Support » Fixing WordPress » What’s causing my WordPress to be so slow?

  • Sometimes my WordPress blog works flawlessly and other times it’s so slow it just times out. Once that happens it stays like that for a while. I’ve never been able to accurately calculate how long it’s down but I’d guess 15-45 minutes. I can’t seem to cause it to force the time out – it’s rather random.

    I have the most recent version of WordPress installed and always stay up to date with the most recent release and upgrade my plugins.

    I have a wimpy PHP memory limit of 32MB but have only hit an all time high of 22MB.

    I get so-so ping times. I just averaged 150 ms through an online tool. When my site does load though it loads fine.

    I’ve even checked CPU load and it’s coming up at around 0.04%!

    Any ideas on what’s causing my WordPress to choke up? I’m on a really cheap shared hosting plan (the kind that’s $30 a year with “unlimited” stuff!). If someone else on the server is using a resource intensive process or sucking up all the available bandwidth could it hinder my site’s performance to the point of temporarily knocking it offline?

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  • If someone else on the server is using a resource intensive process or sucking up all the available bandwidth could it hinder my site’s performance to the point of temporarily knocking it offline?

    Yes, this is a very common problem about web hosting companies. Bandwidth is normally only an issue if there is a Denial of Service attack underway by some hackers against any site on the same server. Much more common is the server workload (CPU usage).

    Try monitoring Server Load using the System Management interface provided by your web host. cPanel is the most common. There, you click on the link by Service Status, and watch the number by Server Load — hit Refresh frequently whenever WordPress is “hanging” in another browser tab.

    In extreme situations, the cPanel display will hang too.

    I’m having a different, but related, problem.

    My site ( is running the latest updates of everything. Has over 300 posts.

    Normal traffic is about 2000-2500 unique visitors/day. It’s been getting a bit sluggish, but tolerable.

    Yesterday, an article hit Digg, and brought in about 30,000 unique visitors. The cpu was frequently throttled at the web host end (Bluehost), leading to downtime. I could not access the back end at all until it slowed down. (I’d had 45,000 hits in a day once, that was in July. Far less content at that time. No major disruption at that time.)

    Their service folks informed me that there were several hundred thousand database queries in short periods. I figured that the modest traffic load couldn’t cause that alone; his response:

    Actually it does, since your using wordpress all settings, pages, links, images… all of those are mysql queries. wordpress is a very heavy mysql/php script that dynamically generates everything on the page. If you want your site to be efficient, you should make static HTML pages instead of load generating php processes that generate the HTML code for frequently accessed pages.

    Your mysql Can’t Connect errors are due to the amount of connections your site is attempting to make the database. For every page that’s it viewed, refreshed, or clicked on, about a dozen or more mysql queries result to generate the page.

    Each php process uses the cpu to generate the script, the more that do this, the more cpu is used and the more your account is throttled. More throttling occurs the longer it takes for the php process to execute. The longer the mysql is held open the more chance that the connection limit will be reached or the mysql will time out.

    Therefore the amount of visitors to your site has an almost exponential growth factor to the performance limitations on your account.

    I assume I’m not the only person who has been running into this problem, but either my forum-searching skills are inadequate, or there isn’t much here.

    Does anyone have any brilliant ideas to improve the efficiency?

    Note: During the peak, the Web Optimizer plugin was running.



    Forum Moderator

    The following article should be able to help tremendously:

Viewing 6 replies - 1 through 6 (of 6 total)
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