Home Others Blog Related Switching to a simpler theme (temporarily?)

Switching to a simpler theme (temporarily?)

high cpu usage

After a never ending 38 support tickets from my hosting support team, LunarPages, I decided to switch to a simpler theme temporarily. I’ve been trying to find out why my blog eats up the CPU on the shared account for weeks. I’ve tried several optimizations and cleaning ups, to no avail.

The last thing to do is to switch to a simpler theme, here is why.

According to my Google Analytics, I get around 1000 unique visitors a day. It’s not much, right? So I’ve been ignoring a suggestion to upgrade my account to a dedicated hosting on EVERY ticket reply from the support. There’s no way I’m paying $100 a month for just a thousand visitors a day.

Feeling curious, I checked on another traffic analyzer called “Webalizer” on my account’s control panel (cPanel). According to Webalizer:

webalizer stats higher than google analytics

That figure shocked me O_o  I’ve heard that Webalizer includes bots, crawlers, and users with disabled JavaScript (compared to Google Analytics) so it will include every hits to a file/page. If I’ve been getting 78000 hits a day (bots, crawlers, real visitors, spammers, you name it), I can certainly understand why I’ve been “framed” of hogging my server!

To make matter worse, my previous premium theme, Arthemia Premium, uses a script called TimThumb which dynamically generates thumbnails. A closer inspection from Webalizer shows how many times the TimThumb.php is being called this month:

timthumb php high cpu usage

146,838 hits in May alone. Since it’s the 25th today:

146,838/25 days = 5873 calls to the script a day or 244 calls/hour. Although the TimThumb script has its own caching, a PHP call is still needed to validate the cache and this is still considered “utilizing” the server resources.

This new finding made me try switching the theme to something simpler (and a bit boring). I’ll wait for another day or two and check out with my hosting again whether the CPU load has been decreased. I sort of like the theme but there are too many whites on the screen for my poor eyes ^^ If the server is happy with the change, I might touch up this theme further and use it as my default. I only did half an hour of tinkering before I made it live today. Browsing for THE theme that you like is never easy and I hate to go through the process again *sigh*

I’ll keep you updated and I’ll still write my optimization/cleaning up series posts that I’ve promised earlier, even when they don’t seem to solve my issues completely, lol. I’m sure they are still pretty useful somehow.

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