What is the CPU usage and RAM consumption of your website? How much memory is actually still free? Which cron jobs are currently running and what do your log files actually look like? The answers to these and other questions provide important information about the state of your website. We show what these values mean and introduce our website monitoring - the "Box Status".
Regardless of whether you are an agency or freelancer:in looking after websites for clients or "only" responsible for your own website - the right monitoring is the be-all and end-all. With an overview of the most important information about the status of your WordPress website, you can react more quickly should a problem occur.
After many of our customers have requested a website monitoring, our technical team has been busy and has developed the new "Box Status" for the Raidboxes Dashboard . The monitoring feature is fully included in all our hosting plans. How to work with the Box status and interpret the displayed data correctly, we explain in this article.
The Box status at a glance
The status area provides you with a whole range of information about your website, its behaviour and the server. You can access it with a few clicks via Raidboxes Dashboard - either via the list view of your Boxesor via the Box overview of the corresponding Box.
You can read the following values and information about the status of your website at Box Status. We will go into some of these in more detail in a moment:
- CPU load: This value shows whether your siteis currently overloaded. With the help of the logs of your Box, you can then determine exactly what the reason for a possible overload is.
- RAM load: The RAM load shows you the current memory consumption of your vServer. This value is also an important indicator for the overload of your website.
- SSD usage: In our website monitoring you can also see how much storage space your Box is currently using or how much is still available. For more details on memory usage, we recommend our plugin"Disk Usage Sunburst"
- Cronjobs: The Box status also gives you an overview of the cronjobs on your website. If a cronjob hangs, you can delete it directly via the Box status.
- BOXHistory: The changelog in your website status shows you all server-side changes that have been made on your BOX website to date.
- Log files: Via the Box status you also have access to all logs of your site: the error log, the debug log and the access log. These are important for debugging errors or problems on your website.
- WordPress version: Our Box status shows you on which WordPress version your website is running. You can also fix the WordPress version here to prevent automatic WordPress updates.
How do I read the graphs in Box status?
The CPU and RAM utilisation are the two most important values in the status overview of your Box. The graphs show you whether your siteis overloaded and help you analyse errors and problems.
You can filter and adjust both graphs - those of the CPU and RAM utilisation - in the Box status according to your needs. They function in exactly the same way:
- The graphs show the measured values over the last 24 hours
- The data points are one minute apart and are average values
- You can view a desired period in more detail by drawing a frame around that period within the graph. The view will then be enlarged accordingly.
- For clarity, the time at 00:00 is marked by a fine grey line (vertical) on the time axis.
- In addition, there are two colored (orange and red) horizontal markings. These are exclusively reading aids. These lines do not indicate that your site is overloaded.
- If you click on the arrow symbol in the upper right corner and then click on the graph, you can hold down the left mouse button and drag the view to the left or right.
What is CPU load?
The number of vCores of your Box always depends on the chosen plan. For example, a starter Box has one vCore - a Box in the Pro XL package has four.
The y-axis (the vertical axis) shows the CPU utilisation in percent. The x-axis (the horizontal axis) shows the course of time. The orange line marks the 100 percent utilisation limit at each point in time and the red line the 200 percent.
Only pay attention to the blue graph!
The red and orange lines are reading aids. They do not mean that your Box was heavily used at any time in the past. The blue graph represents the real values of the CPU load.
How do I interpret the CPU value correctly?
The CPU value describes the utilisation of the virtual processor cores of your Box in percent. A high value means that a lot has to be calculated on the Box, a low value means that little has to be calculated. The value results from all processes that have to be calculated by the CPU.
Too high a CPU load can lead to your website no longer functioning properly. The most common error that occurs in this context is a 504 timeout.
The CPU load of your Box can clearly exceed the 100 percent hurdle. This is not necessarily a sign that an error has occurred on your Box, but it definitely indicates that an event on your Box has generated an extremely high computing load.
If you want to have the exact value displayed at a certain point in time, it is sufficient to move the cursor over the graph to the desired point in time. As soon as you move the cursor within the graph, lines appear parallel to both axes, giving you the exact axis values (time and CPU utilisation) of the respective point.
My CPU load is high - why and what can I do about it?
The fact that the graph of your CPU indicates a high load can have various causes. Generally, this is not an indication that your website is not accessible or that it is not functioning correctly. It simply means that your CPU has to work particularly hard at certain times. Reasons for this can be, for example, many accesses to your siteor cronjobs.
What is an overload?
Isolated load peaks do not mean your CPU is overloaded. You can only speak of overload if the CPU load is well over 100 percent over a long period of time.
If the CPU load is above the range of high or very high utilisation for a longer period of time, this is called a high CPU load. Even a high CPU load is not necessarily a cause for concern, but merely indicates that a lot of computing has to be done on your website. A high load is therefore to be expected during periods of high traffic.
My website is overloaded, what can I do?
If your WordPress website is overloaded, i.e. shows a CPU load of well over 100 percent over a longer period of time, then errors and failures can occur.
So if your website is overloaded, it is important that you start directly with the search for the actual problem. Typical errors are, for example:
- high traffic (can be analyzed via the access log)
- a lot of traffic from undesired bots (can be analyzed via the access log)
- a large arithmetic operation on the Box, e.g. an export of data
- Cronjobs have hung up
More CPU cores = More power?
One possible optimization measure in the case of (expected) high load due to a lot of traffic - e.g. due to a TV appearance or a large advertising campaign - is to increase the CPU cores. After all, with a lot of visitors and corresponding database queries (for example, displaying products according to different filters), the server needs to be able to handle more load. We like to use the example of a chip shop to explain the principle:
Imagine that the server of your WordPress website is a chip shop. Each employee of the chip shop represents one CPU core. If there is only one salesperson behind the counter, only one request can be processed at a time. If there are only a few visitors , this is not a problem at first.
However, if the number of visitors becomes so high that the chip shop is overwhelmed with the requests, more employees (i.e. more CPU cores) are needed. The more thrones available in the chip shop, the more orders can be processed simultaneously. In other words, if there is too little CPU capacity and increased traffic, an overload can occur. You can see this in the Box status.
In this context, it is important to understand that more CPU cores do not automatically improve the loading time of your website - after all, the individual cores work equally fast. Rather, increasing the cores ensures that more requests can be processed simultaneously and that your shop is not overloaded.
Are you expecting a surge in traffic?
We explain how to prepare your WordPress website for a lot of traffic in our article "13 necessary measures to make your WordPress handle high load".
The amount of RAM available to you also depends on the selected plan. A website in Starter plan, for example, has 2 gigabytes of RAM - a website in Pro XL plan, on the other hand, has 8 gigabytes.
The x-axis (the horizontal axis) of the RAM graph shows the selected time period. The y-axis (the vertical axis) shows the RAM usage value in GB. The markings for a 70% and 85% usage are only reading aids. They do not indicate that your RAM is, or was in the past, exhausted. Otherwise, this graph works exactly like the one for CPU usage.
My RAM usage is high - why and what can I do about it?
There are several reasons why your RAM usage would show a high value. In general, a high RAM usage doesn't indicate that your site is unavailable or that it's not working properly. It just means that your RAM has to work extra hard at certain times. Reasons for this can be, for example, plugins or themes that require a lot of RAM to work.
What is an overload?
Sporadic consumption peaks do not mean that your website is overloaded. You can only speak of an overload if the RAM load is at 100 percent over a longer period of time. An overload can be caused, for example, by parallel work in the WordPress admin Dashboard - especially when working with page builders - or by larger imports.
What is high utilization?
If the RAM usage is in the range of high or very high for a longer period of time, this is called high RAM usage. Again, a high RAM usage isn't necessarily a cause for concern. It's only indicates that many processes have to be processed on your site. This can happen, for example, when you're working with plugins or themes that require a lot of PHP memory.
However, if your website's RAM is at capacity, i.e. at 100 per cent for a long period of time, then your sitemay experience errors and failures.
High RAM usage is only a symptom
WordPress cron jobs
All cronjobs of your Box are also displayed in your Box status. This allows you to check directly whether problems with your website are possibly related to the cronjobs. The list not only shows you all running cronjobs, you can also stop individual cronjobs directly.
If you're unsure what cronjobs are, how they work, or how to find out if cronjobs are causing problems on your site , it's best to read our background article on cronjobs and ask a web design professional for help.
Change log of your website
The change log is a new feature that you can only view in your Box status. It shows you at which point in time which user has carried out which action on Box.
Important: These logs only show changes at server level or in Raidboxes Dashboard , not changes made in WordPress.
In the example above, we switched SSL on for a testBox and switched it off again about five minutes later.
If you find changes from the user Raidboxes in your change log, these changes were made by a Raidboxes Super Admin. Entries with the user SYSTEM are automatic changes made by our system.
You can access the access, error and WP debug log of your sitedirectly via the Box status. Important: To be able to use the WP Debug Log, you must first activate it.
We appreciate your input!
If you have any questions or feedback about our website status or monitoring data, please leave us a comment. For specific questions about your Box, it is best to contact our colleagues directly in the support chat or at firstname.lastname@example.org.