What Is Server Load?

Server load is a metric that measures how many processes are waiting to access the processors CPU on your web host. It is calculated over a certain time period, and the smaller the number better in general.

Checking Your Server Load

There are a couple of ways to check your server load. The easiest, is probably to go to your web hosts cPanel. It’s usually on the left hand side, and look for Server Status and the corresponding Click to view link. If you click on this link it will take you to a table that contains the status of all the services running on your web host.

One of these is Server Load, where you can see the reported value along with the number of CPUs available. This value is just a snapshot of your server load, and notice that it changes when you refresh the page.

cPanel Server Load

If you have SSH access, you can also check your server load by using the uptime command. When you type this, you will see the server load represented in this format: 0.83, 0.70, 0.66. This shows the average load over the past 1, 5 and 15 minutes on your server.

Uptime Server Load

How Do I Interpret It?

So what does this Server Load value mean? Well as a general rule, your server load should be less than the number of CPUs you have available. So if you have 2 CPUs available, then anything under 2.00 should be fine. In other words, all the processes that want to run, are able to without any delays.

If the server load value is above this, it’s not necessarily bad. Just keep an eye out on it, and make sure it’s not consistently high over a long period of time. If it is, and your site starts loading more sluggishly, then you may want to contact support and see if there’s anything they can do.

If you are on a shared server, consistently high server loads could be caused by other users on your server. So most shared hosting companies will typically suspend users who are consistently causing these high load times. Or it could be the case that your web hosting company is overselling accounts and putting too many accounts on one server. If your hosting company is doing this, then you may want to change web hosts.

If you are on a VPS or dedicated server, and your server load is high, then it’s something on your own account that is likely causing the issue. In this case, I would suggest that you read this article, How To Track Down a High Server Load.

VN:F [1.9.4_1102]
Rating: 0.0/10 (0 votes cast)

Leave a Comment

Leave a Comment

Previous post:

Next post: