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How to prevent WordPress installation from overloading your shared server (or how to survive the digg effect on your blog):

These are suggestions for your site, and WestHost is not responsible for plugins or updates crashing any script applications on your account. WestHost Tech Support also cannot provide free support for the installation or management of third party plugins or applications.

WordPress blogs can be extremely resource intensive if you happen to experience a surge in traffic. Poorly implemented WordPress setups can place a high load on webservers and lead to interruptions of service or account suspensions for using too many resources.

Here are some tips that can help you make your WordPress install more stable:

Use WordPress super cache plugin 

The number one thing you can do to improve WordPress performance is install a page cache. WordPress super cache plugin is an extensive modification of the WP-Cache plugin. The WordPress super cache plugin serializes your posts to a file on disk and later spits them back.

It also knows how to update itself when comments are received, etc, so your site is always the most up to date. I can not recommend this plugin enough if you wish to have a stable and responsive wordpress install.

to use this plugin you must have Mod_Rewrite enabled. Add the following to your .htaccess file: Options +FollowSymLinks RewriteEngine On

Please see http://ocaoimh.ie/wp-super-cache/ for more information. 

WP Built-in object cache 

The default installation of WordPress can be used to cache database queries. Less database queries = less resources being used and that makes us all happy. Just add the following line to your wp-config.php file: // Enable the WordPress Object Cache: define(ENABLE_CACHE, true);

Review your plugins 

You should go though the plugins you have installed and see if there is a way to make them faster. Any way in which you can make them stop creating database queries and use flat files, or even better, cache things will help out greatly.

If you find that a particular plugin is slowing down your wordpress install you should uninstall the plugin and consult the author. Most plugin developers love to hear feedback and would greatly appreciate your help.

Use a plugin monitor

to see which plugins are using your resources. You can download pluginhogdetector from http://money.bigbucksblogger.com/pluginhogdetector-plugin-helps-you-find-cpu-hogging-plugins/ just deactivate it when your not monitoring as it will use a lot of resources too.

If you are doing media-rich applications and serving large files you may want to consider hosting these files on a Cloud or dedicated server.\

Keep your WordPress install up to date

Please note that these are only recommendations.

A major spike in traffic may still take down a site even if it is cached. If you find your site is going down due to traffic then your site has most likely outgrown shared hosting and it may be time to thing of upgrading to Cloud or a dedicated server.