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:

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

In Cloudflare:

  1. Sign into your Cloudflare account
  2. Go to your Scrape Shield settings
  3. 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

  1. Login to your GoDaddy cPanel
  2. In the Software section, click Select PHP Version
  3. Change to PHP 7.3
  4. Check your website for errors
  5. If you see errors, run PHP Compatibility Checker to ensure your plugins are compatible
  6. 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

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.

image-optimization

Serve Scaled Images

Specify Image Dimensions

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)

Hosting recommendations are usually garbage.

Join the WordPress Hosting Facebook Group to get unbiased feedback. Most members (myself too) swear by Cloudways WordPress Hosting. Specifically DigitalOcean / Vultr High Frequency.

Yes, it’s a little more expensive at $10-$13/month, but we’re talking about speed here – not being cheap. With Cloudways, you have a choice of using DigitalOcean, Vultr High Frequency, Google Cloud, AWS, or Linode. These are worlds faster than shared hosting and can handle resource-intensive tasks much better (Elementor, Beaver, Divi, WooCommerce, AdSense, etc).

Cloudways makes it easy to test them out and see the difference in your load times: they do free migrations, monthly pricing, a Migrator plugin, and a promo code to save money: OMM25

Here’s what happened when I moved:

SiteGround vs Cloudways

GTmetrix tests are always different, but even posts with a huge page 2.70MB page size and 96 requests can often load in under 2s. I’ll also take a 148ms time to first byte any day of the week.

OMM-TTFB

The evidence is there:

Cloudways Response TimesCloudways-Migration-Result
Cloudways Google PageSpeed
WP Engine To Cloudways
DigitalOcean Pingdom Report
Hosting-Recommendation
Moving-From-WPX
SiteGround-Alternatives
Preferred-Web-Hosting
UntitledWPEngine-To-Cloudways
Godaddy DigitalOcean Migration
Cloudways Pingdom Load Times
Cloudways Pingdom Report
Elementor-Hosting
Web-Hosting-France
SiteGround-Alternative
VPS-Cloud-Hosting

 
This was a simple Pingdom test to measure load times of 16 WordPress hosts. I signed up for popular hosting companies then installed the same Astra Starter Site on each of them while measuring load times in Pingdom for 1 week at 30 minute check intervals. Some domains are still live (cwdoserver.com is hosted on a $10/month Cloudways DO plan and stgrndserver.com is hosted on SiteGround GrowBig). I cancelled most of them because it was getting expensive. Even when browsing through their pages or running your own tests, you can see the difference.

WordPress-Hosting-2020-Pingdom-Test

Hosting Companies You Should Avoid

  • SiteGround – they have gone completely downhill in recent years.
  • Bluehost – slow servers, owned by EIG, bad support, rated poorly in FB Groups.
  • HostGator – also owned by EIG with slow servers, bad support, CPU limit issues.
  • GoDaddy – top malware hosting network worldwide, rated poorly in FB groups.
  • Hostinger – they write fake reviews and vote for themselves in Facebook polls.
  • WP Engine – also not what it used to be, expensive and not even fast anymore.
  • *A2 Hosting – if you can’t afford Cloudways, A2 is still fast and uses LiteSpeed.

I use Cloudways because:

  • Even posts with a 2.70MB page size can load in under 2s
  • DigitalOcean and Vultr HF are miles faster than shared hosting.
  • It’s $10-$13/month (no yearly contracts or high renewal prices).
  • Varnish, Redis, and memcached are all built-in for higher performance.
  • You get to pick from DigitalOcean, Vultr HF, Linode, AWS, Google Cloud.
  • 4.8/5 star TrustPilot rating and highly recommended in Facebook Groups.
  • They have 25+ data centers between all their cloud hosting providers.
  • No CPU issues like on SiteGround, Bluehost, and other shared hosting.
  • SSL, staging, and backups are all very easy in the Cloudways dashboard.
  • Support used to be average, but is now really good as reflected on TrustPilot.
  • They offer a free migration but their Migrator plugin will also do the trick.
  • Adding a server, migrating your site, and the dashboard is actually very easy.
  • Mustasaam (their community manager) gave me peace of mind when moving.
  • Only complaint is they need to add LiteSpeed servers to their list of providers.

Affiliate Disclaimer – if you sign up for Cloudways using my affiliate link, I would seriously appreciate it. I don’t recommend bad hosting like many other affiliates. I also donate quite a bit to charity ($6,000 to GoFundMe so far) and your support would really help. I try to base my reviews not only from my experience, but real evidence from the overwhelming feedback in numerous Facebook Groups. It would mean a lot.

Just do your research and look at this Facebook thread.

 

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

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