How To Reduce CPU Usage On GoDaddy (AKA Bandwidth Limits / Throttling Which Can Also Cause 503 Service Unavailable Errors)

If you’re getting CPU overages on GoDaddy, it means your website (and plugins) are consuming too many server resources.

To reduce high CPU usage on GoDaddy and stay within limits, login to GoDaddy and activate the CDN and PHP 7.3. Remove any high CPU plugins, database junk, and install Autoptimize. Lighten the load on your server using the Heartbeat Control plugin and blocking bad bots from Wordfence. It’s also likely you’re running too many resource intensive tasks for shared hosting. Shared hosting (especially GoDaddy) can’t handle big plugins like WooCommerce or Elementor.

GoDaddy obviously wants you to upgrade, but hopefully after reading this guide, you won’t have to. Until then, you may be getting 503 errors which means you exceeded your CPU limits.

Reduce-CPU-Usage-GoDaddy

 

1. Check Bandwidth Usage

Check how much bandwidth you’re actually using (in GoDaddy’s cPanel go to Web Hosting > Manage > Bandwidth). Next, review GoDaddy’s bandwidth limits and compare them to yours.

Quick Tips For Reducing Bandwidth:

  • Check CPU usage in GoDaddy cPanel
  • Upgrade to PHP 7.3 in your GoDaddy cPanel
  • Delete unnecessary plugins you can live without
  • Install Autoptimize plugin to optimize HTML, CSS, JavaScript
  • Resize large images to be smaller (serve scaled images in GTmetrix)
  • Losslessly compress images using the ShortPixel image optimization plugin
  • Install Heartbeat Control, WP-Optimize, and Blackhole For Bad Bots plugins
  • Use other tools in GoDaddy cPanel (eg. AWstats) to locate the source of high CPU

 

If you have high quality images on your site, people may by copying and pasting them onto their own website (or even Facebook and other social networks). This means you’re still hosting them, which sucks up your bandwidth. Here’s how to prevent this using hotlink protection which can be activated in GoDaddy’s cPanel or Cloudflare’s scrape shield settings.

In GoDaddy:

  • Login to your GoDaddy cPanel
  • In the Security section, click Hot Link Protection and enable it

In Cloudflare:

  • Sign into your Cloudflare account
  • Go to your Scrape Shield settings
  • Enable hotlink protection

Cloudflare Hotlink Protection

 

3. Upgrade To PHP 7.3

Upgrading PHP versions makes your site load faster (and improves security). Anytime GoDaddy releases a new PHP version, you should try to upgrade. Unfortunately, many WordPress users run outdated PHP versions since GoDaddy does NOT automatically upgrade you, since it can break your site if you’re running incompatible plugins. Here’s how to upgrade.

How To Upgrade To PHP 7.3

  • Login to your GoDaddy cPanel
  • In the Software section, click Select PHP Version
  • Change to PHP 7.3
  • Check your website for errors
  • If you see errors, run PHP Compatibility Checker to ensure your plugins are compatible
  • If you still see errors, revert to an earlier PHP version

Upgrade PHP Version GoDaddy

Unfortunately, if you don’t have a GoDaddy plan with cPanel, it is not available to you. Many GoDaddy customers aren’t happy about this, and it’s another drawback to using their hosting.

GoDaddy says:

“PHP 7 is available for cPanel customers on either Shared or Business Hosting.”

 

4. Heartbeat Control

The WordPress Heartbeat API shows real-time plugin notifications, and when other users are editing a post. This consumes server resources and should be limited, or disabled. Install the Heartbeat Control plugin and limit it to 60 seconds, or ideally, disable heartbeat completely.

Heartbeat Control

 

5. Clean Database With WP-Optimize

Your database can get bloated by accumulating junk files like post revisions, spam comments, transients, pingbacks, trackbacks, and other junk which can be cleaned with WP-Optimize. It’s a good idea to clean your database once every 1-2 weeks, and take a backup before doing so.

WP-Optimize Clean Database

 

6. Black Bad Bots

Spam bots are notorious for crawling websites and consuming server resources. If you don’t set rules for bots to follow (eg. using the Blackhole For Bad Bots plugin) they will continue to crawl your website, and you will be spending server resources (and money) on literally nothing.

Blackhole for Bad Bots

Check If Spam Bots Are Hitting Your Site

  • Install Wordfence
  • Go to your Live Traffic Report
  • Watch all bots hitting your site in real-time
  • If you don’t recognize a bot, Google it’s hostname (provided by Wordfence)
  • See if other people report the bot as spam (compute.amazonaws.com is a common one)
  • Block the spam bots using the Blackhole For Bad Bots plugin (you can also use Wordfence’s blocking tab or Cloudflare Firewall Rules to block spammy bots by using their hostnames… be sure to use asterisks which blocks all variations of the bot)

Block Spam Comments Too!
Spam comments also consume resources. I use Anti-Spam to block comment spam.

 

7. Eliminate High CPU Plugins

Some plugins are known for consuming lots of server resources and will cause CPU overages. Too many plugins (one just 1 single high CPU plugin) can absolutely destroy your load times and bandwidth usage. I created an extensive list of known high CPU plugins you should avoid.

You can also use GTmetrix’s Waterfall tab to find slow plugins:

Slow WordPress Plugin Waterfall

Or use Query Monitor to see which plugins take longest to load:

Query Monitor Slow Plugins

 

8. Delete Unused Plugins + Themes

Delete all unused plugins:

delete-wordpress-plugins

And unused themes:

Delete Unused WordPress Themes

 

9. Autoptimize

GoDaddy has their own built-in caching system and blacklists all cache plugins. The problem is, cache plugins do a lot more than just caching (eg. minification and Google Font optimization). Autoptimize takes care of most of these miscellaneous optimizations, and can fix many items in GTmetrix/Pingdom. I have a full tutorial on configuring Autoptimize, but it’s pretty simple:

Autoptimize-Main-Settings

Autoptimize-Extra-Settings

 

10. Use A CDN

Cloudflare’s free CDN will help offload resources to their 200+ data centers around the world, lightening the load on your own server. It will also reduce the geographic distance between your server and visitor, making your website load much faster for people who were far away from your 1 origin server. A CDN is also recommended in the WordPress optimization guide.

Step 1: Sign up for a free Cloudflare plan.

Step 2: Add your website and run the scan. You will come to a page with 2 nameservers.

Cloudflare-Nameserver-Dashboard.

Step 3: Change nameservers in your GoDaddy account to Cloudflare’s.

Godaddy Cloudflare nameservers

 

11. Optimize Images

There are 3 primary ways to optimize images in GTmetrix, however you should really check out my full WordPress image optimization tutorial which includes 20 ways to optimize images.

GTmetrix Image Optimizations

Serve Scaled Images

Specify Image Dimensions In WordPress

imagify-wordpress-image-optimization

 

12. Clear Out Disk Space

You should try to leave about 20% of your GoDaddy disk space empty. Make sure you’re optimizing images, deleting unused images, plugins, themes, and other files on your website.

 

13. GoDaddy Speed Limitations

No serious website should use GoDaddy for hosting. It is mainly for beginners who are just starting their website and are concerned about 1 thing – price. But with this, comes with speed limitations which are reflected in your server response times, GTmetrix, and Pingdom reports.

  • GoDaddy is slow at releasing PHP versions (and are only available on cPanel plans)
  • GoDaddy blacklists cache plugins (which can improve speed more than Autoptimize)
  • GoDaddy uses outdated server hardware, resulting in slower server response times
  • GoDaddy puts too many people on the same server, resulting in slow response times
  • This is why their hosting is so cheap, because 100s of people share the same server

Slow Godaddy

Godaddy Server Response Time

Slow Server Response Times on Godaddy

Godaddy Server Response Times

Slow Godaddy Server Response Time

Godaddy Managed WordPress Hosting Feedback

 

14. Get Better Hosting (GoDaddy Sucks)

I’m using Cloudways Vultr High Frequency and usually have a 150ms TTFB + 1.4s fully loaded time in GTmetrix (the post tested also has 50+ images and 600 comments). Feel free to click through my site to see how fast it loads. Vultr HF and DigitalOcean are two of the most popular hosting plans in the WordPress Hosting and WP Speed Matters Facebook Groups. Cloudways is monthly pricing and includes a free migration which makes them easy to try out. Hosting is by far the #1 factor in the WordPress optimization guide and they even recommend DigitalOcean.

Be careful with other hosting recommendations:

  • Matthew Woodward pushes WPX but uses Kinsta on his own site.
  • Darrel Wilson pushes NameHero but his GTmetrix report is a mess.
  • Hostinger writes fake reviews and was banned from Facebook Groups.
  • They also push SiteGround when Backlinko says their TTFB is slow (I stopped recommending them and changed my review to outline all SiteGround’s problems).
  • WP Engine, GoDaddy, Bluehost, HostGator, and EIG brands are obviously not good.
OMM TTFB
153ms TTFB for a huge post with 50+ images and 600 comments (view report)

I switched from SiteGround to Cloudways in 2019. My response times were 2x faster, I was paying 1/2 the price of what I was on SiteGround, and had no CPU issues or high renewal prices.

Cloudways Shoutout

Cloudways is usually #1 in recent Facebook polls (click thumbnails to enlarge).

Moving from SiteGround
eCommerce Hosting Poll

People who moved to Cloudways and posted their results:

Cloudways Numbers
Cloudways-BuddyBoss
Cloudways Vultr High Frequency
Step 1: Sign up for Vultr High Frequency
Cloudways Coupon Code
Step 2: Use code OMM25 to save 25% your first 2 months
Cloudways Launch Server
Step 3: Launch your server (Vultr HF and DigitalOcean are both solid)
Cloudways Free Migration Request
Step 4: Request a free migration or use the Cloudways migrator plugin
Latest OMM GTmetrix Report
Step 5: Enjoy the faster TTFB + load times

NameHero’s Turbo Cloud plan is also a solid choice. It uses NVME, LiteSpeed servers, the LiteSpeed Cache plugin, and QUIC.cloud CDN which supports HTTP/3. All 3 tools have excellent reviews and were specifically designed to work together for faster speeds. They are different from Cloudways: NameHero is more beginner-friendly with cPanel, everything is built-in to their hosting (no need to pay for WP Rocket or email hosting), and support is A+. The biggest con is you pay 1-3 years upfront, then higher renewal prices kick in. My NameHero review shows you how to setup LiteSpeed Cache + QUIC.cloud (I was able to get a 61ms TTFB). Obviously an Astra Starter Site is smaller than onlinemediamasters.com, but it was impressive nonetheless. They also do a free migration and Ryan (CEO) has some awesome YouTube videos.

NameHero GTmetrix With LiteSpeed QUIC
Astra Site on NameHero Turbo Cloud w/ LiteSpeed + QUIC.cloud: 61ms TTFB, 733ms load time

Affiliate Disclaimer – yes, I’m an affiliate for Cloudways and NameHero, but I’d rather make a living referring people to better, faster hosting than other garbage out there. I try to backup recommendations with real evidence. You can see conversations in FB Groups, how Cloudways is recommended by Adam (WPCrafter), and other feedback.

 

Frequently Asked Questions

What causes CPU issues?

This simply means your hosting plan can't handle your website and plugin's resource consumption. The only way to fix this is to increase CPU (upgrade your hosting plan) or optimize your website and plugins to consume less CPU so they fall within your limits.

Is GoDaddy the problem?

GoDaddy was rated very poorly in Facebook Groups and are one of the least recommended hosts among the WordPress community. Their domains are fine, but their servers are overcrowded and slow. This is well-known among the hosting community.

What are 3 easy ways to fix CPU issues?

Upgrade the a higher PHP version inside your GoDaddy account, remove any slow loading plugins, and finally, move away from GoDaddy.

Will upgrading my plan help?

It might, but there have also been many reports of GoDaddy customers still getting CPU issues when they upgrade to a more expensive hosting plan. I recommend optimizing your website, then only upgrade plans if you still get errors. Or explore other hosting options.

How do I find my slowest plugins?

Run your site through GTmetrix and look at the Waterfall tab to see which of your plugins take longest to load. You can also use the Query Monitor plugin to find slow plugins, and finally, avoid my list of 65+ common slow plugins.

I hope this tutorial was helpful! Drop me a line if you have questions.

Cheers,
Tom

About Tom Dupuis

Tom Dupuis 2017Tom Dupuis writes WordPress speed and SEO tutorials out of his apartment in Denver, Colorado. In his spare time, he plays Rocket League and watches murder documentaries. Read his bio to learn 50 random and disturbing things about him.

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