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What is an Entry Process and what does the limit mean

One of the limits InfinityFree enforces is the Entry Process Failures limit, also abbreviated to Entry Process limit or EP limit. This article explains what an entry process is, what the limit means and how you can control it.

What is an entry process?

Every time a request to a PHP script on your website is made, a new program is started to execute your PHP code. This process then executes your code, sends the response to the visitor, and finally quits.

Note that one entry process is created for every request, not every PHP file. So if your code includes multiple PHP files, these still count as one entry process.

What is an entry process failure?

In order to prevent a short spike of traffic from causing problems to the server, there is a limit on how many entry processes can exist at a time for your account. If your account is at this limit, then no more processes can be created for your account and visitors will see an error page. These failed requests are counted as "entry process failures".

So entry process failures are evidence of bursts of traffic which (temporarily) overwhelm your hosting account.

How extreme these bursts are can be derived from the hits limit. Is your entry process usage high but your hits usage low? That means the bursts were more extreme. Is your entry process usage high and your hits usage too? Then the bursts were longer but less intense.

How do I reduce my entry process usage?

Here are some recommendations which may help to reduce your entry process limits.

  • Ensure static files (like HTML or CSS files) don't have the .php file extension. All requests to files with the .php extension generate entry processes, even if there is no actual PHP code in the file.
  • Reduce usage of AJAX and other background requests. If your website has code that constantly refreshes the page in the background (to check for changes or new messages), this can easily cause high entry process usage with few visitors.

How do I increase my entry process allocation?

The entry process allocation on free hosting cannot be increased upon request. We treat all accounts equally, and will not give people unfair benefits just because they ask for it.

If your entry process usage is still too high after following the recommendations here (or you are having trouble applying the tips to your website), please consider upgrading your account to premium hosting.

On premium hosting the entry process allocation is much higher than on free hosting. And your website will only be affected when you're using too much processes, and won't be suspended for a day if you hit the limit too much.