Ways of resolving resource overusage issues

One of the most common errors caused by hitting LVE limits is the 508 Resource Usage error. In some cases, it can cause some of your services, including web access to cPanel, to become totally unavailable.

But LVE works in conjunction with your web server's virtualhost configuration, so it is possible to access cPanel with your servername when your account is overloaded, in order to disable/modify scripts/addon domains and make some of your web content available again.

How to check resource usage

1. You can check current resource usage on the left of the main cPanel page. You may see some red fields, which indicate that the corresponding limits have been reached:

On the left, you can see an example of the account resource usage without load. On the right, there is high CPU usage.

NOTE: if you've haven't currently hit any resource limits but you face usage issues from time to time, detailed statistics may be helpful to you. Check those in the Resource Usage menu, in the Logs section.

2. If you have access to your account via SSH, you can check the current processes running with the following command:

top -c In the output, you'll be able to see which process or processes use the most of such resources as CPU and virtual memory. Additionally, information on the total number of tasks will be displayed, as well as tasks that are running, sleeping or stopped:

The first line shows:

the current time
time since the last boot
users sessions logged in
average system load (over the last minute, five minutes and 15 minutes)

The second line indicates the total processes, running, sleeping, stopped, and zombie (that have been terminated but have not been properly disposed).

The third line shows how the CPU is used in %:
us - user processes
sy - system processes
ni - priority upgrade nice
wa - time waiting for I/O completion
hi - hardware interrupts
si - software interrupts
st - time stolen from the virtual machine by the hypervisor task

The fourth and the fifth lines show memory usage (RAM): total, used, free and buffers. The first row shows physical memory and the second one shows virtual memory (swap).

The next rows provide details on the current processes:
PID - ID of the process
USER - The user that is the owner of the process
PR - priority of the process
NI - Nice value of the process
VIRT - virtual memory used by the process
RES - physical memory used by the process
SHR - shared memory used by the process
S - status of the process (S - sleeping, D - uninteruptible sleep, R - running, T - stopped, Z - zombie).
%CPU - percentage of CPU used by this process
%MEM - percentage of physical memory used by this process
TIME+ - total cpu time used by the process
COMMAND - name of the process

Troubleshooting resource usage issues:

  • Disable recently activated plugins, website addons, themes and cron jobs. If this is the first time you've encountered a resource usage issue, check the latest updates you've made to your site. Often, recent changes turn out to be the cause of such behavior. If you've installed a new plugin or theme, try disabling it and monitoring the effect on the account’s performance for at least 10 minutes.

  • NOTE: Changes will not take effect immediately. You will need to monitor website performance for some time.

  • Navigate to Awstatsmenu in cPanel to check whether there has been a recent spike in number of visits.

  • Log in via SSH and use top -c to check the current processes running and the scripts that trigger them. Pay attention to the processes that overuse certain resources or use a great amount of them. If the process in question is generated by a script, the simplest way to disable use of this script is to rename it. Or you can create a Deny from all directive record in the .htaccess file where the directory problem script resides.

  • Optimize your websites (you can use Google PageSpeed Insight for diagnosing). If you are a WordPress user, this article may come in handy.

If you've optimized your website and your account is still hitting resource limits, consider upgrading your hosting plan. Business hosting is the best solution if you wish to increase your account’s resource usage limits only. With Business hosting, your account’s RAM usage quota can be extended up to 8GB during short periods of time when your account needs it most. If you have a Business package with us and you're still experiencing overusage issues, we recommend you consider upgrading to a dedicated server.

We strongly recommend that you contact us via Helpdesk before any upgrade, so we can check your account and verify your upgrade options.

That's it!


We welcome your comments, questions, corrections and additional information relating to this article. Your comments may take some time to appear. Please be aware that off-topic comments will be deleted.

If you need specific help with your account, feel free to contact our Support Team. Thank you.

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