How to fix WordPress CPU and Memory Usage Problem

Blogging with WordPress is incredible the best, WordPress creates room for enough flexibility and creativity but if you are using shared hosting plan which might become a problem for you. And your site could get suspend because of the risk it pose to other sites using the same resources as yours.

High WordPress CPU and memory usage problems are driving you insane, then this post will help you. When your site is using too many resources, it’s making your site run slow for your visitors and it’s affecting your rankings. Not to mention the fact that you may be getting warnings from your hosting provider or they may have even suddenly shut you down without warning.

So here we go, here are some of the first things you should look at and there might be multiple reasons for higher CPU and Memory usage.

1. Update WordPress

WordPress lets you update with the click of a button.  You can launch the update by clicking the link in the new version banner (if it’s there) or by going to the Dashboard > Updates screen. Once you are on the “Update WordPress” page, click the button “Update Now” to start the process off. You shouldn’t need to do anything else and, once it’s finished, you will be up-to-date.

2. Update plugins and themes

Plugins and themes are simply the best. They can help you add just about anything you want to your site without having to hire a developer or take on coding yourself. But if you use poorly coded ones or use too many of them, it can turn your site to hell.

Newer versions are known to fix bugs that were in the previous version and can go along way in helping you. It is best practice to use stable versions of plugins, (Alpha and Beta versions of plugins should not be considered)

3. Only use plugins and themes you need

If you have plugins or themes laying around that were installed just to test them out and you weren’t happy with them then just get rid of them. Do you really need all the plugins you have installed on your site? When I had my first WordPress site, I had 108 plugins installed, but after I had been suspended by my host, I realized that most of the plugins were actually not needed, so I quickly disabled it and deleted all and ended up with 23 plugins. My site ran faster and was more minimalist.

4. Find plugins potentially eating up resources

Using your preferred tool for testing page load speed, test your site without your plugins one at a time. Disable a plugin, then test your site. If you find that by disabling a certain one, your site performs much better, then you’ve just identified a problematic plugin. See if you can find an alternative one that does offers the same features and try that one.

5. Use a caching plugin

A caching plugin will help load content faster that’s been served recently. Generally speaking, when someone visits your WordPress site, their browser will fetch the HTML files, which requires PHP scripts to be run or data to be grabbed from the WordPress database.

I would recommend WP Super Cache. Cache plugins help to drastically reduce CPU usage, caching static copies of your pages on your web space,  keeping you within your shared-hosting limits.

Some caching plugins even work with a content delivery network (see below) or GZIP. Some popular WP caching plugins to consider are:

  • W3 Total Cache
  • WP Super Cache
  • WP Rocket
  • WP Fastest Cache

6. Use a CDN

Doing this one thing is almost guaranteed to give a boost to your site’s performance, and that’s using a content delivery network (CDN). By using a CDN, static files, especially media files, are loaded from the CDN servers and not the server you’re paying your host for. And chances are, they have servers closer to your visitor.

Cloudflare is probably the most well-known CDN, with (as of this writing) 102 data centers all over the world. They offer both a free version and three tiers of premium paid plans.

7. Compress your images

Image compression plays a huge role in how fast your site loads, especially if you have tons of them. Especially today when high resolution images are the expectation, not the exception. Unfortunately, many of the plugins and services you find today only offer a fraction of the features for free.

Smush is super easy to use, no confusing compression software settings. Free version smush images in your library one at a time or bulk smush up to 50 images at a time. Plus, configure auto-smush to asynchronously scale and compress some or all of your images as they are being uploaded and it’s incredibly fast.

From my experience, this most often will reduce your image’s file size from 40% to 70%, though here and there I’ve seen more or less.

8. If Everything Else Fails

I suggest you find a more simpler theme, install and check your CPU usage, it should have been reduced. Most themes that are highly customizable and dynamic might not be for you, unless you have upgraded to VPS, Dedicated Server or our Managed WordPress Hosting.

This may seem like a lot to do, but if you do any one or two of the above, you’ll probably see better performance for your site. If you do them all, you’ve probably had a faster WordPress site in the end. If you’re still having issues then it’s probably time to talk to your host, as they should be able to help figure out what’s going on.

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