Apache getting hammered... Wordpress site. CPU 100%

  • Posted on January 30, 2015
  • varangeAsked by varange

Hi folks. I hope one of your gurus can point me in the right direction.

I have two servers, one for Apache and one for MySQL, 4GB and 2GB RAM respectively. They run about 10 wordpress sites with very low traffic, and resources have not been a problem.

I now added another WP site with about 3000 pageviews per day and the server that runs Apache is sitting at 100% CPU all the time. Page load speed is dismal, somewhere around 6 seconds.

The site is It has about 5000 posts currently.

Plugins are W3Total Cache, SEO by Yoast, WP Optimize. The theme is a professional theme from mythemeshop (truepixel) and I have used it without a problem on other sites.

Apache uses mpm_prefork.

Strangely, apache will use only about half the available RAM, approx 2GB of teh 4GB available. I’ve tried tweaking mpm_prefork with a few variations, but no luck so far.

Here’s the mpm_prefork:

<IfModule mpm_prefork_module>
    # Default 5
    StartServers        5

    # Default 5
    MinSpareServers     5

    # Default 10
    MaxSpareServers     10

    # default 256
    ServerLimit     256

    # default 256, less or same as Server Limit
    MaxRequestWorkers   256

    # deprecated: Called MaxRequestWorkers now
    #MaxClients     128

    # Can be a high number like 20000 but do not set to 0 (unlimited)
    MaxConnectionsPerChild  20000

    # No need to Keep alive, just keeps threads busy
    KeepAlive On

Where next? How to diagnose?

Thanks in advance

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Also, as a quid pro quo, I thought I’d describe to other readers of this thread how to get Theme-My-Login to disable wp-login.php.

Step 1: Install Theme My Login. Just look for a new plugin from your wordpress admin console Step 2: Enable the Security Module from TML Settings

Step 3: Go to the Security Module’s settings and “Disable wp-login”

That’s it!

I also like to set up Recaptcha. Easy enough to do.

PS: Jonathan, would you link to the media files in this comment please? No idea how to do that.

Good thought! I installed Theme-My-Login, and that redirects and puts Recaptchas whereever I want them

OK, found the problem!

The THEME! Really, no jokes. Who woulda thought?

I load a different theme (twenty-fifteen) and life is good.

Goes to show.