Optimize your WHM Cpanel


This isn't gonna be a how-to increase the performance of whm/cpanel, there are loads of awesome tutorials online and i'll link so some of those in the bottom, this is just some of the tips I've learned over the years, that can and do, and make a difference on the performance of your vps / vds / dedicated box using WHM Cpanel.

1) Disable Unused Services
WHM is a complete package it takes care of the services, of making and managing the account and updating the server and itself, because of its versatility it has all these services and more that you would want from a hosting server, however all of these services are not required and some of them are serious performance hogs, so these are the ones you should check out and if you dont need, disable:

  • SpamAssassin Server (spamd) - If you dont need anti-spam, nowadays most e-mail software/webmail provide anti-spam protection, so no point running it on your server, unless mail security is essential, also if you need it, you need to configure it properly so at least its not such a big performance hit.
  • Clamav Antivirus - Same thing as SpamAssassin, but for Anti-virus, and well clamav just detects the really blatant virus, so trojans and mallware might get trhough anyways, so you can disable this one, but if you need it its the same thing as SpamAssassin, configure the hell out of it.
  • Cpanel Pro - Added features, but not really needed.
  • Statistics Software - Well with google analytics and other offsite statistics software, you can live with just one stats software and webalizer is probably the lightest, disable the rest.
  • Mailman - Just use a php or offsite maillists systems.
  • Webmail - Unless you are hosting, most people are using pop3/imap or just offsite mail, so choose the most basic like squiremail, disable the rest.
  • Entropy Chat - enable only if you need it.
  • Melange - enable only if you need it.

2) Tweaking Settings
  • Uncheck Conserve Memory at the expense of using more cpu/diskio (however if you need the added memory, check it, but you take a performance hit).
  • Choose the best version for you of Apache, Mysql, FTP, PHP (just choose the one that fits better to your uses), and then tweak it, make some online searchs on how to change the apache config's or php settings (most are available right through WHM).
  • Make sure the default catch-all mail address is set to FAIL, so that it uses as little CPU time/Disk Space as possible.

4) Upgrade / Update
This one is simple... not always having the latest and greatest is the best course of action, but there is a tendency for newer software to have better performance, less bugs and genereraly more secure, so when in doubt, always update, in this case, its setting up whm to update itself to the CURRENT or STABLE releases and make sure security packages are also on automatic, also from time to time running the easy apache, and the updates on the Software section (Server and System).

5) Keep an Eye on it and Adjust
Since every box is different (although im talking here about LAMP+WHM/CPanel), there are multiple variations of LAMP (using CentOS instead of Debian, or php4 instead of php5), also it depends on the sites/services you are doing with the box, if your sites are dynamic you kinda want to adjust php, if its a file server, you kinda can move to nginx (or another lightweight server, instead of apache), if you have a lot of Mysql work, its another thing, so not all rules or changes will work best, so keeping an eye on the performance of the box is important, not only if the CPU and RAM are good, but also how quick your pages load.


I know there are a lot of more tweaks you can make so check these articles for more in depth tweaking (or just make a search yourself), however just doing the ones i told should keep your box humming away pretty good ^_^

Check ...
Optimizing cPanel/WHM
Optimize High-Traffic Servers
Configuring and Optimizing MySQL For WHM Dedicated Server/VPS

Choosing the right Apache? Apache 2.0 vs Apache 2.2

Well i ordered a new box and found out that it was running Apache 2.0.63, a very stable version of Apache (still used by lots of webhosts), but since like a year ago, i've moved to the 2.2 branch, so to decide what was the best choice i decided to do some testing between both version to choose, humm performance wise?, and yes i know 2.2 is much better regarding speed, but performance is not just about speed, so i just installed one and then the other, did some tests and let it run for a full 24hours midweek (cause weekends the traffic drops a bit)

So what are the results, interestingly enough... im gonna make some charts ^_^

Average 24h CPU Load (Restricted to 1CPU)

Average 24h Memory (Restricted to a total of 1GB)

Average Requests of File Types

Ok charts are cute but were are the numbers? well there isnt a point or need really, since the site hosted (and test files) on the box are not a perfect benchmark of Apache's abilities, this should be considered above all a real world test, than a well measured test, but we can take a conclusion out of this, just looking at the charts, Apache 2.2 branch does seem to perform faster than the Apache 2.0 branch, although that performance increase is traded by a slightly higher cpu and memory consumption (about 0.3% memory increase and about a 6% CPU load increase ), hummm i can live with that,  2.2.15 WIN! hehehe, besides newer software has a tendency to bring better performance and security, and in the long run thats always smart thinking.

New Portuguese Search Engine


Yep, i had some requests and some tweaks to do, so i made a new site, its called PT1 or Portugal1, its based on google search with a portuguese free directory of the best portuguese sites we like (the search engine and all the added services are done, stuff like quick link search engines for firefox or search toolbar with some cool stuff ), the directory is still not live yet, also ill add more services later on, but for now it looks simple and cool and works like a charm ^_^

Moving to Asynchronous Tracking

So in this move to... well move faster hehehe, im pushing Google Analytics Asynchronous Tracking on all S2R sites that use Google Analytics (almost all, the ones that don't, they use Reinvigorate ^_^ ), although I've tested through this past week the speed changes between normal code and the asynchronous code, i can say i don't see much of a speed difference, that could be, because well, my sites already run fast, but anyways when you join all of those little tweaks that speed sites up, it makes a big difference, especially if you get bursts of traffic ^_^

New and Improved S2R

yep i made some improvements on S2R heheh, just making it nicer, still all of this "google now adding speed as another factor in ranking" is making everyone all nervous and getting CDN and doing all this changes, well i've always tried to make my sites, quick and easy, both in the webdesign/structure/hosting side of things, because i want my sites to be fast..., so... well im always trying to put one less picture in a site, or offload content or optimize code or have faster better hosting anyways, so i guess no change here ^_^'

Apthost Hosting Review

Well im doing reviews of host i've used, in this case it was Apthost Shared Hosting in mid 2009, sometimes when i finish a new site i decide to make a new account on a new host (cause they look good, or have a awesome promotion, and yes i know hosting promotions are more hype than substance, but you never know unless you try, thats why i continue to be a Dreamhost customer), so in this case i choose apthost, mostly because of their tag of being the best host for "FFmpeg".

So lets get into the review, the setup and payment was quick and easy as expected, my account was activated, and like normal quick upload and everything is looking good, i also requested a transfer of another one of my sites but that was a fail apparently apthost staff hasn't mastered transfer from cpanel to cpanel so i never did anyways, speed isnt awesome, but its all good, about a week later i noticed there were several error_log type files (some growing to multiple mb sizes) in a lot of the folders on the site, but the site seemed fine, when opening those, it was just standard log files with lots of weird errors (like page loads fine, but log reports errors from my ip anyways... weird), talked with support that dismissed it.

So like 3 weeks into it, the real problems started with multiple downtime's and overall pretty lousy performance (strange how this tends to happen to this kind of hosts, probably when they finish filling up the server to the brim...), since the site was new i decided to put a "maintenance page" while i try and workout the issues, so then it starts a week of trouble tickets with support and it kinda gets silly, most of the replies are "Your site is coming up fine.Please check it from your end." while the site is still down, also "It is being taken care of. I noticed that one of the techs did not show up, and left the monitoring of the server unattended, which caused to go into overload mode. It is coming back online in few minutes." or the "the account has been suspended for 30 minutes in our node due your account is responsible for overloading the server, which is impacting overall performance in the node.", so my site that wasnt even online is overloading the server... awesomeeee i kinda couldn't believe it, i know it was probably and automated system of some-kind and because the server was in the shitter that probably went to everyone on the server, still funny though

So after a week of practical downtime, they announce that they are moving me to a new server, ok... ohhh but there was a problem and the new server is built from backups that are from Friday and not Monday, what? well at this time since i was still on my 40th day (45 day money back guarantee) i asked for a refund and that was awarded after about a week,

So a recap of my review of Apthost:
  • They aren't a very good host overall, at least they don't seem to have their shit together
  • Support is not very supportive, there is a lot of one liner copy+paste replies from support
  • I also don't appreciate the 30min suspension for "overloading" (i would suspect a lot of people would hit that, in a more professional webhost they contact you ALWAYS before turning off your site)
  • Apparently their backup system sucks
  • They did follow trought with their moneyback guarantee
  • Setup was quick and easy

Our Very Awesome Web Directory

Ok, major improvement on or very own Web Directory, aka orgme.com, and we are actually thinking about making a portuguese version, ok maybe a bit different, and yes i know there are billions of web directories, but most are not nice at all (you have to pay or give reciprocal links or has misleading links or affiliate links or other nasty stuff), so we will try and make ours nice and helpful and clean and not weird or dodgy ^_^