Site slow? account CPU overloaded? Make sure you’re running PHP accelerators on your server.

Recently, a colleague has been having trouble with his site, as his medium-size Drupal website has been running extremely slow and overloading the server hosting account. This could have been due to a number of things, but sometimes even a Googlebot visit can hurt your site performance if your account is not setup right.

After a bunch of questions I arrived at asking him about the PHP accelerators he has installed, and after he checked, it turned out that his as-is hosting account didn’t include any. Immediately after installing the PHP accelerators the site load went down to virtually nothing and all his previous performance problems were virtually solved.

There are a few good PHP accelerators out there, and if your account is limited then it might depend on what your hosting is using. In this case, we used ZendOptimizer and eAccelerator, which are easy to install. If you have a decent hosting with a managed account – they’ll even do it for you. So, if you’re running your own server (VPS/VDS/DS), and you’re looking for a performance boost, look around for PHP accelerators.

(Since a few emailed and asked – I’m using Hostforweb for my servers, and they have so far been fast, helpful and professional. I recommend you look them up.)

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