One of the biggest drawbacks when using shared hosting is the usage of resources on the servers. As most websites today are running scripts, they can be rather resource intensive and may be juicing out all your resources or even getting your account banned! I am writing this guide to help you optimize your website and understand what are the tools you need in order to get your websites running smoothly.
So here’s the story… Earlier, one of my websites was heavily affected due to over usage of server resouces and was banned from my hosting, I didn’t know what it was about due my low-tech knowledge on hosting and what’s taking up my server resources. As the site was banned, it is affecting both my visitors as well as my income therefore I had to find a better way to deal with the problem and here is all my findings and how you too can optimize your websites to run faster as well as running on less load on your current hosting servers.
First of all… what’s eating up all your resources on your hosting server?
Here’s my list of things to keep an eye on:
2. Unoptimized Image files
3. Large files
4. Large Scripts that uses SQL Databases
5. Bad Traffic/Bots and Spiders
No. 1 – Plugins
If you are an avid user of wordpress like me you will be at some point use quite a number of plugins to do certain things on your website, however having too many plugins running can use up a lot of memory, especially plugins that are built to take up a lot of resources. Therefore do note that going lightweight is always better then going heavy on the memory. There could be many functions that you don’t need or never used, eliminating those plugins can help you reduce load on your server and making less SQL quries will help you get better load-times significantly.
No.2 – Unoptimized Image Files
This can be overlooked at times as images can be easily uploaded to the server, but images can also put a lot of load on the server as well when you are getting a considerable amount of traffic. It’s simple math, it all adds up per visitor and so on. Having your images optimized is a pro-active way to reduce load on your server. Alternatively you can also use CDN services to help take away the heavy loads from your hosting server. I’ll talk a about CDN a bit later.
No.3 – Large Files
It is a common mistake to upload everything to your hosting service, actually you don’t have to and it is advicable that you plan where your files will be hosted. I don’t like the idea of putting all your eggs into one basket, in this case the large files can become a burden, therefore if it is not important files, I will host it on other file hosting services instead of my website hosting service.
No.4 – Large Scripts That Uses SQL Databases
Some scripts can be very intentsive and they need a lot of resources to run, at the same time it also makes a lot of SQL quries, some shared hosting services have a caps on the SQL quries they make in an hour, so using resource intensive scripts on your shared hosting may put your website in jepoardy.
No.5 Bad Traffic/Bots and Spiders
Unknowingly at times, it can be rather annoying because you don’t know where they come from and why they are taking up resources from your server. You can block off certain bad traffic and bots from accessing to your server and disallowing them to take away your resources like bandwidth, server processing power.
A brief look at using CDN services
This is one of the things I would highly recommend. Using a reliable CDN service is a great way to take away some of the load from your server, as CDN services distributes your content across the web, accessing to your website can speed up significantly.
Here’s 2 of the best CDN services that I highly recommend. Both have a free service, but the paid ones will always be better with more security and it is highly recommended.