High bandwidth usage on shared hosting accounts

As a shared hosting customer, you may receive messages from the Smart System Notifier about high bandwidth usage. This article discusses possible causes and ways to resolve the issue.

Smart System Notifier messages

As a shared hosting customer, you may receive an e-mail message from us if your account's bandwidth usage far exceeds average bandwidth usage on the server. This Smart System Notifier message informs you of conditions that impact the performance and stability of your account and the server that hosts it. By informing you of these conditions early, we can work together to improve your account's performance and stability before the issue impacts the entire server.

Possible causes of high bandwidth usage

A simple explanation for high bandwidth usage is that your account's site or sites receive a lot of traffic. In other words, your site is popular, which is good news! If this is the case, please contact our Sales team to discuss possible upgrade options.

However, in other cases, high bandwidth usage is unintentional and caused by other factors. You can use cPanel to help analyze your website's bandwidth usage. For information about how to do this, please see this article.

The following list describes some common issues that can cause high bandwidth usage. Resolving these issues does not require an upgrade:

  • Comment spam on a forum or blog such as Wordpress can affect bandwidth usage. Check your account for any old installations that you can remove, or for comments and spam postings that look automated. On most blogs, it is possible to disable commenting. If you want to allow comments, however, you may need to implement CAPTCHA protection for your website. For more information about how to do this, please see this article.
  • A hacked account often causes abnormal bandwidth usage. Make sure you use a secure password and keep all software up to date. For information about how to secure a hacked site, please see this article.
  • Running cron jobs too frequently—particularly resource-intensive cron jobs—can negatively impact server performance. Only run cron jobs as often as necessary. On shared hosting accounts, the shortest allowed interval for cron jobs is 15 minutes.
  • Consider enabling Cloudflare for your account in cPanel. For more information about Cloudflare, please see these articles.
  • If none of the previous scenarios apply to your account, it may simply be outgrowing what a shared server can handle. You should consider upgrading to one of our affordable Managed VPS plans.

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