You can now get access to a Linux server along with PHP, MySQL and unlimited bandwidth. It has become really cheap to get access to all these for a few dollars a month.
A web host’s server is not much different from a home computer. It stores information, and it has a central processing unit, or CPU.
When you hear that your host gives you unlimited or very large bandwidth – for example thousands of gigabytes per month – it doesn’t mean that your website can handle traffic.
Your CPU may put you in trouble shutting down, if you are on a cheap hosting plan and people in a large number visiting your site. Or if you have too many programs running at the same time you can see your site shut down.
Due to the certain limits to capacity and as others will be experiencing the same CPU, it is natural you will get your web site inaccessible.
So if your traffic is taking up too much of the server’s CPU capacity, your website might become inaccessible.
Alternatively, your host might inflict ‘CPU throttling’.
If they settle on that your site is taking up too much CPU capacity, your access to the CPU will be limited. As a result your website will slow down, without necessarily going off air.
The CPU throttling won’t happen all the time – only when you are deemed to have a lot of traffic. So when I go to my control panel, I can see that my account has been throttled for just over 271 seconds over the last 24 hours.
Obviously one needs to make sure that one’s website is using as few of the server’s resources as possible. In this case it goes without saying that audio and video content should not be stored on the server of a host where CPU capacity is shared.
If you have a lot of traffic you might think moving to a dedicated server, where you have an whole CPU at your disposal, and you can use much capacity of it.