I started having my own self-hosted sites since the day my free blogs were suddenly deleted by Blogger. As I did not bother to submit a restore request to Blogger, I decided to get my own domain name and pay for web hosting service.
Back then I do not know much about paid web hosting. All I know was I need to buy a domain name and paid for hosting my site. I sought help and advice from a friend of mine. Eventually, I bought my domain name from GoDaddy and I signed up for a web hosting plan with Bluehost through my fiend’s affiliate link; as a gesture of thanks for sharing his valuable tips with me.
Like many ignorant folks, I was attracted to Bluehost online ad that keeps screaming low pricing and its many so-called UNLIMITED offers. It says UNLIMITED this and that without any asterisk.
It was only a couple days back, I was screaming my head off because one of my sites crashed. I could not log into my admin page and visitors could not access that particular site.
It happened because one of my blog posts was luring in over nearly a thousand visitors at one time. That fateful day I kept seeing the remark: “Error Establishing a Database Connection“. Imagine massive web traffic came in droves, yet they could not enter. They met with a blank page with the message “Error Establishing a Database Connection”. I was at my wit’s end.
It was only from that incident, I started to find out more about what is a shared web hosting plan. If you look at the Bluehost advertisement on its homepage now, there is no mention of SHARED HOSTING. Unless you go to menu bar above, under “products”, then there is a drop-down menu that mentions “shared hosting”.
I am sure you will click the green color “get started now” button. After you have clicked on it, the next page (which says sign up now) still doesn’t say anything about shared hosting. Even after you have entered your domain, under the Packet Information, you still do not know that what you have just signed up for is a shared hosting plan. Actually I found out much later, my account is under SHARED service and the level is STANDARD.
What Is A Shared Hosting
Shared hosting means you share your website with other websites in a single server. All the websites in one server are using the same system resources. It means all performance resources in one server or machine are shared. The RAM (random-access memory) and CPU (central processing unit), the single Apache server, the single MySQL server and the single Mail server are on a shared basis.
The big disadvantage of a shared hosting is each user has his own limit on particular services like disk space, monthly traffic, email accounts, FTP (File Transfer Protocol) accounts, databases etc.
If one or two site use up too much CPU resource, then performance for the rest of them in the same server will deteriorates. In other words, your visitors have to wait longer time for your blog pages to be shown to them or might not even see the page, except the remark: Error Establishing A Database Connection.
Each hosting company has its own way of handling this problem. One way is by limiting mysql connections. According to Bluehost, they will “throttle” (regulate the speed) sites that use too much CPU power, so that other sites of the same server do not get victimized. It monitors CPU usage for all the sites to make sure that each one of them gets to enjoy the computer power equally, to prevent one site from monopolizing the processor. It is only the “offensive” site will be suffer a loss of performance.
Since you are using a shared server, your website is always at the risks of being slowed down or crashed. A shared web hosting plan has its limits in term of CPU usage. So when your site receives more visitors at one time, it means it is putting more demand on the CPU resources. Shared hosting is built in a way that you can’t reach too high bandwidth usage because you are limited to CPU resources, as I have mentioned above.
CPU usage is usually depends on the amount of request that your server receives. In addition, it may also depend on the number of people accessing your website or blog at the same time.
There are many reasons why your website uses up too much memory and processing power. Besides, having lots of web traffic at the same time, these are some other possible culprits:
+ WordPress themes
+ older version WordPress
+ uncached archives
+ too many widgets
+ programs spammed by bots
+ comment spams
To get more people to sign up, hosting companies will put out attractive lower pricing packages. Naturally, in order to offer you the so-called “the best deal”, they have to squeeze more websites into a server. As a result, the overloaded server becomes unstable and your website will be unreliable.
That’s the (cheap) price you paid for using a shared hosting account. Well, as the saying goes, “You get what you pay for”.
A shared hosting plan is more suitable for sites that have lesser web traffic. But if your site consistently gets over 10,000 page views a day, then it is advisable to upgrade to VPS (Virtual Private Sever), Dedicated, Cloud or WP Engine (dedicated to WordPress sites). These facilities are much more expensive as compared to shared hosting.
Do you know you can find out who or which companies are sharing the same sever as your site?
There is this free tool which can find out who your hosting neighbors are, or just to see how many other websites your hosting company runs from the same machine.
Go over to myIPneighbors and type in your domain name or IP address in the box provided and then click the Search button.
To find out your IP address, go to Google browser, type in my ip address and automatically Google will show it to you right away above the search results.
Keep reading as I would be sharing with you how to detect troubled sites, fix error establishing a database connection problem, and what are some of the maintenance work you need to do to keep your shared hosting website running smoothly.