Why is my site running slow?

There are many things that can cause a site to run slowly or become inaccessible. If your site has too many visitors, or if you're distributing large files on your domain, then this can slow your site down. This is due to the fact that these activities take up a lot of bandwidth. To learn all about bandwidth and how Active Web Hosting controls the bandwidth each domain uses, please see What is bandwidth and what are your limits? This will also explain why your site may have been taken offline as well.

If you find your site is running very slowly, there are measures you can take to help optimize and speed up your site:

Large Files

Large files can slow down your domain, even if it's some else you're hosting on your domain. Check all your directories and your hostees' directories for files that can be potentially large, such as video and audio files, or large images.

One useful way to locate bandwidth-hogging files is to view your web site logs for your domain. This can be accessed by going to http://www.yourdomain.com/logs/ (replacing yourdomain.com with your actual domain name). You can look for the following to help you determine what files you need to either reduce the size of or delete from the server:

File Type Report:

This will show you what file types (images, video, audio, etc.) are taking up most of the domain's bandwidth.

Request Report:

This shows you what files consumed the most bandwidth in the past 7 days. This is probably the most useful of the 3 reports.

Directory Report:

This will show you which directories contain files that take up the most bandwidth. This can be especially useful if you are hosting others, to find out which of your hostees may be taking up the most bandwidth and slowing down the whole domain.

Note that these reports reflect the usage on your web server. If you are concerned about the usage of your CGI server, check all the files on the CGI server to be sure none of them are non-web content. Please see File Types Allowed On The CGI Server for more information. Furthermore, you are not allowed to let any of your hostees, if you have any, to use the CGI server.

People who hotlink or link directly to your files.

This can be troublesome for everyone. This is also known around the internet as "bandwidth theft" because it involves a site not on your own domain and not owned by you linking directly to a file or image on your domain as if it were hosted on their domain. This will increase the number of people downloading or viewing the file and increase the amount of bandwidth your site requires. To learn ways to reduce this practice, please see How To Tell If Someone Is Directly Linking (Hotlinking) To Your Files and How To Prevent Hotlinking From Your Site

Large Images

One of the most common files that take a lot of bandwidth are images. If your site design requires a lot of graphics, it will take longer to load and take up more bandwidth. Try to keep your graphics file sizes small. In addition, if you are sharing photos or just storing them to link to them in auctions, do not upload images directly from the camera without reducing them first. Digital photos should be no bigger than 640 x 480, and desktop wallpaper no larger than 1600 x 1200. No one photo or wallpaper should be more than 150K - 200K and all images should be no larger than 72dpi. If you are distributing larger images for printing, consider using a printing site such as CafePress, Yahoo! Photos, SnapFish, or ShutterFly. If you want to host videos, consider Google Video or YouTube. Then put the link to the video on your web page. Your visitors will then be able to view your video on your web site without having to put you at risk due to bandwidth.

Try not to host others.

We recommend that you do not host others on your domain. Not only can this slow down all sites on your domain if one or more of your hostees is distributing large and/or illegal files, you can have your entire domain taken offline as a result. You are responsible for all use of your domain, including the use of all your hostees' sites.

As an alternative, you can refer anyone looking for hosting to our Active Web Hosting main page, and have them sign up for their own hosting and domain. This will also ensure that your site runs fast and smoothly without any downtime. In addition, you can get a discount on your bill as a result, plus a discount each month your friend's domain is online. Please check the information on our Discount Programs.

Your friend will also get full hosting, their own domain, and their own CGI server and database, which you would not be allowed to give them if you hosted them on your own domain.

Taking action now may result in a faster site an hour later.

The bandwidth monitor is a totally automated process which adjusts itself each hour. If your site is slow, it may correct itself in an hour or so, especially if you are aware of your domain's site usage and have taken action to correct any bandwidth-extensive files or directories.