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I have a Siteground cloud server, and I know nothing about servers. It hosts 8 websites, although 3 of them have their own dedicated IP addresses and cPanels.

It's on a Linux server, but there's something w/ NGinx mixed in there. For instance, sometimes they have to restart NGinx for me ... some type of combo or something.

The basic details on the server are:

  • 2 CPU cores
  • 3 GB RAM
  • 40 GB SSD storage space
  • I'm paying about $90/month for this

If I go into my WHM, Service Status, it says this:

  • Server Load: 0.69 (2 CPUs)
  • 31.4% (987,744 of 3,145,728)
  • Swap Used: 0.01% (268 of 2,097,152)
  • Disk Information: 74% usage

They're all WordPress installations, and recently -- despite no major changes -- my administrative areas in all Siteground websites began lagging extremely slowly and eventually timing out.

The techs are usually good, but this guy just told me to purchase 2 additional cores; he said I didn't need to purchase additional storage space or an extra GB RAM.

The Sites:

They're basically low maintenance sites and not too heavy w/ traffic. USS Vision, WebPrezence LLC (SSLd), and then my nonprofit organization, National Center For Due Process (SSLd, and is the largest and most visited of any of the 8 websites.

As server experts, is it possible for anybody here to tell if this tech is correct? Will adding 2 CPUs help, so I don't get locked out of my FTP, cPanel, and back-end of my websites? Is it possible to tell with the little amount of information I'm knowledgeable enough to provide?

Or am I way off here and should I be doing something else, leery of the tech's advice?

Thank you for any guidance anybody can offer!

marked as duplicate by Craig Watson, joeqwerty, HBruijn Dec 20 '15 at 15:28

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    I'd first make sure that whatever middle ware is serving the sites is configured correctly. Those specs do seem a little low to host 8 sites...how much traffic? There are tons of wrodpress developers who couldnt get wordpress to run smoothly on a supercomputer...so there's that too... Ask them (or you check) the nginx logs. – Kisaragi Dec 18 '15 at 16:01
  • Thanks @Kisaregi. They're basically low maintenance sites and not too heavy w/ traffic. ussvision.com, webprezence.com, and then my nonprofit organization, nationalcdp.org (which is the largest and most visited of any of the 8 websites. – Jason Weber Dec 18 '15 at 16:12
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    I have a feeling that if you need to write "I know nothing about servers" then it's time to employ someone who does. Absolutely not trying to be snarky, just honest. – Craig Watson Dec 18 '15 at 16:19
  • What is the point of wasting time with a response like that @CraigWatson..it's not constructive to the OP at all. – Rocco The Taco Jun 16 '16 at 10:36
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Yes, adding two more cores will help to improve response speed.

But that is not all. The most correct solution to the problem is much like the problem: a moving target. Right now adding cores may help. Tomorrow it may be more memory. The next day you might need bandwidth.

Adding resources is often the cheapest and fastest way to improve performance. Especially with something like response time.

But is it the best?

That depends. Tracking down and optimizing performance problems in both server configuration and code can be expensive, highly specialized, and time consuming tasks.

And how will you know?

You must start measuring. Measure response times, measure time to first byte, measure amount of data transferred. Automate these tests and measurements using some of the many tools out there for server monitoring. Graph the results.

Finding the right balance between more resources (cores, memory, ...) and server/code optimizations (programmer/admin hours) is up to you. I suggest you try a bit of both.

And remember, if you aren't measuring than there is no point trying to optimize.

  • Thanks, Travis! I have my TTFB on my sites under 2.0 seconds on webpagetest dot org. – Jason Weber May 13 '16 at 22:12

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