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What is I/O usage?

I/O is short for “input/output.” In the context of a hosting account, it’s the “throughput” or speed of data transfer between the hard disk and the RAM. Naturally, increasing the speed of transfer makes the process faster. 


Unlike some other limits, you don’t “exceed” your I/O limit and it doesn’t generate immediate errors. Instead, a site just “hangs” while it waits for the data to transfer from the hard disk to the RAM. 


Eventually, you may run into an error similar to: 


These limits are designed or rather configured to make sure that no single web site can bring down the web server which will affect everyone else. 


You can view your current I/O usage from within your cPanel. The statistics are displayed on the right-hand side. 


What can cause high I/O usage? 

Generally speaking, sites that need to read and write a lot of data, such as those streaming any kind of media or with many database records, benefit most from I/O enhancements. 

That being said, high traffic volumes, scheduled scripts or even plugins that are constantly doing something on the site will cause high I/O usage. If you have your own scheduled task for backups, this can also play an additional factor in high usage. 


However, increasing the I/O limit will not fix every issue that cause the site to lag or hang. Please check with your web developer regarding this. 

You’ll receive three warnings regarding resource limits. Should you still exceed the limit by the third warning, your package will be automatically upgraded to the next plan to avoid any impact on your website. 

If you are a reseller, host a few websites or simply want better performance, our Business VPS solutions would truly benefit you as we do not monitor resource usage on these services. You can find our current solutions here. 


Updated on March 7, 2023

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