Slow website, but restarting the server strangely led to a performance increase.

Working on a client project and one of the main issues the client is having is performance issues. At first I thought it would be some slow queries or soemthing like that but apparently the entire site is slow, not just one page or one query.

After I started working on the project, I had a need to create a user on the Ubuntu server and so I reset the root password. This restarted the server. Lo and behold, the performance increased dramatically and the site started performing well.

Prior to that, the numbers weren’t outrageous on memory or CPU usage. Only lie 55% of the server’s memory was being used and there was ample hard disk space. New relic didn’t show any alarming resource contention either or especially slow transactions or DB queries.

Any theories as to what might be the issue? Why would restarting the server improve performance?

Lastly, anything strange about this Ubuntu data from when I login?

ssh user@<ip>
Welcome to Ubuntu 14.04 LTS (GNU/Linux 3.13.0-24-generic x86_64)

 * Documentation:

  System information as of Fri Nov 10 14:00:29 EST 2017

  System load:  1.67               Processes:           147
  Usage of /:   53.5% of 78.62GB   Users logged in:     1
  Memory usage: 31%                IP address for eth0:
  Swap usage:   0%                 IP address for eth1:

Why are there 147 processes?


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