Sailing the seas of online marketing and plundering the riches as an affiliate pirate.

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

High CPU Load in cPanel Resource Usage Monitor

Today I randomly checked the Resource Usage tool in cPanel for two of my websites which use different hosting providers. To my surprise, both showed ridiculous CPU load (fluctuating from 70% to 100%) and high memory usage. What's more, this apparently has been happening for hours without any drop in load.

This was rather worrying seeing how my site usually has very low and memory usage and I rarely hits the CPU limit. Reaching the limits is bad because your webhost can decide to suspend your site or move you to a "troublemaker" server.

My 30 day resource usage graph looked like this:


You can clearly see the huge jump. What's more, the graph indicates that my host decided to actually increase the maximum CPU limit at the same time this started happening. All this, coupled with the fact that two of my sites, hosted on completely different servers, were having the same problem, seemed rather unlikely.

Sure enough, after googling for a few minutes, I discovered another user of completely different webhost service who had the same problem recently. I think we can safely assume that this is a bug in cPanel's resource monitor and not worry if your Resource Usage tool starts telling you're hitting the CPU cap all the time.

I haven't been able to find official notice of this anywhere though, so I'm keeping an eye out for any news.

Sunday, September 4, 2011

How to Geotarget Ads on Your Website

Working with a single ad network is straightforward enough: you simply place their code on your website, and you're done. Things get a little more complicated if you are selling your ad space to advertisers directly, or when you want to geotarget your affiliate (or other) ads (in other words, show them only to visitors from certain countries). Geotargeting can drastically improve your profits, but is there an affordable solution for a small website or blog?

The answer is hosted ad managers which do all the work for you. There's lots of advantages to using a third party ad manager on a small website, the biggest one being that ad managing and geotargeting can use up quite a lot of CPU and RAM resources when you're hosting them on your own server or webhosting account.

So, how do ad managers work, exactly? You install the ad manager code on your website, and enter all the ads you have through the ad manager's admin panel. Simply put, now your ads aren't served directly, but rather through the ad manager's servers which can do all the nifty stuff like geotargeting for you.

Which ad manager to use? I've personally tried quite a few and ended up subscribing to AdSpeed. They have great support, easy-to-use interface, and affordable pricing (starting at $10 a month for 100,000 impressions). You can also try them for 10 days for free.

However, I did mention that I tried a few of them, didn't I? Perhaps some other ad manager would suit your needs better. I've published a short review of top 5 ad managers where I overview their pros and cons. Some of them will even let you use them for free (although with some limitations), so they're a good choice for even the smallest blogs which would benefit from some ad targeting capabilities.