How does the CPU usage affect the functionality of my account and what happens if I reach the limit?

Each hosting account has specific limitations, which, if exceeded, may cause general problems for the server and the eventual suspension of the hosting account. One such very important limitation is the CPU usage allowed for a given account.

High CPU load can be caused by many factors in your account – a mis-configured add-on or plug-in for one of your scripts, a cron job, which executes a heavy command in short intervals – all those things may lead to exceeding the allowed CPU usage for your account. Since such an overload may happen suddenly and unexpectedly, we are using an automated system, which monitors the CPU usage of your account and generates daily statistics, which you can see in the Live Stats > Load Stats section of your Web Hosting Control Panel.

Whenever your account exceeds the CPU usage limit, an email is sent to you to notify you about this. This email includes the exact CPU usage percentage and the time that you have to resolve the issue. Usually you have 24 or 48 hours to take action and reduce the CPU usage. Should the CPU usage of your account still be over the limit after this period has passed, our system automatically suspends your hosting account, which results in downtime for all websites hosted in your account.

So, what can you do if your account is suspended for CPU overload reasons? You can request your account to be activated in order to get the issue resolved. However, please keep in mind the following:

  1. Once you have requested the activation of your account, it is up to you to make sure that the high CPU usage problem is resolved
  2. Our system monitors the CPU usage constantly and it will automatically warn you via email and suspend the account should your account exceed the limit again
  3. If you are not able to reduce the CPU usage you should consider an upgrade or even moving to a VPS, dedicated or semi-dedicated server. You can ask our support staff for the available options.

The high CPU usage may have been caused by a number of reasons and there are three sections in the control panel which can help you find out more about the original reason for the problem:

First of all, please check on the Traffic Stats section of your control panel and take into account three very important parameters – the number of hits on your site(s) – a very popular site generates a large number of hits and if they are made in short periods of time the rise in the CPU usage is inevitable.

The second parameter is how much data (measured in KB) has been downloaded from the site – if for instance you have a download section with big files and thy are downloaded regularly, please consider lowering the amount of files of their size only temporary in order to see if the problem is truly originating from there. And finally the third parameter – a table which will show you which are the most visited parts of your web site. If for instance you have a video store, the first places in that chart will be your site’s main page and the video files themselves.
Also, a search engine spider might have got ‘stuck’ somewhere on your web site – if for instance you have an incorrect redirection or a broken link somewhere on your pages, that could throw the spider into a loop, thus generating high bandwidth and CPU usage.

The second is the SQL Stats section – it shows you how many SQL queries have been made to each one of your databases and if the number is beyond the limit (I am referring to the hourly limit which is 45 00 according to the Terms Of Service agreement), please consider revising your scripts in order to optimize the database usage and the queries sent to and from it.

The third section that might attract your attention is the Load Stats (yes, it refers to CPU usage and load) – from there you can see how much CPU power your account has used daily, but please note that this is sort of statistic is updated only when there is a sharp ‘spike’ in the usage and if everything is well within the limits, there will be no record listed there. The same goes for the ‘Processes’ column – if you see 0 that doesn’t mean that there are no processes running on your account – it’s just that the processes currently running are not affecting the CPU usage beyond its limit. However, if you see something like 7693 processes you should consider revising your scripts in order to see which ones are employing so many processes and can that number be lowered without this affecting the proper functioning of your web site(s).