How Much RAM and CPU Does My Website Need?
When you’re getting started online you’re going to have a ton of different hosting options to choose from. But, not every style of web host is going to be the best fit for your needs. This is actually a good thing, as it helps you narrow down some of your choices.
Choosing the proper web hosting plan will be all about your needs. You need to take time to figure out the best style of web hosting that’ll support the goals of your website.
When you select a hosting environment, many of the hardware components will be the same, but if you run a larger site, then you’re going to need to focus on the scalability of the server resources.
Below we dive into what common hardware specifications you’ll need to look for when choosing a web host, including the amount of RAM and CPU you’ll need.
What is RAM? And How Much Do I Need?
RAM is a form of memory that holds temporary data when your site is running multiple processes at the same time, such as when your site’s scripts have to execute. The more processes that run at once, the more RAM this will take up.
If your site doesn’t have enough RAM to handle the load, this will lead to a ‘500 internal server error’ on the side of your visitor.
If you have a smaller website you will probably be good with the stock amount of RAM. But, if your site receives a large volume of traffic and needs to keep up with all of the requests, then it’s a good idea to upgrade your RAM, or choose a plan that offers a higher amount.
Below we offer a few site and server specifications that’ll help you determine whether you need more or less RAM:
- If your site receives a high volume of traffic you’ll need more RAM.
- Some server operating systems require more or less RAM.
- Dynamic sites require more RAM than static sites.
- CMS like WordPress, Drupal, and Joomla require more RAM.
- If your site uses caching, then you can get away with lower RAM requirements.
What is CPU? And How Much Do I Need?
The server that your site is hosted on will be comprised of multiple CPUs, just like on your home computer. The larger the capacity of the CPU, the more information it can store and process before having an adverse effect on your site’s performance.
If you’re on a shared hosting package, then these CPU resources will be split. The requests will be processed in the order they are received. However, the CPU will be able to process multiple requests at once, and can use time sling to ensure the requests are handled very quickly.
Still, CPUs can get overloaded. If there’s a large surge in traffic, or a huge amount of scripting requests, then the performance of your site will suffer.
If you have a large, or high traffic site, we recommend choosing a hosting plan with higher CPU such as a virtual private server or dedicated server plan.
What Other Hosting Specs Do I Need to Consider?
Beyond RAM and CPU there are a few other things you’ll want to take into account when choosing a host. Below we dive into the importance of hard drive space and scalability for peak traffic.
Most hosts will allocate a certain amount of hard drive space to your site. For example, HostGator’s shared hosting plans provide unmetered disk space. If you have a particularly large website, then you’re going to need to make sure there’s enough storage for all of your site’s files. This is especially true if you’re planning on storing all of your site’s media files on your server as well.
Finally, it’s important to address how easy it is for your site to scale. Some hosting options, like cloud hosting, give your site unlimited freedom in its growth. If you have a peak traffic day the server load will be balanced between multiple servers, so your site won’t crash. But, if you’re on a limited shared hosting plan your site might be throttled down, so it doesn’t impact the other sites on the server. Learn more about the differences between cloud and shared hosting.
When choosing the right web host for you you’re going to need to determine the overarching needs of your site. Both in the present and in the long-term. You want to choose a host that’s up to your current technical requirements, and can expand with you as your site receives more traffic.
Our scalable web hosting plans grow with you as your site grows.