What Is CPU Usage?

The best way to think of the CPU central processing unit (or processor) is as the “brain” of the computer. It does the bulk of the processing and sends instructions to all of the other pieces of hardware so your computer works as it should do (connecting to the internet or sending emails).  In short, the processor retrieves, interprets, processes and distributes information.

The processor itself is a chip that slots into the computer motherboard, with an integrated circuit made from silicon. Without a processor, a computer could not work – there would be nothing to carry out all the processing.

What Does A CPU Do?

The CPU takes instructions from the computer’s RAM, comprehends and then turns it into action, before delivering an output. CPUs are in all sorts of devices, ranging from computers and laptops, to smartphones, tablets, and smart TVs. The small chip is placed onto the device’s motherboard and converses with the other hardware so you have a functioning computer.

Excessive Limit:  One customer’s overuse of CPU can cause delays in other customer’s websites. If your website uses a database, or relies on PHP Scripts, increasing your account’s CPU can improve your website’s performance.


What Is Disk IO Usage?

Disk I/O stands for “Input/Output” and is pronounced “eye-oh.” Computers are based on the idea that every input results in an output. I/O is the speed it takes for data transfer to occur between the hard disk drive and RAM. It is basically measuring active disk I/O time.  

For example:

A keyboard is is an input device. When you type on your keyboard the result shows up on your screen. Your screen is the output device, much the same way a printer is an output device if you were to print off the text from your screen.

Your computer’s CPU is what handles the I/O functions. It ensures the data it receives gets sent to the correct destination. The destination may be to the video card, the hard drive, the RAM, etc.

I/O ports are the connecting ports on the computer or device. They are what you use to connect devices to your computer, like your keyboard or your mouse to your computer.  

Excessive Limit: Any task which makes use of the server’s disk drive will consume I/O. Reaching the I/O limit will cause website processes to slow down and therefore tasks take much longer to complete.

What Is RAM Usage?

RAM usage is how much you use of the resource of RAM, which is random access memory. Often times a good way to explain it is RAM is short term memory and it is often the memory used to see fast performance when your site is being visited. It will have the greatest effect on the load time of your website.  RAM is helpful because there are certain applications that require certain amounts of RAM in order to function. Windows requires 4GBS of RAM in order to process the application.

If you run out of RAM what happens is your applications load slowly and if you are using the RAM for a website you are going to see significant load times.  Typically it is associated with CPU and if your RAM is maxed out usually your CPU is also.

If a customer has a shopping cart and 4GB of RAM, and 5 users are on the site, and then all 5 users start purchasing products on the shopping cart, it causes your CPU and your RAM to be in use, and if you end up having 100 users and low amounts of CPU or RAM then your site would load so slowly that customers would most likely give up and leave before finishing the transactions.

Excessive Limit: There is a certain amount of RAM allocated per cPanel Account. When this value has reached its limit you may begin to experience PHP errors on your website. These errors are typically brief and once the user has been reduced to below its limit, this will automatically clear.

How to check your server’s resource usage:

Your account displays the amount of each resource it’s using, as well as its maximum.

  1. Log in to your NetHosting account.
  2. From the Dashboard, Click Virtual Hosting.
  3. Next to the account you want to use, click Manage.
  4. cPanel Login
  5. Your account’s current resource usage displays on the left.
  6. To see if you have hit the limit on your account’s CPU or entry processes/concurrent connections, click CPU and Concurrent Connection Usage. If you see “Your site has been limited within the past 24 hours,” it means your site has consumed all of its available resources in the last 24 hours and to prevent degraded performance on your website, you should consider upgrading your account’s resources.

Common causes of excessive server resource usage:

Malware and hacker activity:
A hacked website can be the cause lots of extra resource usage on the server. Malicious code typically tries to process multiple things for each page load on top of what a normal website already does. Hacking activity is usually automated, as well which also leads to a higher amount of resource usage for the shared server to handle.

Too many plugins or modules on your website:
A WordPress plugin or module is a small bit of code that extends the default functionality of an application. Plugins add certain features to your WordPress site, (ie. Contact Form, Shopping Carts, Calendar, Site Translator, etc.)  It’s recommended to keep the plugins running on your website to a minimum. If you have too many plugins, it can get hard for the server to manage it.

Before installing a plugin or module, consider researching it on Google to make sure there are no known issues with the script. It’s also advisable to always keep your plugins updated. Outdated plugins can cause excessive server usage and also leave your website open to hackers and malware, which could also result in server usage overages.

Large traffic surges:
If you have a big deal going on and get your marketing right it will cause a surge in your website. If you don’t have the resources to handle that kind of traffic it can slow your website down to a crawl. There are resources available to help with this kind of an issue, and usually, it is as simple as increasing your CPU or RAM.