It is certainly not great waking up to a scary warning email from Hostgator.
I was so upset when it happened on Tuesday last week. The email was essentially telling me that the support team of Hostgator have disabled my site (probloggingsuccess.com) since it was causing high loading issues on the server.
I was using shared hosting and I had hosted all my sites on a Baby Plan (aff link).
My first reaction – upset!
In the same email, the support technician has recommended the following:
Try to reduce the number of active plugins on the blog. Especially the following types of plugins were highlighted in the email -
a) All related posts plugins (WordPress Related Posts, YARPP) can cause significantly high load in most cases.
b) WPRobot3 and other auto-posters can also cause high load issues, and should be disabled if they are causing issues.
c) StatPress and other wordpress statistics software should also be disabled, as these too can consume too much CPU in certain cases. Use Google Analytics instead for statistics as well as Awstats which already comes by default on your account.
d) WP Post Views is also a plugin that you’ll want to avoid as it causes significant resource usage.
This gave me some worthy information on what plugins take up too much resources.
Plus they had installed a plugin called “Profiler” which scans and tells me which which plugins take up how much resource (as shown below)
Although I wasn’t able to find this plugin in the WordPress plugin repository, an equivalent of this plugin is P3 (Plugin Performance Profiler).
In the email, the following note was also there:
“Lastly, if you’re using auto-blogging, please keep in mind that in most cases the current production version of Mysql on our shared servers will have significant delays querying databases with over 100MB of data. Future versions may not have that problem as we are always looking for ways to improve performance for our clients. You can check the sizes of your databases in your cPanel under the MySQL section.”
So I got a bit turned down with this and approached support.
Even though they were helpful, I was not happy. I was mourning about this in Facebook and a few nice pals jumped in to console me.
On the second round of support discussion, I was asked to install and configure WP Super Cache plugin and optimize mysql databases, which I did religiously.
And that didn’t help.
On the third round, they found that the plugin Code Colorer was causing over 25% of the usage (however they also noted that the overall usage is twice the acceptable limit).
Here is a detailed breakdown of the plugin impact
OptinSkin – 0.0231 sec – 2.04%
WPSCMagic – 0.0314 sec – 2.76%
Advanced Most Recent Posts Mod – 0.0021 sec – 0.19%
Author hReview – 0.0233 sec – 2.05%
CodeColorer – 0.3292 sec – 28.97%
Comment Redirect by Yoast – 0.0033 sec – 0.29%
Comment Reply Notification – 0.0009 sec – 0.08%
CommentLuv Premium – 0.0977 sec – 8.59%
Contact Form 7 – 0.0576 sec – 5.07%
Contextual Related Posts – 0.0095 sec – 0.84%
Datafeedr Random Ads V2 – 0.0061 sec – 0.54%
Digg Digg – 0.0520 sec – 4.58%
Editorial Calendar – 0.0119 sec – 1.05%
Google Sitemap Generator – 0.0059 sec – 0.52%
Immediate List Building Pro – 0.0404 sec – 3.56%
Limit Login Attempts – 0.0533 sec – 4.69%
Pin Button Attraction for WordPress – 0.0148 sec – 1.30%
Quotes Collection – 0.0457 sec – 4.02%
RSS Footer – 0.0010 sec – 0.09%
ThirstyAffiliates Stats Addon – 0.0117 sec – 1.03%
ThirstyAffiliates – 0.0189 sec – 1.66%
Thumbnail For Excerpts – 0.0073 sec – 0.64%
TimThumb Vulnerability Scanner – 0.0029 sec – 0.26%
TinyMCE Advanced – 0.0083 sec – 0.73%
TOC For WordPress – 0.0023 sec – 0.21%
Tweet old post – 0.0293 sec – 2.57%
Ultimate Tinymce – 0.0574 sec – 5.05%
WordPress Popular Posts – 0.0087 sec – 0.77%
WP Smush.it – 0.0389 sec – 3.42%
Wp Super Cache – 0.0243 sec – 2.14%
WP-Table Reloaded – 0.0165 sec – 1.45%
WpSmartApps Header Bar Domination – 0.0228 sec – 2.01%
Youtube Videos Widget – 0.0717 sec – 6.31%
I got rid of a bunch of plugins.
And after doing this they removed the restrictions, the ticket was closed. I went to bed peacefully.
My peace didn’t last longer
I woke up and there was a new email with the same notification that my sites were taken down again. This time, the suggestion was that there is an occasional spawning of several wp-cron processes. And they directed me to a link
I did everything religiously.
I got rid of WP popular posts and with Quotes collection (that I use to display testimonials in the home page and in the footer), I disabled Ajax reload.
After this the sites came back online.
The next level
I have upgraded to VPS hosting and all the file transfers and DNS transfers were done during the weekend.
Although this adds up to the running cost of the site, I have never hesitated in spending (I mean, investing) for my business.
I always go for the right internet marketing tools and never shy away from investing, coz I take my business seriously!
I wrote this post for three main reasons:
1. I got emails from many of my sincere readers that they were unable to access the site over the past few days. Guest bloggers were unable to make their submissions. I want to let everyone know what happened (although I wrote short replies to everyone, the full story is here).
2. I want blog owners to know that all “unlimited” is really not “unlimited”. Although my shared hosting plan offers unlimited disk space and bandwidth, when I am using up too much resources and CPU, I’m crossing my limit (especially since this is shared hosting and this could affect the others who are sharing the server with me). Plus I also want the blog owners to know which plugins could run them into trouble and what optimization techniques could help.
3. I want to have this post as a reference to myself, should any similar issues occur in the future.
I almost went to a point where I was thinking of switching the hosting – this was because I am one impatient blog owner who is so anxious about my sites being down. Simple.
But the whole point of Hostgator is very reasonable. They’ve been so helpful with sorting out the issues, helping me to optimize my site and also with transferring my sites to the new server. I highly recommend Hostgator to anyone!
Here are some of the useful resources for optimizing your site (got from my discussions with Hostgator support) -
(i) Tips on optimizing your blog – http://support.hostgator.com/articles/specialized-help/technical/wordpress/optimizing-wordpress
(ii) Optimize WordPress installations for use on shared servers (WP Super Cache configuration)- http://support.hostgator.com/articles/specialized-help/technical/wordpress/wp-super-cache-plugin
(iii) Replace WordPress Cron with a real Cron Job – http://wpdailybits.com/blog/replace-wordpress-cron-with-real-cron-job/74
(iv) And if you’re using Commentluv Premium (which I highly recommend) see how you can configure WP Super Cache – http://comluv.com/recommended-settings-for-wp-super-cache-for-commentluv/