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How To Fix High-CPU Usage In WordPress

Blogging with WordPress is incredible as it creates room for enough flexibility and creativity but one of the problems you might encounter on the your journey with WordPress is high CPU usage. If you are using shared hosting plan, this might become an automatic problem for you and once you get that mail from your host, your site is suspended because of the risk it pose to other sites using the same resources as yours.I had this problem with my host even when I had very little traffic. After that, I stopped falling for webhost scams that offers unlimited bandwidth and ridiculous offers. Now, don’t panic, I am going to explain how high-CPU usage can be reduced.
fix wordpress high cpu usage

1. Update WordPress

If you don’t know how to do so, click here to update now.

2. Update WordPress Plugins

Newer versions are known to fix bugs that were in the previous version and can go along way in helping you. It is best practice to use stable versions of plugins, (Alpha and Beta versions of plugins should not be considered)

3. Update Your WordPress Template

Many of the premium theme vendors allow you to upgrade when you purchase their products, once you have an update, perform it. Never go for nulled or cracked WorldPress Themes.

4. Reduce Plugins

Do you really need all the plugins you have installed on your site? Think about it and make critical changes. When I had my first WordPress site, I had 87 plugins installed, but after I was hit with the hammer of my host, I realized that most of the plugins were actually not for me, I quickly ran a scale of preference and ended up with 20 plugins. My site ran faster and was more simple. They are alot of things that can be done within the theme files and requires no plugins.

Before ever thinking of installing a plugin, try as much as possible to confirm if you can manually add the feature you want by adding a simple line of codes to your template files.Another reason why step 1 of this tutorial is very important, sometimes the features of one plugins might come with a recent WordPress update and as such making the plugins unnecessary.

5. Only Activate Needed Plugins

If their use becomes automatically redundant, quickly de-activate. For example, you don’t need to have WP database backup plug-in if you are not auto scheduling a backup, and so on..

6. Install A Caching Plugin

I would recommend  WP Super Cache. Cache plugins help to drastically reduce CPU usage, caching static copies of your pages on your web space,  keeping you within your shared-hosting limits.

7. Disable WP-Cron

Doing this will greatly reduce high-CPU usage, what WP-Cron does is to manage all your scheduled events. I really don’t think this is necessary, so you can disable it. To disable WP-Cron, you will have to edit your wp-config by adding the following line below.

define('DISABLE_WP_CRON', true);

8. Create a cron job and run wp-cron.php every hour using the following command:

wget > /dev/null 2>&1

9. Avoid Plugins That Use Excessive CPU Load

These four plugins have been reported to cause high CPU usage, you can install the alternative, which is provided in the bracket

NextGen Gallery (alternative WordPress gallery shortcode)

Yet Another Related Posts Plugin (alternative Better Related Posts)

All In One SEO (alternative WordPress SEO)

Broken Link Checker.

10. If Everything Else Fails

I suggest you find a more simpler theme, install and check your CPU usage, it should have been reduced. Most themes that are highly customizable and dynamic might not be for you, unless you have upgraded to VPS or Dedicated Server.

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Nosa is the Editor-in-Chief of TechRez. Got a NEWS TIP related to this story -- or to anything else in the world of big tech? Please e-mail him: nosa at You can also connect with him via the connections below the box.

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So, what do you think?

  • Takiyah

    I have a question. I have 3 wordpress sites, and a subdomain off of one hosting account with Dream Host. recently one of my sites gave me this error when I tried to log into WordPress to maintenance it: “Service Temporarily Unavailable
    The server is temporarily unable to service your request due to maintenance downtime or capacity problems. Please try again later.”
    Now it gave me that error, I changed the theme, and now I can’t log in at all. What can I do since I can’t log back in to my WordPress dashboard without this error?

    • Nosa E Nosa

      Hi akiyah

      I will like to know some few questions.

      . Did you temper with your database?

      2. Are you using a premium, free or a nulled template?

  • Praveen

    Is there any WP optimisation service sites? My web hosting company asking me to switch to VPS or else do WP optimisation to FIX temporary account suspension.

    • Nosa E Nosa

      Hello Praveen,

      Cut down on your blog plugins and reduce WordPress execution. If you have plugins that stores data to database constantly, disable the “log to database” feature.

      Take a look at the article, How To Speed Up Your WordPress Blog.
      It should also help you. Maximize the P3 plugin to show you which plugins are consuming your CPU resources.

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