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

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

GoDaddy obviously wants you to upgrade, but hopefully after reading this guide, you won’t have to. I will show you how to upgrade to PHP 7.2, offload resources to Cloudflare’s free CDN, and optimize plugins/images to consume less resources. We will use Autoptimize, WP-Optimize, Heartbeat Control, and the Blackhole For Bad Bots plugin to optimize your site. Until then, you may be getting 503 errors which just means you’ve exceeded your CPU limits.

 

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 7.2 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 7.2

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 Unfortunately, many WordPress users run outdated PHP versions since GoDaddy does NOT automatically upgrade you, since it can break your site if you’re running incompatible plugins.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 7.2

  1. Login to your GoDaddy cPanel
  2. In the Software section, click Select PHP Version
  3. Change to PHP 7.2
  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

Godaddy PHP 7.2

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)

I use SiteGround and have 200ms response times with 100% GTmetrix scores and .4s Pingdom load times. Do a hosting check, run your own tests, or click through my fast loading pages. They were rated the #1 host in 26 Facebook polls and are worlds better than EIG (Bluehost, HostGator), GoDaddy, and other hosts who pack too many people on the same server. There have been plenty of people who migrated and posted results on Facebook and Twitter. Tweet after tweet, post after post, poll after poll after poll, faster hosting will fix slow response times. They’re recommended by WordPress, do free migrations, and I use their semi-dedicated plan.

OMM-On-SiteGround

Bitcatcha Server Speed Report

2019-GTmetrix-Report

2019-Pingdom-Report

People usually migrate because their speed technology can improve server response times by multiple seconds. Here are a few people who migrated to SiteGround and posted their results.

Switching To SiteGround

SiteGround Load Time Migration

Bluehost to SiteGround GTmetrix

HostGator To SiteGround

SiteGround GTmetrix

SiteGround Google PageSpeed Insights

100 Perfect Score On SiteGround

SiteGround Genesis

Speed Delivered By SiteGround

SiteGround GTmetrix Report

Reduced Load Times With SiteGround

New SiteGround Response Times

HostGator To SiteGround Migration

SiteGround Response Times On Joomla

Switched To SiteGround Hosting

SiteGround Rocket Imagify Combo

Joomla GTmetrix On SiteGround

SiteGround PageSpeed Insights

SiteGround On Joomla

SiteGround Reduced Load Times

SiteGround Speedy Hosting

New Pingdom Results On SiteGround

New SiteGround Response Time

SiteGround Response Time Improvement

2019 Hosting Poll
View Poll

 

SiteGround has 3 plans:

SiteGround Hosting Plans

Higher plans include more server resources (#1 factor in the WordPress optimization guide). Here’s the full comparison chart, but GrowBig gives you about 2x more server resources than StartUp, and GoGeek is semi-dedicated hosting which gives you even more. GrowBig and up comes with a free migration, staging, advanced caching, and ability to host multiple websites. GoGeek comes with priority support. Their cloud hosting is quite the price jump at $80/month.

You can see this on the features page

SiteGround-Server-Resources-Comparison

I use SiteGround because:

  1. My GTmetrixPingdom reports speak for themselves
  2. My pages load instantly (click through them if you want)
  3. Fast speed technology (PHP 7.3, NGINX, SG Optimizer, Cloudflare)
  4. Recommended by Yoast, WordPress, Ivica from WordPress Speed Up
  5. SiteGround’s servers are very fast and not overcrowded like GoDaddy
  6. Live chat is instant and tickets are answered much faster than GoDaddy
  7. They protect your website from hackers/malware, while GoDaddy does not
  8. My blog has never gone down from random errors people get with GoDaddy
  9. Upgrading to PHP 7.2 is free (unlike GoDaddy) and they don’t blacklist plugins
  10. GrowBig comes with staging, more storage, and more server resources (scroll down to “we allocate the resources you need” and hover over the server tab)
  11. GoGeek comes with even more server resources, storage, priority support
  12. Free migrations, migrator plugin, and a 30-day money back guarantee
  13. Lots of praise on Reddit, Facebook conversations, Twitter, TrustPilot
  14. More praise on Facebook: #1, #2, #3, #4, #5, #6, #7#8, #9, #10#11
  15. GoDaddy customers who moved to SiteGround: #1, #2#3, #4, #5, #6#7, #8, #9, #10, #11, #12, #13, #14, #15, #16, #17, #18, #19, #20, #21, #22, #23, #24

Affiliate Disclaimer – if you sign up for SiteGround using my affiliate link I will donate a good chunk at no cost to you. Each year I donate $3,000 to GoFundMe campaigns (2018 was to feed the hungry in Denver, 2017 was to Red Cross at Hurricane Harvey). Your support helps and I genuinely appreciate it. Either way, I would avoid GoDaddy – join some Facebook groups and see the conversations, polls, tweets, and people who migrated from GoDaddy to SiteGround. I refuse to recommend GoDaddy to anyone – their servers are overcrowded, malware-infested, and they have a SOPA-supporting + elephant-hunting founder. Do your research and look at who Yoast is currently using.

 

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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