content Delivery Network. Consider giving CloudFlare initially as they are free to use. With them delivering static copies of your website to visitors, you are going to greatly reduce the requests from your hosting account. Therefore, CPU and RAM usage etc will all be reduced.

    (3) Has anybody among you faced such problem in past. How did you deal with it? Any other reliable host you can recommend in this situation for me?

    Every website owner eventually outgrows their shared hosting plan. Later they outgrow their VPS plan. As a website generates more traffic, you will need more resources to host that website. Cause and effect.

    Even if you reduce the amount of resources your website uses, I would still recommend upgrading to a VPS plan so that your website content is delivered quicker. This will ensure pages load quicker for visitors; which will help with search engine rankings too.

    I would recommend moving to another hosting company.

    Check out my VPS hosting guide on my blog (part of my hosting guide). There are hosting companies out there offering VPS plans from only $10 per month. You could end up getting more hosting resources for less than what you are paying just now.

    Please remember, however, that you sometimes get what you pay for. Many hosting companies offering cheap hosting plans cut corners in some way, whether it be in hardware, support, or whatever.

    Feel free to ask any questions you have about this here. I will do my best to point you in the right direction :)

    Kevin
     
  3. Hi Kevin,

    Thanks a lot for your detailed clarification. It is really a revelation for me that a wordpress site attracting 1500-1700 visitors a day can't fit even on on the best shared plan of a webhost. I will call it a revelation because the same site in its previous avatar of a static html website was attracting 2000 visitors per day for the past 7 years and not even a single time I was asked by my webhosts (previously it was Hostgator) to tame the resource usage. My reason for converting the site into a wordpress was to make it responsive as, with the advent of mobile traffic, it had started loosing the traffic to other responsive sites. Now, while the site is fully responsive and looks great in all device sizes, it is gobbling 4-5 times more resources that it used to do earlier. Perhaps a big draw back of using wordpress based sites.

    It is really frustrating when you do something to achieve a particular objective and find that the so called objective (responsiveness in my case) comes bundled with other (& bigger) problem. Had I been aware of such outcome, I would have never attempted to take the wordpress route !

    On the revenue front, I am not seeing any increase in my earning even after the new design. The site, being in meditation niche, does not have good affiliate programs and was being maintained by me on a self-sustaining basis in my part time (I am still on a 9-5 routine of day job. Only in my case it is 9-7 actually). The site5's beginning VPS plan cost $75/month). This is simply not an option for me.

    Thanks for suggesting other VPS host to me Kevin. I found that the cheapest VPS plan of $10 month from Stablehost is an unmanaged one and I'll have to spend another $30 for their managed add-on.

    Really some tough time for me.

    In any case, thanks a lot Kevin for clarifying these things to me. It will surely help me take a conscious decision about my site.

    Regards,

    Shekhar
     
  4. Hi Shekhar.

    You need to think about what is actually happening when someone visits your website.

    Previously, when someone visited a page on your website they had to send a request to your server to download a static HTML file, any images displayed on the page, and any files referenced in the header, such as CSS or Javascript.

    The situation is different with a WordPress website.

    When someone visits a page, the content needs to be retrieved from multiple rows in your database. A large number of files also have to be accessed. We are not just talking about design files such as HTML, PHP, CSS, Javascript etc. You also need to think about all of the pages that need to be executed every time a page is loaded.

    For example, one WordPress plugin might add an additional few requests to your server. That is just one WordPress plugin. Now think of all the PHP code, CSS code, HTML code, Javascript code etc, that all of your WordPress plugins need to access. All of this information needs to be retrieved every single time someone loads a page on your website.

    This process is minimised by the use of caching, but it still does occur.

    I encourage you to start new discussion threads on Rise Forums regarding these issues:
    • Optimising your WordPress website so that it loads quicker and uses up less hosting resources (be sure to share your website URL)
    • Monetising your website; A website generating that amount of traffic should be able to earn enough money to pay for hosting it
    There are a lot of affordable VPS plans out there so keep on looking. There are also some great affordable cloud hosting plans.

    Don't worry. We will help you get all of this resolved :)

    Kevin
     
  5. @Shekhar could you share link to your website?
    I have some thoughts, but I'd like to see it first :)
     
  6. ################################################################
    @Shekhar could you share link to your website?
    I have some thoughts, but I'd like to see it first :)

    ################################################################

    Yes. Here it is : http://www.meditationiseasy.com/
     
  7. Thanks for sharing your website Shekhar.

    I encourage you to update your signature and add your website to it.

    With regards to monetisation, I would display adsense ads in better positions. For example, a large banner underneath your navigation bar. You could also display your sidebar banner in between the sections that are listed. This will lead to a much higher conversion rate.

    With regards to the performance of your website, your website is loading very slowly. Using a benchmark service such as GTmetrix will help explain what needs addressed. The vast majority of these issues would be resolved by using a good caching solution and a content delivery network.
     
  8. Kevin Muldoon likes this.
  9. Hi Kevin & Kris,

    Thanks a lot for your kind help and suggestions. Seems I am in the good company of real geeks :)

    I will be doing the tweaks as suggested by you and let you know.

    Regards,

    Shekhar
     
    Kevin Muldoon likes this.
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