How to Address Excessive Resource Usage on a Web Hosting Account

The problem of high resource usage is not uncommon with shared hosting accounts. Web hosts take this very seriously because it can sometimes affect the performance of other websites on the same server. Usually, you will get a notification to address the issue or face a suspension. If you see a warning or a suspension of your hosting account that states your account has been flagged for excessive resource usage, then you should contact your web host to resolve it and consider these steps needed to reduce your resource usage. We offer some general suggestions on ways to reduce your resource usage below.

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These suggestions will usually apply to our shared and reseller hosting clients. Because of the nature of shared hosting, it may sometimes not be possible to decrease your resource usage to acceptable levels essentially because websites that develop or require large databases or are controlled by software running on the server will typically require more resources in order to function properly. Some sites therefore will naturally outgrow the shared hosting environment and will need to function with more dedicated resources. As a result, heavy traffic sites and those with large customer base like social networks will not be suitable for shared environments.

Generally speaking, Todhost technical support ma not assist you with programming assistance for your third party software like WordPress, we may sometimes attempt to address issues detected and offer positive recommendations to customers to help them address problems.

Some software actually use a lot of resources and this is commonly associated with the well known and popular content management systems. We will in this post provide some guide and what to do if you run some the popular platforms. The approach apply to most other content management systems and so can be used to address load issues with every other kind of website. HTML websites are not known to cause load issues but it will be a good option to speed up their performance with practices as caching and compression.

Here are our suggestions on how how to manage resource usage to avoid the red flag and a possible service disruption:

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Enabling Caching

Caching had been an effective way to address high load issues on servers especially with websites built with content management systems like Joomla, WordPress, Magento, Drupal, and others. What caching does is to save a copy of your web page on the server like a static page. Subsequent visits to that age will load the saved coy instead of loading the entire page along with all the applications that load on the page. Caching is highly recommended, caching reduces your resource usage and improve the performance of your website load times. If you are using a Content Management System such as WordPress or Drupal, you likely have a caching system in place inbuilt into the system. There are also very effective caching plugins and components for every CMS.

Caching Solutions with Popular Content Management Systems )CMS).

  • Joomla

Caching in Joomla is effective with the default Joomla caching system.. Joomla comes with a caching plugin and also need some configuration within the global configuration area. To enable caching in Joomla, you will need to login to the Joomla backend, navigate to global configuration and turn on the caching system. We recommend using the pprogressive caching sstem. Next, you go to the plugin system under extensions and located the system cache. By default, system cache will be sisabled, you will smply need to turn it on.

  • WordPress

The best wa to cache a WordPress website is to use a caching plugin. Here are the top six WordPress caching solutions we recommend:

The Cache Enabler

This is a great caching solution and ranks top among WordPress caching solutions in a recent 2017 test. It actually appear to be the best and most effective caching plugin around and definitely gets our nod. The cache enabler can reduce your load time under 1 second if every other setting on your WordPress had been well optimized. Moreover, it is a free plugin.

WP Super Cache is another great one here – by our recommendation, it comes just behind Cache Enabler. It is great as it can also speed up your WordPress website under 2 seconds.

WP Fastest Cache is also a great caching solution. just keeping configuration at default, WP Fastest Cache can keep your website at an excellent speed under 1 second.

WP Rocket is good for caching also. It is not a free solution but did well bringing speed below 2 seconds. For us, speeds that come below 2 seconds are just great for any website. One thing that counts for WP Rocket While many people love it for its ease of use, available data on the performance of free plugins like Cache Enabler show that you don’t necessarily have to pay to get the best performance possible in terms of caching on a WordPress website.

W3 Total Cache, requires some understanding to properly configure it for the best results. However, with default configuration you will find this plugin an effective solution to cache your WordPress website.

  • Drupal

Caching in Drupal will depend on the version of Drupal you are running. Drupal 8, the current version as at the time of this post comes with built-in caching solution.

Drupal 6.x:

Go to Site Configuration
Select Performance
Under the Caching mode section, select Normal
Under the Block cache section, select Enabled
Save the changes by clicking on Save Configuration

Drupal 7.x:

Go to Configuration on the top menu
Click on the Performance link
Locate the Caching section and click on the checkbox labeled Cache Blocks
Click Save Configuration to save changes

Drupal 8.x:

Drupal 8 has its Page Cache and the Dynamic Page Cache module enabled by default. So you need not anything about caching as your website will already be using the cache functionality if running on Drupal 8.

  • Enabling Cache in Magento

Magento is about the 4th most popular CMS and the most widely used for e-commerce. Magento as you may well now is an e-commerce store CMS.. That means it is built to handle heavy traffic and if cache is disabled on a Magento website, there is probably no way it will be permitted on a shared server. The issue of load had been Magento's biggest problem and so we recommend despite all efforts to address load problems that you do not try to run a Magento store on a shared server. Our minimum recommendation is a VPS. Here is a guide on how you can enable cache on your Magento store:

Magento has an inbuilt caching system and that is what we will show you how to implement here by following these steps:

1. Log into the Magento admin panel

2. Navigate to System > Cache Management

3. Click the “select all” button in the top left hand side of the page, in order to select all caching methods available

4. Click the drop down box, next to “Actions” in the top right area of the page, change this to enable

5. Press the “Submit” button

That's it. You have now enabled Magento's built in caching system.

Optimizing MySQL

When your data is large, it is important to check and clean it up to help the server and speed up data retrieval. Properly maintained SQL databases make it easier for the server to get the data. In order to manage your database, you simply need to login to the Cpanel. > The MySQL databases an phpMyAdmin options can be used to manage 'optimize' or 'repair' the database.

You can optimize a MySQL database, from the database section of your cPanel. Simply follow these steps:

Log in to cPanel.
In the Databases section of the cPanel, click phpMyAdmin.
In the left hand side showing all databases, click the name of the database that you want to optimize.

Now you select the check boxes for the tables in the database that you want to optimize.
To select all of the tables at once, select the Check All check box.
Now select Optimize table. phpMyAdmin will inform you whether or not the optimization process is successful.

Repairing MySQL databases

Databases can become corrupted, there are several reasons a database could be corrupted. Some of the reasons a database can be corrupted will include software defects and hardware issues. If this occurs, you can try to repair database tables using phpMyAdmin.

To repair MySQL database tables, do the following:

Log in to cPanel.
In the Databases section of the cPanel, click phpMyAdmin.
In the left side, click the name of the database that you want to work on.

In the right, select the check boxes for the tables in the database that you want to repair.
To select all of the tables at once, select the Check All check box.
In the With selected list box, select Repair table. phpMyAdmin informs you whether or not the repair process is successful.

Using Hotlink Protection

Hotlinking as a term describes when another site directly links to images on your site. This is quite normal and will be found with many websites using images not originating from them. This implies that when someone clicks on an image that you have added to your website, your server pays the penalty to serve that image out to the third-party website. This is known as "bandwidth stealing." You can prevent this with hotlink protection which is easily enabled in your cPanel. Be sure to include your addon/parked/sub-domains in the 'allow' list so that all your sites function properly.

To enable hotlink protection, you need to login section of our cPanel and follow these steps:

In the Security section of the cPanel home screen, click HotLink Protection.
Click Enable.
In the URLs to allow access text box, type the URLs of the web sites that can access your files.
In the Block direct access for these extensions text box, type the file extensions for which you want to block direct access.
Image files and other multimedia files, such as video files, are often hotlinked.
In the Redirect request to this URL text box, you can optionally type a URL. Users from blocked sites will see this page instead of the hotlinked file.
Click Submit and that will be all.

To disable hotlink protection is quite simple. Once you are logged in to cPanel, in the Security section of the cPanel home screen, click HotLink Protection and click Disable.

Using a Robots.txt File

You can use the robo.txt file to reduce load on your server. When visitors have access to all your files and folders because the search engines indexed them, this laces pressure on your server as unnecessary queries come from the search engines. You can address this by using the robot.txt file to give instructions to the search engines on what to index and what not to crawl and index.

Here is a sample robots.txt file

User-agent: *
Disallow: /cgi-bin/
Disallow: /admin/
Disallow: /attachments/
Disallow: /includes/
Disallow: /downloads/
Disallow: /lang/
Disallow: /modules/
Disallow: /templates/

The robots.txt file instructs Google not to index these folders. Files can also be added to the robots.txt file. To create this file, you can simply use the cPanel file manager to create a new file and paste the contents above into the page and save. You will need to edit and customize the file to match the file system of our website.

Preventing IMAP Activity

MAP simply means Internet Mail Access Protocol. It allows you to access your mail from different devices. You only access the mail and the copy remains in your mail box.

Imagine that your mail box has a lot of emails and each time mails will be accessed, the headers will have to be synchronized which takes time and resources. That places some load on your server.

Resource usage and high load are sometimes attributed to large IMAP email accounts. So you can see that with IMAP excessive resource usage can easily occur when too many users on the account have large IMAP email accounts. The server may often use a large portion of CPU activity simply synchronizing large email accounts. The best way to prevent this is to utilize offline folders and simple prevention limits on email accounts so as not to tax the network and to switch to POP3(Post Office Protocol). But switching will require uninstalling IMAP and installing POP3.

Last Words

There are cases where load issues could be attributed to code error and exploitation of your website script and applications. In such cases, a technical assistance should be sought from the script developer. Notwithstanding, following these recommendations are good and mostly applicable to most cases of high load. Checking for these problems and applying the necessary fix can be a good way to keep you safe from any penalty resulting from high load.

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