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Understanding Server Load

Server load is one of the major delay in webpage loading. However there are misconceptions about the reading of server load among general people including many programmers too.

What is server cpu load?

Server CPU load is something like this (from our WP SERVER plugin):

Server Load Averages : 0.00, 0.02, 0.00 . Running for last 25 days, 11:17 hours

server cpu load

In this reading, the first one ( 0.00 ) is the server load average for last 1 minute, second is last 5 minutes and the third is last 15 minutes.

The maximum value a processor has at a time is “1”. Anything above 1 means that the server is exceeding the capacity and the processes are awaiting their turn in the queue.

You should be concerned more about the fifteen minute average first, it should be kept in limit for sure then come to the five minutes average and then care about the one minute one.

Single core vs multi core processor

Now 1 is ideal for a single core processor. For a dual core processor the server load can go up to 2 before the waiting list sets in. You can check how many cores are in your servers cpu and then understand when your server is getting over loaded.

What is ideal server cpu load?

Ideal servre cpu load isn’t 1 (for single core). It’s below 1, near half of it. Some believe it should be below 0.7 though. However there are various situations in which the full 1.0 load is ideal as it seems most cost effective to use the cpu at its maximum capacity.

How to reduce server load?

Reducing server load is a long topic. Every server may require it’s own custom changes to reduce the load.

The first and foremost thing to do is to use cache plugins, both script related or server related ones.

Then don’t forget to block the bruteforce and hack attempts going on your server, don’t assume your server is free from them, they’re going on your server, more than you could imagine!

For customized server load reduction click here to hire me on fiverr.

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