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How Flexible Are the PHP Workers on Pagely’s Plans?

All Pagely hosting plans use a defined number of CPU cores, RAM and PHP workers. The higher the plan, the more resources and capacity you receive to throttle larger, more dynamic volumes of traffic concurrently. Our engineers can either (relatively) adjust the number of PHP workers on your current plan or easily resize you to larger instance-sized plan altogether.

A Quick Refresher on PHP

PHP workers are there to process any requests that bypass cache, or result in a cache miss. With a limited pool of workers available, requests can build up in your queue if all workers are busy. This is especially crucial for Woocommerce sites that routinely use PHP workers to serve dynamic requests for processing payments, utilizing a shopping cart, etc. fast and effectively.

Unlike a shared/containerized architecture that offers small incremental increases in PHP FPM workers at each plan level, our plans are based on dedicated Amazon EC2 instances purely for hosting your WordPress sites, ultimately giving our customers more freedom and control over tuning your worker count.

Check out our Definitve Guide to PHP Workers to learn how the methodology to creating high performing WordPress sites. And no, it’s not all about adding a fleet of PHP workers to amplify speed.

Do More PHP Workers = Better Performance?

Before making changes, it’s important to understand the relationship between CPU, RAM and PHP. When optimizing your WordPress site for enhanced performance, it’s imperative your server has the right balance between the three to operate proficiently. Upping your PHP worker count is often thought of as a magic trick to amplify throughput or shorten rendering times. Unfortunately, it’s not that simple…

PHP uses a combination of CPU cores and memory to process incoming requests. Depending on what your PHP code is doing, this can greatly impact performance, both positively and negatively. Our blog post on WordPress Performance and Digging Into PHP emphasizes some of these scenarios in deeper context.

When you’re bloated with workers beyond what your CPU and RAM can realistically handle, they essentially become ineffective without proper backing. This can cause performance to plummet and lead to 503 errors for your website visitors. Improper allocation of PHP FPM, database queries being abused, and excessive processes running at once are all common examples that can lead to a failed web server.

What Can Pagely Do?

Luckily, analyzing reasons for high server load and resolving these types of issues is what our specialized DevOps force does here at Pagely, largely impart to the degree of customization we can do with our PressCACHE™ system. Simply throwing more hardware or advising more PHP workers be added isn’t a viable first resort solution here. Our customers pay for pure expert engineering support, not upsells.

We’re committed to informing you of the less-obvious nuances and implications involved with adjusting your PHP worker pool and when it’s a justifiable move. If you’re struggling with performance and adequately scaling your WordPress sites, talk to us! We’ll be happy to help you determine whether Pagely is a good fit for your needs.

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