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  1. #1
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    Sustainability of a WP blog on shared plan

    Just a short question.

    I’ve recently moved my official blog from MovableType to WordPress and started posting more or less regularly. The blog gets 500-600 uniques a day at the moment. I’m on a shared plan with pair Networks. How do you think, what’s the upper limit regarding number of visitors a day (or some other characteristics) before I would have to think of moving from a shared plan?

    The blog in question is this (quite a bit of photography last time): << removed >>

    Thank you!
    sash
    Last edited by writespeak; 01-18-2014 at 04:09 PM.
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  2. #2
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    It's not really about visitors per day.

    With WordPress, it's really about the plugins you're using, and how much CPU and RAM they use. From there, traffic is multiplied by the resource use, plus the base use (resources with no traffic, which is more than most people think).

    Make sense? (I know it's not easy concept for newbies.)

    Some WP sites can be fine on shared forever, while others need to start with a VPS/dedicated (or high-end shared, like semi-dedicated/enterprise).
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  3. #3
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    It depends on what type of scripts you'll be running along with what type if plugins for Wordpress you use. There are services out there on the web to optimize your blog and your plugins. Be sure to always keep all your plugins up to the latest date and that your wordpress installation uis secured inside and out.

  4. #4
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    Like others have said, it really all depends on the plugins you use.

    You can have a WordPress installation with 1000 uniques a day with 10 plugins and have no issues with account resources, whereas you can have a WordPress installation with only 100 uniques a day and 1 poorly coded plugin and have resource issues.
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  5. #5
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    Wordpress tends be resource hogging RAM/CPU (Load) wise due to the plugins that you use with it. Many are capable on a good server to receive a high volume of traffic a day and provide very little stress onto the server, as all of the other guys have said here. So its based totally on a specific install only and not a generic statement.
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  6. #6
    As everyone said, badly written plugins can eaten up server resources. Hosting companies do not allow resource hungry scripts on their servers.
    You can increase your time on shared hosting, using plugins you really need, disabling wp-cron and by installing a caching plugin.

  7. #7
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    What everyone has discussed about measuring CPU and RAM instead of visitors per day is true, but I recognize it can be easier said than done to analyze those statistics on a shared hosting platform. For me, I always use 300-400 visitors per day as the "warning" point I suppose. This is the level of steady traffic on a former WP blog that I started receiving on an iPower (EIG) hosting package a few years ago, and they ended up quickly suspending me for resource abuse. My WP blog theme was *not* custom, and had a minimal amount of plugins, including W3 Total Cache.

    Each hosting company is going to have a slightly different threshold, but after receiving a few hundreds hits per day, I figure you should at least be prepared for a resource over-usage alert.

  8. #8
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    Thank you so much for your answers and advises! At the moment I have 12 plug-ins installed (no fancy stuff). Is there any way to measure plug-ins' load on the server?
    sash
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  9. #9
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    If you're specifically looking for which plugins are primarily responsible for creating a higher load and extra queries, this is a great tool to start with (which has helped me get rid of some pesky, resource intensive plugins):

    http://tools.pingdom.com

    Type your domain name into the box and let it roll...

    You'll receive a long list of all requests on the home page of your site. When you view a request that takes several ms or a few seconds (or more...), see if it corresponds with a plugin you currently have installed. It *may* be a good candidate to disable or modify.

    The problem is that this tool won't catch or point toward all of your plugins or necessarily any extra scripts associated with a more resource intensive theme.
    Last edited by Ryan V; 01-10-2014 at 04:51 PM.

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by sash View Post
    Thank you so much for your answers and advises! At the moment I have 12 plug-ins installed (no fancy stuff). Is there any way to measure plug-ins' load on the server?
    sash
    http://wordpress.org/plugins/p3-profiler/

    This plugin will show you how much memory each plugin is using.

    As said by others, it's all about resources. Every WP is different...as mentioned...one with 1000 visitors could fly...one with 250 visitors crashes everything and so forth.

    The plugin profiler goes by the same concept. One WP site could have 10 plugins and they all share resources evenly, or one plugin could be using 80% of your memory and the remaining memory to the other 9 plugins.

    Do you mind listing which plugins you have? There are a few that are known to cause issues.

  11. #11
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    A useful way of gauging WordPress performance is to look at how long the server takes to execute the page. The lower this number, the better your whole web stack and server is doing. A high number is a sign of inadequate hosting or your plugins causing a lot of extra work for the server.

    The easiest way to do this is to open your theme's footer.php file, then add this just before the </body> tag:

    Code:
    <!-- <?php echo get_num_queries(); ?> queries. <?php timer_stop(1); ?> seconds. -->
    You can then view the page's source to see how long it took. Be sure to refresh at least once before taking the number as any host worth its salt should be using an opcode cache, which means that the first request since a PHP file was last modified or if it hasn't been accessed in a while will always be slower.

    I would say that your average shared hosting takes anywhere between 0.200 and 0.400 seconds for a default WordPress installation, while fast/optimised hosting gets it down to about 0.50 to 0.150 seconds.

    A good test can be to measure the number with all plugins disabled, then again with them enabled. This allows you to easily see exactly what impact in seconds your plugins have (e.g. plugins enabled results in the page taking five times longer to load).

    This can also be used to measure how oversold a web host potentially is. If a default WordPress installation is taking more than about 0.400 seconds, that's definitely cause for concern and it won't take long before you start hitting their limits or things get really slow. That or the hardware is just really old.

  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by 48-14 View Post
    Do you mind listing which plugins you have? There are a few that are known to cause issues.
    Once again, many thanks for your help, guys!

    Here comes the list of active plugins; some of them I probably don't need anymore (like MT importer), some of them I've installed while trying to install a theme which needed additional plugins to function; problems is, that was during the first evening of migrating from MT, and I don't really remember which plugins I installed for this particular theme I eventually abandoned.

    Active plugins: Add Meta Tags, AddThis Follow Widget, Akismet, Better WP Security, Footer Putter, Google Analytics Injector, Light - Responsive LightBox, Movable Type and TypePad Importer, NGFB Open Graph+, Redirection, Regenerate Thumbnails, WP-PageNavi.

    I also have a couple of plugins installed, but not activated.

    NGFB Open Graph+ is a huge speed killer, I've noticed it already; is there a better alternative for the social media share and follow buttons? AddThis?

    I'm going to deactivate some plugins to see how it affects my blog. With traffic I'm getting, I won't survive long, I'm afraid.
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  13. #13
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    Make sure you're using caching where possible. Many plugins have their own internal caching so they don't have to do lots of work every single time the page is requested. Does NGFB Open Graph+ have any caching settings?

    Also, one way that a lot of people get more juice out of WordPress is to install W3 Total Cache. It creates a static version of a page once it's loaded, meaning that your server only has to generate it once. If you change your pages or a comment is posted, it automatically clears the cache. There are certain things it won't work with, generally other plugins that need to change the page each time it's loaded.

    If you can get away with using it, your footprint on the server will probably become 100 times less at least. On the other end of the spectrum, huge sites like Smashing Magazine use W3 Total Cache so they can squeeze as much life as possible out of their servers to serve the massive traffic they get. If you take your time to set it up properly it can work wonders.

  14. #14
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    Hi,

    As everyone said. It does depend on how resource consuming is your site. This could depend on what plugins you install. It is recommended you uninstall the unused plugins.

    As you say you have 500-600 unique visits with 12 plugins this should be compatible with a shared hosting account. Maybe you can uninstall plugins not required.

  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ryan Williams View Post
    If you take your time to set it up properly it can work wonders.
    Thank you for this, Ryan! I've installed it, but you're right, I'd have to spend some time figuring out all its settings. Could you tell me, which ones are the most crucial (if I'm not asking too much)?
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  16. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by Brijesh-soft View Post
    Maybe you can uninstall plugins not required.
    I did deactivate 4 of them. Now I have 8 active plugins.

    Maybe a stupid question, but do the installed but not activated plugins still create extra load?

    Thank you,
    Sash
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  17. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by sash View Post
    Thank you for this, Ryan! I've installed it, but you're right, I'd have to spend some time figuring out all its settings. Could you tell me, which ones are the most crucial (if I'm not asking too much)?
    Page caching. It's one of the top settings, and is really the 'killer feature' as it takes so much load off each page. The default settings are probably fine so long as it's enabled. You can test that it's working as if you view the source and scroll to the bottom you can see that it says it's serving a cached page. The page will be 'frozen' like that until a new comment or something is posted, meaning your server is doing virtually no work to serve it. It's almost the same as serving a plain HTML page.

    Database caching and such can help too, but often with shared hosting you don't have the RAM available to make full use of them (and they'll probably be greyed out anyway).

    Quote Originally Posted by sash View Post
    I did deactivate 4 of them. Now I have 8 active plugins.

    Maybe a stupid question, but do the installed but not activated plugins still create extra load?

    Thank you,
    Sash
    They do not.

  18. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by sash View Post
    Maybe a stupid question, but do the installed but not activated plugins still create extra load?
    It wont matter much with respect to load but if the plugin is vulnerable your site might be at risk.

  19. #19
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    As other people mention, plugins is usually the performance killer.
    I've seen a site, having 250.000 unique visitors a month, ~ 1 million visits, and 4 million pageviews, aaaand 68 mil requests served.

    The site was running on a shared hosting, without any problem, during peak hours it was using ~ 500 megabyte memory, and CPU was low.

    The site was using no kind of caching plugins, so would like to see it with WP Super cache e.g!

    So, if your site is pretty standard, and not heavy on the system, it should be no problem at all, if the host also have enough resources for sure.

    But I would say, every site is unique, users interact differently with it, and that will change the resources required as well.
    So because one site can handle it, doesn't mean another one can.

    But I hope you'll find something that suits you well, and can handle your traffic!

  20. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by sash View Post
    Thank you for this, Ryan! I've installed it, but you're right, I'd have to spend some time figuring out all its settings. Could you tell me, which ones are the most crucial (if I'm not asking too much)?
    If you find W3 Total Cache a hassle to configure, you may want to consider using a simpler caching plugin. I recommend Hyper Cache which is very simple and does the job well.


    Quote Originally Posted by sash View Post
    I did deactivate 4 of them. Now I have 8 active plugins.

    Maybe a stupid question, but do the installed but not activated plugins still create extra load?

    Thank you,
    Sash
    I recommend that you delete any plugins that you are not using as they add unnecessary risk (and attack entry point) to your WordPress installation.

    Plugins which are installed but not activated can still be compromised and it may be even easier to compromise as you tend to not upgrade non-activated plugins to the latest version.


    While you are at it, make sure to properly harden your WordPress installation with the guide below:-
    http://codex.wordpress.org/Hardening_WordPress
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  21. #21
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    Thank you guys for your help once again, I really do appreciate every advice!

    I installed W3 Total Cache, although I didn't setup all the features. From what I see, my blog got much faster, the only thing (speed-wise) I probably won't be able to resolve is the social media buttons / plugin. I didn't research the issue that thorough, but I got the idea that the issue is pretty common, unless you put and setup the icons manually for every single post (without a plugin installed).

    On the other hand, what could you do with such stats on a share plan? That happened to my other blog when for some reason it came under attack. Would something like W3 help, how do you think? I ended up blocking countries, changing the filenames etc.

    Hits: 119335, Files: 111414, Pages, 107456, Visits: 12745, Sites: 1100, Kbytes: 13614727

    These are the stats of just one day, although the heaviest one.
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  22. #22
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    Quote Originally Posted by sash View Post
    Thank you guys for your help once again, I really do appreciate every advice!

    I installed W3 Total Cache, although I didn't setup all the features. From what I see, my blog got much faster, the only thing (speed-wise) I probably won't be able to resolve is the social media buttons / plugin. I didn't research the issue that thorough, but I got the idea that the issue is pretty common, unless you put and setup the icons manually for every single post (without a plugin installed).

    On the other hand, what could you do with such stats on a share plan? That happened to my other blog when for some reason it came under attack. Would something like W3 help, how do you think? I ended up blocking countries, changing the filenames etc.

    Hits: 119335, Files: 111414, Pages, 107456, Visits: 12745, Sites: 1100, Kbytes: 13614727

    These are the stats of just one day, although the heaviest one.
    Social buttons is hard to fix - you can fix it by using:
    http://wordpress.org/plugins/wpsocialite/
    Or
    http://wordpress.org/plugins/2-click...media-buttons/

    With that said, the above stats, they should be able to get processed on a shared plan.
    But again, it differs from site to site, but also from host to host, some hosts might not be able to handle it on their shared plans, where others might be able to do it.

    Remember, no host is the same, they all have different hardware configurations, and amount of people on each server.
    But 120k hits and 110k pageviews is okayish, and if the site is not completely heavy (hard to tell without knowing the site, and the functionalities), it should be easy IMO.

    But glad that W3 Total cache helped you! I personally don't like the plugin, due to the amount of configurations you have, and it's easy to mess up

  23. #23
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    Looks like I've managed to run into troubles with my WP installation...

    While browsing through the posts or trying to log in to the dashboard, I’m getting the following error message: Error establishing a database connection

    After purging the browser’s cache, I can access the post. But not the dashboard.

    The only thing I did today was tweaking the W3 Cache. Among other things, I activated the DB caching.

    Thanks!
    sash

    UPDATE: not my fault, it seems, the server my db is on has issues.
    Last edited by sash; 01-12-2014 at 12:07 PM.
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  24. #24
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    Also of course depends on what sort of server your hosting company has you on and what the load is like. It's incredibly difficult to say the upper limit without knowing the hardware specs and how many clients are on the machine, etc. I think generally speaking you just let your visitors grow organically and when the site starts slowing down you start investigating VPS or other options.
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