Bluehost CPU Solution – Throttling Attempts Unlimited CPU in Shared Hosting


Its fairly self evident that even unlimited hosting plans have to reach some actual limit – since there are finite communication resources in the world, there has to be some kind of limit to the amount of bandwidth, storage, and CPU time that your sites take up on a host’s servers.  Indeed, regardless of the stated policy, every host has to perform some sort of rationing to keep the servers from overheating and crashing outright.

Since storage space and bandwidth have become extremely cheap and abundant in recent years, more and more hosts – like this site’s host, Bluehost – are moving to an unlimited resource policy.  Counting each user profile’s megabytes of data and terabytes of monthly transfer just weren’t important limiting factors anymore.  Most people would use such a small part of a modern hard drive that these metrics were irrelevant to the host’s actual limits.

And with the rise of dynamic websites and scripting languages that interact with database entries, the real load limit had been on CPU time.  A busy site that doesn’t cache its pages can take up a whole lot of processing power, and this tends to be the limiting factor to most shared and VPS hosting environments.  In fact, it has one of the leading causes of hosting account suspensions – and it can be considered the greatest curse of web popularity.

To combat the inconvenience of processing limitations, Bluehost is taking on a new approach.  Where Bluehost would once ban or suspend accounts that consistently went over CPU quotas, they’ve know implemented a throttling application that allows sites to slow down to compensate for bursts of traffic that would otherwise cause a server jam-up.  This allows other sites on the hosting platform to run at normal speeds, and it allows popular sites to stay online in the shared hosting environment even if they’re getting a little bit too big for it.  In the meantime of course, you can track how much your account is being throttled and make the appropriate changes to on-page code and database calls.  A few tweaks in which addons you use or a reduction in dynamic elements can drastically cut down a site’s server CPU usage, so this change makes instances of over-use a lot less dramatic.

Of course, this doesn’t mean that Bluehost has completely solved the issues of limited resources in an unlimited or unmetered hosting environment, but from the user’s perspective, its one step closer to playing out that way for all practical purposes.


  1. my site is mostly high, and i’m trying to cut off this CPU throttling, but even after removing most of the scripts, it’s still high.
    also I tried one thing in the first begging I closed the site completely and can you believe that the CPU Throttling kept high for about 3 hours, and even when it got down to zero, some times reached 77 during the closure of the site, LOL, I’m sure there’s something wrong with those numbers.
    Anyways, I’ve got confused now, what should I do, I just have one option now, is to close the site, for now, and upgrade to a private server, it seems the logical solution

  2. I had a couple of static web sites hosted on Bluehost which were constantly being throttled. In my opinion all the throttling program does at Bluehost is slow down any website. I am not impressed with it at all. The same sites hosted on Hostgator and Stablehost run much, much faster.

  3. ok. The question is, What does it mean if my site is throttling 1500 seconds in 24 hours?
    I finally wanted to know because my site is video, and audio based. We are talking 1mb – 6mb videos. 100’s and 100’s of them.. games, exams and I have about 70 databases and there are a whole lot more coming. Right now I am at the point of getting between 200 – 299 people a day. Roughly on the avg 270 people a day. So, I put a poll on my site to ask the people using the site about the speed. Very fast, quick, slow, very slow, and “I fell asleep waiting”.. So far it’s been quick, slow and good …… nothing negative. So now the next question would be, What is happening really when my site is throttling and how much can I throttle before it really becomes nuissance? 1000 seconds every 15 minutes for a duration of an hour? Does anyone know?

  4. @Monz
    What do you think about getting another hosting site with Blue Host to separate the content. So if your site was then get another domain name and link your content to both sites so that nobody would be the wiser about going to a different website all together. They would just think they were going to a different page. Now that sounds logical, Plus it sound less expensive than running a dedicated server…

  5. I’ve heard that the reporting on the throttling isn’t very accurate. The best way to get an idea is to test it out during peak traffic times and to get feedback from the users. If it was slow, users would definitely use that poll to let you know! People love complaining about free web services when they get a chance 😉

  6. By all means get another hosting account. These guys are horrible anyway you slice it and there support has really gone down hill. There is much better companies to give your money to than these bunch of Sot’s.

  7. I was throttled 8320 seconds in 24 hours with bluehost. This seems quite excessive for a site getting a few hundred hits per day.

    Can anyone tell me if it is, or better still, recommend a host that isn’t totally unreasonable for about 5 – 8 GB per month?

  8. My site has throttled more than 18000 seconds in past 24 hours. And the traffic is only 350 unique visitors. It means Bluehost is only good to sustain 500 visitors a day on single domain and that is all.

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