There are a number of hosting plans available here at EWS (and other providers), and some of them let you specifically choose the number of CPUs and amount of RAM you get. Considering how price varies quite a bit from plan to plan, a question we often get is if CPU or RAM should be the determining factor.
Let’s first define what’s what…CPU is short for Central Processing Unit. The more CPUs you have, the more requests can be processed at one time. RAM is short for Random Access Memory, and it temporarily holds data for processing. The more processes going on simultaneously, the more RAM you will need.
The goal is to find the CPU and RAM sweet spot for your particular website and needs – this applies to all specs really. After all, why pay more to get the highest Managed WordPress package if the primary difference is extra storage and data transfer you don’t need?
CPU / RAM on Static Sites
If your site is static, meaning there is no CMS (content management system) and the coding for the pages “is what it is” (static HTML), then there is less need to be concerned with CPU allotment.
Similar with RAM, static sites tend to require less – but if you want advice on which is more important for upgrading purposes, then in this situation, we suggest more RAM. Generally, hosting plans tend to increase RAM and CPU together, accordingly. There comes a point where increasing RAM excessively will cause the CPU to be the limiting factor – roughly around 4-6GB of RAM.
CPU / RAM on Dynamic Sites
A dynamic site involves much more processing – these are resource-consuming websites, and generally have a CMS (content management system) or eCommerce solution in place. There is more need to be concerned with this kind of website, as the low-end hosting plans are less likely to provide your site with what it needs. Your site may function, but it will be slower and more likely to show errors to your end-users (that dreaded 500 Internal Server Error) because the plan simply can’t handle the load.
What to do is similar to what I just recommended for a static site, only CPU and RAM matter much more here. We place emphasis on upping the RAM, but with the understanding that going over 6GB of RAM means you will need to pay more attention to CPU allotment. Unless you are configuring a dedicated server from the ground up, most hosting plans take into consideration the balance between CPU and RAM.