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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 adjust the number of PHP workers on your current plan, or resize you to larger instance-sized plan altogether.

Too Few, or Too Many, Cooks in the Kitchen

PHP Workers in your CPU are like cooks in your kitchen — you can have too few, too many, or just the right amount.

Your Pagely CPU (kitchen) is optimized for the types of food (WordPress) that you will be serving.

But there are many variations on WordPress, so it is possible you might need more, or even fewer, PHP Workers in your CPU (i.e., cooks in your kitchen).

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 activities like processing payments, and utilizing a shopping cart, quickly and effectively.

Our plans are based on dedicated Amazon EC2 instances that allow our customers more freedom and control to tune their worker counts.

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 is important to understand the relationship between CPU, RAM, and PHP. When optimizing your WordPress site for enhanced performance, it is imperative your server has the right balance between the three to operate efficiently. 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 workers, 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. We often start by optimizing how your site caches with our PressCACHE™ system. Simply throwing more hardware or advising more PHP workers to be added is not a viable first resort solution here. Our customers pay for expert engineering support, not upsells.

We are committed to informing you of the less-obvious nuances and implications involved with adjusting your PHP worker pool and when it is a justifiable move. If you are 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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