How to Monitor and Reduce Server Resource Usage for Better Performance

CPU activities cause resource problems. Tools to monitor server resource usage, benefits of optimizing your hosting and MySQL, and setting up alerts.

CPU processing for websites vs. desktop CPU

A website’s CPU processing level should be much lower than that of desktop CPU activities. As of 2024, there are about two billion total websites on the web, and WordPress is used by more than 835 million. Its use continues to rise, with more than two million downloads every year.

On average, a WordPress site without caching and with a few plugins will typically consume CPU time of around a second. That means the CPU gives it at least one second of attention before it can send back the full code to the website visitor for their browser to display.

Most server activities range from fractions of a second to around five CPU seconds per execution. When you do more intensive activities, you start running into problems. On a desktop CPU, these activities wouldn’t be a problem, but a lot of users share the CPU on a server, especially if it’s a shared one. This and using too much bandwidth are leading causes of server resource problems.

Tools to monitor server resource usage

Some tools to monitor server resource usage are top, iostat, and vmstat. Top is a command-line tool that shows the memory use and CPU of processes on the server. You can use it to sort processes by memory use, CPU time, and other criteria. You can also use it to end resource-heavy processes.

Iostat shows the server’s I/O statistics, such as utilization, read and write speed, and queue length. You can use it to identify I/O errors or bottlenecks and measure the latency and throughput of your disk devices.

Vmstat displays the server’s virtual memory statistics, including page faults, swap usage, and disk I/O. You can use it to monitor disk and memory subsystem performance and detect disk thrashing or memory leaks.

Optimize your hosting

In 2023, the web hosting market was worth $108.54 billion and shared hosting held the biggest share, with almost 38%. While cheap shared hosting is a good start for any website, popular websites, in particular, tend to outgrow it quickly. Cloud hosting is a highly scalable option with a wide range of services and the option of pay-as-you-go pricing. Other options include managed hosting and VPS hosting.

Optimize MySQL

You will need to re-index your database as it grows. Indexing databases helps speed up data retrieval when running a query. This reduces the effort of the server to get the data.

If you use cPanel, you can do this by logging into phpMyAdmin and running the ‘repair’ or ‘optimize’ command. 

Identify resource drain

Inefficient or badly written code can require more memory or CPU cycles to perform tasks. Other sources of drain include APIs, external services, or plugins integrated with the server. alone has about 60,000 free plugins.

Reducing server resource use can be as simple as updating your scripts and plugins to the latest versions. Most people will update their code to fix security issues and address resource usage.

Set up alerts

You can set up alerts to notify you when the server is using excessive resources. Automated interventions or responses have many benefits. You can prevent data loss or performance degradation by reacting to resource use problems before they deepen and optimize your resource usage and allocation by scaling resources or adjusting server settings.

Cron Jobs runs scripts that check your resource use and notify you by email or execute commands if they fall below or exceed certain values. You can use cloud-based services with integrated alerting features, such as Nagios, AWS CloudWatch, or Zabbix.


·       Top, iostat, and vmstat monitor server resource usage

·       Websites outgrow shared hosting quickly

·       Re-index your database as it grows

·       Poor code requires more memory or CPU to perform tasks

·       Update plugins regularly

·       Set up notifications of excessive server resource use

Author: 99 Tech Post

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