Consider this, you were hosting a few blogs on shared hosting quite happily, life was good. One fine day you moved to a VPS and then the nightmare beings. Forget content marketing, social media and SEO; you are forced to deal with Server load, Spammers, downtime and what not. You can’t ignore it or else you risk getting your hosting account suspended. And guess what you are pretty much on you own.
You can curse yourself but considering what you invested to move to VPS, there is no going back. You have to take charge and get your VPS act right. An unmanaged VPS can be one of the biggest mistakes of your life. Worry not, this is what you do to manage Excessive Server load your unmanaged VPS ; all by yourself.
This is totally a non-tech guide and I’m not going to scare you off with any linux lingo that you can use to monitor your WHM server. You can find it elsewhere. Instead, I’ll present a common sense approach that you can undertake to reduce your server load dramatically.
- Cache, Cache and more Cache – Yes, I know you already use caching ; But understand there is more to it. Caching is very important to reduce server load and can be applied at different levels (Pls. try and apply all the levels) . So here we go –
- Get a CDN – Cloudflare can offer aggressive caching effectively reducing load on your server.
- Install a Good Caching Plugin on WordPress – You might already have one, I’ll recommend WP Fastest Cache as it will convert your wordpress posts to Static HTML pages and serve them instead; Fast and effective.
- Leverage Browser Caching – This is one of the most ignored area but is very promising if you get repeat visitors; WP Fastest Cache again would help you do it.
- Fight Spam – Spammers work hand to attack WHM and WordPress installs. They are constantly trying to run brute force algorithms to crack your server. A lot of your server resources go in serving these bots. It’s important to fight spam. So here’s what to do
- Get a CDN (This time to fight SPAM) – Cloudflare would help you block most of these Spambots; almost automatically. I’ll write more about it sometime. But for now, take my words. You need a CDN.
- Get a WordPress Security Plugin – IThemes Security Plugin does a good job. It would help you secure your server’s login area; make important changes to wordpress to reduce its vulnerability to get hacked. It is all very simple, just install the plugin and do what it says. Period.
- Install a Firewall – ASAP or at least enable CPhulk Brute Force Protection on Cpanel. No you shouldn’t be scared that someone hack your server; but that each time the bot runs the algorithm to crack your password it makes your server go busy. You don’t want that, do you?
- Ensure you’ve entered access keys to Akismet ; so many people would not do that. Lazy aah !
- Optimize WordPress and everything else
- First of all please update wordpress, the themes and the plugins regularly. You never know if they’ve fixed something and made things faster?
- Turn off unnecessary and resource hungry plugins – use P3 Plugin profiler to identify slow wordpress plugins and turn them off.
- Use WP-Optimize to Optimize wordpress by remove transient objects, post revisions and spam comments.
- And then you can also follow these simple tweaks like turning mailman off; turning off anonymous FTP; using mod_deflate etc.
- Reduce Housekeeping Jobs – Your WHM server does a lot more than just serving visitors; It’s preparing logs, creating backups , running cron jobs among other things; Now, my tip is that if don’t need then you can turn off unnecessary logs, reduce the frequency of backups and keep a check on Cron Jobs; don’t schedule them in less than an hour’s interval. WP-Cron Control is a nice wordpress plugin that would help you identify how frequently wordpress is running cron jobs on your server.
- Monitor and Repeat – Get Munin Service Monitor plugin for Cpanel; it will draw all the nerdy graphs to scare you off. But if you look at them patiently you’ll be able to figure out how loaded your server is throughout the day, week or eternity.
Good luck to a faster and less loaded WHM server !