Tips to use your Shared Host effectively and avoid account suspension

October 30, 2011 | by

See the screen…Nightmare of every blogger. If you have a rapidly growing blog, one day this will happen, your host will send you a warning message regarding excess resources usage, or even without warning they may shut down your blog. No one start blogging with a dedicated servers or VPS and it is not advisable too because as a startup it’s a wastage of resources. Shared hosting is sufficient to start and buildup a blog. Here some tips to use your shared hosting effectively and minimize the account suspension chance.

Select a good and powerful shared host

In shared hosting environment the CPU resources are shared with multiple sites. Most of the webhosts offer “Unlimited bandwidth” , “Unlimited Domains”, “Unlimited web space” etc. First of all keep one thing in mind, nothing such “Unlimited” in this world.  Just buying an “Unlimited host” and sleep peacefully… if you think like this, then you are seriously mistaken. Several clauses lying under this “Unlimited” offer. In a shared host, the CPU resources are shared. You are offered with Unlimited bandwidth and Web space, but not “Unlimited Resources”. Bandwidth usage is directly proportional to the resources, hence this “Unlimited” is also very limited. Most of the low ended webhosts permits only 5% of the CPU usage, means at an average it can handle approximately 1000-1500 unique visitors only (Depending upon your blog configuration). Here Hostgator stands out of the crowd. Their hosting plans are a little bit costly as compared with other cheap shared hosts, but in shared environment also they give 25% CPU resources, means you can have around 7000 unique visitors per day. Now you are clear what I mean by “Powerful Shared Host”.

Optimize your  WordPress installation

WordPress is not a resources friendly content management system. Regular maintenance and optimization is required to get optimum result from a WordPress blog. With certain optimization tips you can make your WordPress blog server friendly. 


Your WordPress optimization starts from your blog theme. Heavy images , flash files, and Javascripts in your themes increase the server load. First of all you must realize that you are in a shared server environment with limited resources. No one will come back to your site just seeing its beauty, first a healthy platform second good content then can think about the beauty. Select a light weight fast loading and search engine friendly theme.


Keep minimum number of plugins to reduces the server load. Plugins like Related posts, SEO Smart link (Free version) etc slow down your site with heavy database requests. Increased database request in turn increase the server load and take considerable CPU resources.


You must use a suitable Cache plugin to cache your dynamic pages to render from the cache instead of taking from the database every time. This will decrease the server load and speedup your website. You have to configure these plugins properly to get the desired results. These two plugins are equally good, apart from caching these plugins also facilitates CSS/Java script compression, GZip compression, minify, CDN support, RSS Feed compression etc.

MySQL database optimization

MySQL database is the heart of your WorPress blog, hence it is need not to specify how importance it is. On due course of time, the database get fragmented and cluttered with orphan strings. Hence periodic database optimization is essential for optimum performance. Few good WordPress plugins are available to do this optimization task effectively. I am using WP DB Manager plugin for taking database backup and optimization. This plugin allows you to optimize database, repair database, backup database, restore database, delete backup database , drop/empty tables and run selected queries. Supports automatic scheduling of backing up, optimizing and repairing of database.

Image Optimization and CDN

Images consume considerable bandwidth. A shared hosting can’t handle heavy image related traffic. If one of your posts contains a lot of images and get good amount of traffic, more than 75% of the bandwidth consumed by that post may be due to the images.

Free image hosting services to host your images

If possible host your images to some other hosts or other image hosting sites. There are few disadvantages in hosting the images to another domains in terms of SEO, however in terms of server load and page speed, it is always better to host the images to some other hosts. You can use your own Picassa or Flicker account to host the images.

Minimize image size

As far as possible, try to reduce the image size without compromising the quality, for that you can use the Smushit tool or use Smushit WordPress plugin to reduce the image size. Don’t use GIF and BMP file because these type images consume huge bandwidth.


If you can spend few bucks more use good Content Delivery Network  services like Amazon, Cloudflare, Akamai, MaxCDN etc. Optionally you can use your Free DropBox service as your CDN. Use this WordPress plugin   and you can use Dropbox to host your images and other files. This will reduce the bandwidth of the server and load your site faster.

Cloudflare CDN service

Cloudflare offers free as well as paid CDN services, which works as a proxy between your server and visitors. Cloudflare cache your web content to their servers and deliver to the visitors. This will considerably reduce the server load and your visitors get pages in fastest speed. This is one of the most recommended CDN with advanced security features and spam filtering.

Hotlink Prevention

Protect your site’s resources from being hot linked by other sites. Your images may be visible in search engines and people may hot link those images directly to their blogs and other social networks. If such an image is feature in a popular social network, within no time your shared host will go down. Hence it is your responsibility to protect the images from hot linking. You can use the hot link prevention feature available in your host Cpanel or add the following codes in your .htaccess file. Replace the site url.

RewriteEngine on
RewriteCond %{HTTP_REFERER} !^$
RewriteCond %{HTTP_REFERER} !^http(s)?://(www\.)? [NC]
RewriteRule \.(jpg|jpeg|png|gif)$ – [NC,F,L]

Use Gmail service to host your blog email.

You can use Google Apps Standard edition to host your blog email service. You can have maximum 10 accounts in this free service. Apart from saving your server space and bandwidth you are getting Gmail powered personalized email accounts with advanced spam filtering. Often bloggers are using the CPanel email forward option, which is easier to setup, but in terms of bandwidth and data usage, Gmail powered custom email is recommended. Go through this guide to setup your Gmail powered custom mail . 


If your budget don’t permit you to go for high ended hosting plans like VPS or Dedicated servers, then you have to take a little bit pain to optimize your blog and host.  Any more tips that I didn’t mention or overlooked? Please share your experience through comments.


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