One of the downsides to cheap hosting is that there is usually a limit on how much of the hosting server resources your website can use.
The reason your hosting is cheap is because there are dozens if not HUNDREDS of other websites on your hosting server, or that techies call “the box.” Here’s a tool to access your current hosting “shared” status (see example below).
A good way to explain this practically is by thinking about how many things YOU can do at one time. It’s the same for a hosting server. Like you, when your brain or body is taxed to the max, something has to give. It’s an overload situation.
The same happens on shared hosting servers.
Hosting server overloads are not uncommon. We’ve seen them ourselves at this website (which uses WordPress and is hosted with SiteGround).
What causes server resource issues? All kinds of things from the hosting server itself being sub-par to scripts or WordPress themes with a lot of “overhead.” Unruly WordPress plugins can cause problems. Malware on your hosting server is another potential culprit.
Sometimes when server resource errors occur your hosting company will notify you via email.
Sometimes they don’t.
Sometimes, they just take your website offline.
Yes, they just suspend your hosting and your website is now unavailable. #ouch
There are several things you can do. All of them are a bit more technical than novice level knowledge about hosting, but the folks at WPFixit put together an excellent overview with recommendations. We particularly like Query Monitor, which gives you a quick and accurate look at what might be causing the spikes in hosting server resource use.
They’ve also included a handy list of WordPress management plugins to help you manage the issue.
Sidenote: Monitor your hosting server performance (up-time/downtime) for free and be notified it’s offline using: https://www.pingdom.com/free
Graphic: Shared cheap hosting? You are NOT alone!