Since my server is still suffering, Ive decide today to take some actions.

user: changes can be done on shared hosting with limited user rights.
root. changes require a full access to the server (root access with secure shell ssh)

I have currently per months, 160.000 visitors and 2 Millions Hits.or per day 8000 visitors and 24000 pages view.
Server has only 1GB RAM.

UPDATE: I found one/THE reason why my host is slowing down...SPAMMERS!

click read more

user: Joomla! settings
  • I switch enable gzip compression OFF. Since this is meant to reduce the usage of bandwidth, not the load on my  server. The server has to encode all the files in order to send them, which only puts additional load on your page.
  • I switch Joomla!! statistics off, as AWSTATS is providing a much better job.
user: MySQL maintenance

I Optimize (repair, refresh statistics) MySQL tables through MySQL admin, but It can be done through PLESK
user: Tune Joomla!! cache

I Increase Joomla! cache lifetime from 900seconds to 24 hours as it better reflect the way I update my site (daily)
user: keep pages small

  • Reduce size of banner, using GIMP so they are using a web palette, most of them were shrink from 40kb to 7kb
  • I remove all un-needed space from the main templates file (index.php), an action which will help first users visitors only.
  • Attention, it is a never ending task...
user: Hunting software bugs
By switching the site to debug mode, I notice some nasty queries (select count(*) from), all created by my statistics module ( Content Statistics on right side), In fact Joomla!! module do not inherit from Joomla!! cache automatically. I fix value in this module since I do not want to program cache support in it right now.
root One more cache

I decide to install a PHP accelerator: PHPA from
" The ionCube PHP Accelerator is an easily installed PHP Zend engine extension that provides a PHP cache, and is capable of delivering a substantial acceleration of PHP scripts without requiring any script changes, loss of dynamic content, or other application compromises."

Install is straightforward: just copy library into /usr/local/lib/
and add these lines to /etc/php.ini

; PHP Accelerator extension
phpa = on
phpa.c0_size = 64
phpa.cache_dir = /tmp
phpa.c0_logging = on

;The shm_stats_check_period is the minimum interval between checks of the
;cache for expired scripts. The first server request after the interval has
;elapsed will trigger a scan of the cache for expired scripts, and remove
;any entries that it finds.
phpa.c0_stats_check_period = 5m

;The shm_ttl value is the value used to set the
;time-to-expiry value when a script is accessed. Put another way, the shm_ttl
;value is the period after which an unaccessed script expires.
phpa.c0_ttl = 12h

;phpa.ignore_files = ""
;phpa.ignore_dirs = ""

I use that tool: HTTP Viewer to check if my page now contains a header X-Accelerated-By:·PHPA/1.3.3r2

Reduce surface of attack: I found my components that were not used by Joomla! (very old code and uused components . So go through all directories with FTp/SCP and remove any un-needed code....

Review table data directly in the database...
This is how I found 27 000 spams in my gallery (Zoom gallery)
  • I remove all entries
  • Disallow comments operations (in Zoom gallery admin panel),
but spammers were still able to insert comments, so I edit the file components/com_zoom/lib/image.class.php
//add because of spammers
header("HTTP/1.0 403 Forbidden");
//$database->setQuery("INSERT INTO __zoom_comments (imgid,cmtname,cmtcontent,cmtdate) VALUES ('".mysql_escape_str

Note: I  recommend You to use also mod_evasive and mod_security  (root access needed), see aprevious article on my site

Some links, where I borrow some ideas:,50278.0.html,54175.0.html