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WordPress Blog Exceeds CPU Usage Allowance

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Bad news. I received the doomsday message that all webmasters fear this morning:

Hello Wade,

Our system administration team has been tracking high resource usage on the machine housing your account, and has traced a high amount of system load activity back to your Word Press sitevagabondjourney.com.  It appears that this site is causing your account to utilizing server processor resources beyond what is considered normal on a shared hosting platform.

You will need to review your site to see what you can do to reduce the system resources required by this portion of your site so that it does not affect other users.

Vagabond Journey.com has again gone over the CPU usage allowance by my web server. In January, I moved the site over from a shared hosting service to a VPS — Virtual Private Server — in an attempt to avoid these problems in the future. I pay $50 a month for hosting.

But this is not enough.

As my host informed:

In this case, your container is utilizing a considerable amount of CPU resources, much higher than what would typically be found acceptable in a VPS package.

I thought that there could have been an error. I wrote to the host expressing my concern. How could I already be over my CPU allowance with a virtual private server?

This is how:

amanda.vagabondjourney.com:91
pearl.vagabondjourney.com:42
petra.vagabondjourney.com:5
vagabondjourney.com:40587
woodblockprints.vagabondjourney.com:0

Before noon EST, Vagabondjourney.com had already brought in 40,587 hits.

Remember, hits are not visitors, a hit is just when a file on your web server is accessed. Vagabond Journey.com is getting hit over 100,000 times a day.

This would push the CPU usage of just about any sort of shared hosting, and VPS is, ultimately, a form of shared hosting.

This is easy to have happen for a site using the WordPress content management system. WordPress is a dynamic system driven by databases, and each request for a page “hits” many different files to assemble the complete webpage that you see in your browser.

But I must also realize that the above numbers are being returned WHILE using WordPress cache modules. Using these modules is a way for WordPress users to sustain high volumes of traffic. Static pages are already being cached for all parts of VagabondJourney.com, but I am still bringing in more than 100,000 hits a day.

I just updated my cache system to WP-Super cache, which is a more effective version of the plugin that I was previously running, but this is only a half measure.

In point, to keep publishing Vagabondjourney.com, I need to keep expanding. If I expand, I can make money, if I can make money, I can continue publishing the website — but to expand from here I need to spend vastly more money.

I need a private server. The hosting costs for a private server is more than $200 a month.

I am at a major impasse: if I want to continue trying to make a living from Vagabondjourney.com I need to pay $200 a month, if I pay $200 a month I cannot make a living.

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Filed under: Vagabond Journey Updates, Website Construction

About the Author:

Wade Shepard is the founder and editor of Vagabond Journey. He has been traveling the world since 1999, through 76 countries. He is the author of the book, Ghost Cities of China, and contributes to Forbes, The Diplomat, the South China Morning Post, and other publications. has written 3048 posts on Vagabond Journey. Contact the author.

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Wade Shepard is currently in: Polis, Republic of CyprusMap