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When it comes to shared web hosting accounts, customers will share resources and even the same servers. While many of these resources are plentiful and likely won’t be affected noticeably by even the busiest of websites, there are some certain resources that are more limited, which means that we need to ensure that such resources aren’t consumed by one single site.

Having one website eat up these scant resources can negatively impact overall performance, which is why we have usage maximums for RAM, CPU, I/O, entry processes, and inodes for each individual account. This allows us to ensure the best possible performance for everybody on the shared web hosting service. That said, some users are going to need to increase these maximums on their account, based on their own specific needs. Let’s take a look at each type and see when a user should consider increasing their limit.

CPU

When we say CPU, we’re referring to the amount of central processing units that are available for your account’s requests. This can be a number of things, such as delivering content to site visitors, database writing, script processing, or even loading RAM with data. Simply put, this means that the CPU is the foundation of the rest of your account’s resources.

Servers utilize a variety of CPU cores, so what we do is display the overall percentage of the cores that your server will be able to access.

Reasons to Prioritize Increasing CPU

If your website depends on scripts (PHP, for example) or uses a database, then increasing the CPU of your account can really pay off. Here are some other common reasons to focus upgrading the CPU limit:

  • If you have a large amount of traffic.
  • If you have add-ons from third parties such as plug-ins or themes.
  • If your PHP is not configured optimally.
  • If your code is outdated or not written well.

RAM

RAM, or “random access memory,” can be a very critical part of your server. Some of the specific things it can provide include the following:

  • RAM is the quickest option when it comes to loading data for your website.
  • More RAM means less stress on your CPU when it comes to the amount of data it must convert from hard storage.
  • Scripts, such as PHP, will have much more time to work before running out of space.

Basically, increasing RAM means the server can handle more complex jobs and will run faster.

Reasons to Prioritize Increasing RAM

When you increase your RAM, your account’s general performance will increase, so it’s good to upgrade your account’s RAM limitation if you want your website running quicker.

While your first instinct may be to increase RAM when running into 503 or 500 errors, it’s possible that this can actually be a result of engineering and not a cause of exceeding limitations.

Oftentimes, exceeding limitations can come from a bad script or a plug-in that hasn’t been properly configured. Simply increasing RAM can fix this temporarily, but the same problems may slowly rework themselves back up to the new limitation. If this is the case with your site, focus on fixing those individual elements before increasing the RAM.

That said, you may indeed just have a very busy site. If this is the case, then increasing RAM is the right way to go.

I/O

I/O, which means “input / output,” is essentially the speed that your data travels at when it’s moving from hard memory to RAM. This, of course, means increasing its speed will make the process much faster.

Reasons to Prioritize Increasing I/O

This can be hard to tell at first, as you can’t really go past the limit like you can with other resources. Rather than exceeding the limitation, the site will just wait around for the information to pass from the hard disk to the RAM, which can cause lagging or hanging.

Truly knowing the right time to increase I/O will also require understanding how the website was constructed. The majority of websites that regularly need to monitor and increase their I/O include sites that deal with database records or live streaming. Essentially, this is any website that reads and writes lots of data. With that said, I/O can still be tricky, as simply increasing it is not going to resolve all issues that are related to lagging.

Files

When referring to file usage, we’re talking about the amount of inodes on the account. That being said, it’s important to understand that an inode is a lot more than just a file; it’s a data point that is used to reference a directory or a file in Linux systems. It gets more complex than that, too, as a number of different inodes can actually reference the exact same directory or file.

It can be confusing when you get into the specifics, but it’s generally accurate to say that the amount of inodes will equal the amount of directories and the amount of files.

One other thing to keep in mind is that our accounts will consider each stored email and each email folder as a separate inode.

Reasons to Prioritize Increasing File Usage

If you simply need to increase the amount of directories, files, or emails on your account, then bringing in additional inodes is a way to fix the problem quickly.

Aside from that, it’s possible for you to have a plug-in or a script that’s making too many directories or files in your account. If this is the underlying problem, then a simple file usage increase isn’t going to address the issue. You’ll need to go identify and fix the script/plug-in directly.

Entry Processes

To put it simply, “entry processes” represent the amount of simultaneous connections your account can handle at any one time. It’s important to understand just what it is that constitutes such a connection, so let’s take a closer look:

  • Having data delivered by HTTP
  • Having data transferred by your hosting account through SSH
  • Processing a Cron job

That said, it’s important to realize that these connections only count while they’re actually processing. Once they’ve been completed, they stop counting as a process.

Reasons to Prioritize Increasing Entry Processes

While calculating and fully understanding them may be difficult, knowing when you need to increase entry processes can be pretty straight forward. When you see 508 errors (the ones that say “Resource Limit Reached”), you’ll know it’s time to upgrade your entry processes.

GreenGeeks offers a wide variety of web hosting options that tailor to your website’s growing needs. Simply get in touch with one of our sales staff, and we would be more than happy to help you make the required upgrades to ensure your website is getting the resources it needs.

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