Dealing with account CPU warnings in shared WordPress web hosting

Keep calm and wp super cache on

Keep calm and your super cache on (Image adapted from via Wikipedia)

Every now and then, your web hosting provider might send you a notice that looks like this:

Your hosting account has over the last few days averaged CPU usage that is close to 100% of your allocation. This could be caused by a number of factors, but is most likely to be due to a misconfigured installation of a 3rd party script, or by having too many features, modules or plugins enabled on your web site. Please take steps to reduce the CPU usage.

All that is happening here is that your website is using a little more computer processing power in your hosting account than it is allowed to use.

These notices are not uncommon in these days of shared hosting accounts where hosting providers offer VERY affordable web hosting in exchange for bundling a large number of users together on the one hosting machine.

Most of the time, this is the perfect environment for businesses new to having websites and for those with low levels of web traffic expected.

However, a notice like this can cause concern so I thought I would share a couple of options with you.

Don’t panic

The first thing you learn when dealing in the IT and ‘tech’ world is that systems often have a number of automated messages loaded that can be sent at any time.

Unfortunately, most of them are written in a very dry, geeky, abrupt manner, combining exclamations and jargon which sound terrifying to ‘humans’.

The first thing to do with any message is to ‘not panic’.

Next you can call or contact your web host for an explanation in layperson terms. Good web hosts offer 24/7 phone support and will be happy to talk you through what the message means.

However, in the case of this message, when combined with a WordPress website, there are a few quick things to consider:

  1. Check for unnecessary plugins and remove them
  2. Make sure WordPress and all plugins are up to date
  3. Install a good caching plugin
  4. Consider upgrading your plan a little

Sometimes the wonder and excitement of the WordPress world and its tens of thousands of free plugins can lead you to experiment a little too much and install some wonderfully fun items that are not crucial to your site and might be burning up computer processing capacity unnecassarily. Remove them. Some people argue that All-in-One SEO plugins overload your site and should be removed. I agree, as WordPress used well does a stellar job of optimising your content for Google on its own.

If you are one of our clients, you should be up to date because we always stress how important that weekly minute or two can be.

Many web hosts suggest installing ‘wp-super-cache‘ – this plugin holds a copy of your website separately so that when visitors come they just see the copy instead of having WordPress create a brand new snapshot every time which can place a heavy load on your web server. It is easy enough to install if you know how to install plugins.

  1. Go to Plugins > Add New
  2. Type ‘super cache’ into the search box and click to ‘install now’ the one crafted by Donncha O Caoimh
  3. Activate the plugin and a red band will appear across the top of your admin screen telling you it needs to be enabled. Follow its link to the ‘plugin admin page’.
  4. The landing screen will show you caching is off so click Caching On (recommended) and Update Status.
  5. All should be well.

If the plugin hits anything unexpected, it will make errors visible. I suggest speaking to us or your webmaster for some further guidance as there might be a particular plugin, website component or webhosting feature that is conflicting with the caching plugin.

Your site will soon load faster for visitors, although when you are logged in you should still see fresh snapshots on every click so you can update content as needed.

The final step is that your webhost might have a plan just a little more expensive each month with greater CPU allowance. It can be worthwhile upgrading.





It is pretty easy to install. But a documentation can always be found in wordpress site:


wp-super-cache is the fastest caching plugin for wordpress blogs. It is always better to serve it from cache instead of running select command for each user of your blog. Enabling super cache would potentially reduce the cpu usage around 60-75%. One thing you should make sure that you are not using multiple caching plugin. I have seen couple of users think using multiple caching plugin would provide better result, but probably it is a bad idea for your blog to mix up both caching algorithm and result a potential mess.



Submit a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Chat With Us On Messenger