My wordpress cant handle too much traffic




Hi, i am wondering how many active users at one time can my wordpress website cope? Currently when it hit 2000 the site went down and unbale to access for about 15 minutes. Also even when at 1600 users the cpu is 100%. What should i do?


First, much of this is dependent on your WordPress set-up. Themes and plugins do use up memory; some of them use more than others. A site with twenty plugins up and running will use more memory than a site with five plugins running (generally). What do users do with your site? Are they just reading articles, or are they taking quizzes, writing comments, etc? The more calls to the database, the more memory you will use.

Second, you’ve given us no information about your hosting setup. Are you on shared, VPS, or dedicated?

The question of how many active users a given site can cope with at once does not have an answer. It depends on many factors, many more than I have listed here. But I have listed the main ones.


1.6k users actively on your website is a fair amount of traffic. A shared hosting plan with most webhosts–DreamHost included–would generally disable your site temporarily if it’s hitting that kind of spike (such as if a post on a social media website suddenly got a lot of traffic to your site).

A VPS can give you more resources. It’s also worth looking into other aspects of your site, like caching, to optimize performance-to-hardware/hosting cost.


If you look through my post history you’ll find several discussions where I and others go into detail on this topic. Your question doesn’t account for many nuances including:

  • PHP version
  • Total plugin “bulk” (not just plugin count)
  • Cache
  • CDN
  • Compression

In very rough numbers, off the top of my head here : With about 20 plugins you might be consuming about 100MB per transaction. So in shared space you can get about 5 concurrent users at any given time. That doesn’t mean 5 people across the planet. It means at any one “sub-second” instant 5 people will be truly active.Everyone else will be waiting in a queue for their turn. If your transaction time is 40ms, (possible) you can process those 5 people in 200ms and thus about 25 full round-trip transactions (users) per second. Realistically you’re probably doing more like 500-2500ms, which in the worst case means you could have some people waiting 2.5 to 12+ seconds for every click to register.

That’s the reality of shared space. EVERYONE’s EXPERIENCE IS DIFFERENT based on the details of your environment. Now, when you hit an artificial memory limit imposed on shared space, where DH doesn’t want any one site to abuse resources, your entire site gets slapped down for the moment.

So as our friends here noted, you can get more users with more memory and by using other techniques if you use VPS, a dedicated server, or my preference, DreamCompute, where you defined and manage all of your own resources.

Again, I’ve posted a lot of pain and suffering in these pages over the last 2 years or so, and others have contributed their wisdom to help get me through it. Look back for it! But I’m doing OK now. My Only issue with DH now is that my shared sites are returning hundreds of server error 500s. I need to migrate them all to DC. I hate that, but I know the limits of shared space and I’m OK paying more for stability. YMMV



Thanks all for the replied. I have looked into all the suggestions.
My previous site was on old Dreampress plan and now it got upgraded to the new plan which added a new ‘High-performance cloud’ feature. The support team also kind enough to optimize my database which at a size of 1.4+Gb. Turns out there are some junks and leftovers from deleted/uninstalled plugins that still reside inside the database, .htaccess and other folders.
My site is doing fine now, thanks all for the replies. Appreciated it.