Resource consumption and application optimization

The consumption of resources in shared hosting accounts is usually an inconvenience that many web hosting companies do not refer to. However, it happens that when talking with the client directly, they suggest migrating to a dedicated server as soon as their site requires particular resources.

Although migrating to a dedicated server is the obvious solution for a site to work at peak speed, without drops or latencies, many times the client is unaware of the technical reasons for this need, so paying much more than what he had been paying can be a nonsense

The good news is that, for a not small percentage of the sites that use applications (read WordPress, Drupal, CMS for forums, Wikis and others), there are solutions on the software side that can be tested before jumping directly to faster hardware. These "tweaks" or optimizations lie in managing small changes, thus reducing resource consumption and avoiding the need to migrate to a virtual or dedicated server.

Below we will detail some of the possible improvements, depending on the platform, to try to reduce the consumption of a website, keep the hosting company calm, increase the loading speed of the site and possibly avoid migration to a more expensive account.

Practical improvements, common to any platform

  • Installation of modules / plugins: Many times the installation of “add-ons” to an application hit hard on performance, so we advise using as few modules/plugins as possible. Evaluate if it is worth uninstalling those that we do not use, and those that are necessary, we must always keep them updated.
  • Updated versions: Developers often improve multiple aspects of performance and security on a regular basis. Although having the latest version is not always synonymous with "greater speed", it is when it comes to greater security. remember always download the latest updated version of the platform they use (of themes, and plugins!).
  • Cache: The vast majority of platforms allow you to activate the cache (a space where the most used information is stored without the need to resort to the database with each visit), and the mechanism to achieve it is the same in almost all cases; Cache activation is one of the biggest benefits for a site, achieving a significant reduction in consumption.
  • Database optimization: From your control panel, via phpMyAdmin it is possible to run optimization on all your tables. It is convenient to carry out this administrative task at least once a week in sites with many visits.
  • Note: In our example, as shown in the second screenshot above, the name of the database is MySite_DB, but in your case the name will probably be something else!

Optimizing WordPress

The first step, and the most important of all, is the installation and configuration of W3 Total Cache. This plugin will speed up the loading of your blog, reduce the space needed for the cache, and considerably reduce the consumption of server resources.


Remember: You must press the “save all settings” button to save the changes you make.

Additionally, as generic advice, We recommend you make one change at a time., save it, accept to delete the cache created previously when this plugin suggests it (when you refresh the changes, a legend with a button to do so will appear at the top of your wordpress interface). Once you've created the new cache, verify that everything works fine on your site, and so on each time.
If you have been neat and made one change at a time, the moment something behaves strangely you can easily go back.

Optimizing Drupal

  • Since Manage » Performance it is possible to activate the cache in Normal or Aggressive mode.
  • Activate the compression of the added files and CSS from Manage » Performance.
  • Memcache: Thanks to that in our server is already pre-installed the memcache module, activating it will be very easy, speeding up and reducing the number of queries to the database considerably.

Joomla

  • In Global setting, tab system, activate the cache, and in cache manager select memcache, activating the option Memcache Persistent. In host place localhost and in port, 11211.
  • Install plugin JCH Optimize since here

Moodle

  • Within Site Admin, go to servers » Performance » Cache-type and select memcache.
  • Enable the Record Cache in the same section
  • Activate language cache
  • Log files can grow and slow down the site over time. If you noticed this, you can reduce the "time to live" of each log by admin » servers » cleaning
  • You will find more details about the performance of Moodle here.

Simple Machines Forum (SMF)

  • Deactivate persistent connections since admin » Server Settings » Use a persistent connection
  • Deactivate hostname detection since admin » Layout and Options » Disable Hostname Lookups (activate checkbox)
  • Optimize tables from admin » Forum Maintenance » Hit Optimize Tables
  • Activate memcache, typing in confirmation “localhost:11211”

Magento

  • Install plugin Fooman Speedster to compress and gather (or “minify“) all CSS and JS files.
  • Enable compression via GZIP uncommenting (i.e. removing the pound sign # at the beginning of the statement) the following line in .htaccess: #php_flag zlib.output_compression on

We will be updating this guide little by little, incorporating new applications and methods. All those who want to collaborate by commenting on their cases and experiences can do so by leaving a comment below!

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