What does the IO limit mean

One of the limits enforced by InfinityFree is the “IO limit”. This article explains what this limit means, what usually causes it and what you can do to prevent reaching it.

What does IO usage mean

IO usage measures how much the PHP code on your site interact with the hosting storage. It’s usually measured in MB per second.

Your website generates IO usage for example when uploading files on your website using a built-in uploader (such as the media manager in WordPress) or when installing plugins or themes using built-in functionality of your site.

The IO metric does not count usage that is not generated from PHP. This includes uploading and downloading files over FTP or the file manager, accessing web pages on your site or downloading files from it, or managing scripts through Softaculous.

How is IO usage counted

The IO limit is based on IO “faults”. This means that we set a base limit for IO usage. If you hit it, your website will be throttled but not suspended.

When you hit this initial limit, it is counted for your account as a “fault”.

When you reach a certain number of faults in a day, your account will be suspended for 24 hours.

How much IO bandwidth can I use

The exact storage bandwidth that is allocated, and the maximum number of faults you can have within a day, are confidential. But you can view how close you are to the limit through the graph in the Account Statistics page in your control panel.

How can I see what causes the high IO usage

The IO limit, as with all other limits, are only tracked as a single counter for the account as a whole. Because of that, there is no way to reliably pin down the IO usage to specific scripts, pages or actions.

Premium hosting does come with more detailed statistics, which are broken down per hour and includes snapshots so you can see what was going on when your usage was highest. But even those metrics don’t give you the answer on a silver platter.

In practice, you’ll have to perform some trial and error to figure out which configuration causes high IO usage and which doesn’t.

What causes high IO usage

The IO limit is one of the most abstract limits that exist on InfinityFree. Because of that, it’s not always easy to understand or reason why a site hits the IO limit.

Backup and Import plugins tend to cause high IO usage, because their main function involve moving large archives and many files around. If you have any such functionality or plugin on your site, please disable it.

What can I do to reduce IO usage

If you have any Backup plugins or Import systems, please disable them. Such scripts are known to cause high IO usage.

If there are other scripts that may do a lot of reading and writing from storage, please try disabling those too and see if that helps.

If you don’t have anything like that, you can also post your situation in the community forum so others can help guess too. If you do, please describe what’s running on your account in detail so people can help you effectively.

How can I get more IO power

If you’re having trouble optimizing your IO usage, or just want more IO bandwidth, premium hosting comes with much higher IO power allocations than free hosting. On premium hosting, your account will only be throttled at the times you use too much, it will not be automatically suspended if you hit the limit frequently.