Setting Up Host or Server Based Cron in place of WP Cron

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Welcome to our guide on setting up host or server-based cron for your Memberium-powered WordPress site. While this setup isn’t required, it can significantly improve the reliability of OAuth token refreshes and other Memberium actions, ensuring they run on time. This doc will help you understand why this setup is beneficial and how to implement it for smoother operation of your membership site.

What is WP Cron?

WordPress comes with its own task scheduling system called WP Cron. Despite its name, it’s not a true cron job but a virtual scheduler. Here’s a simple breakdown of how it works:

  1. WP Cron isn’t a real cron job. It’s a virtual scheduler that runs when someone visits your WordPress site.
  2. When a visitor comes to your site, WordPress checks if there are any scheduled tasks to run.
  3. If there are tasks due, WordPress executes them during that page load.

Why Consider Host/Server-Based Cron?

While WP Cron is convenient and works well for many sites, it has some limitations that can affect Memberium’s performance, particularly with OAuth token refreshes. These limitations include:

  • Dependency on traffic: WP Cron only runs when someone visits your site. For low-traffic sites, this can cause delays in task execution.
  • Resource intensive: Running scheduled tasks during page loads can slow down your site for visitors.
  • Unreliability: If your site experiences downtime or very low traffic, important tasks might be delayed or missed.

OAuth tokens need to be refreshed regularly to maintain connection with Keap, and delays in this process could temporarily disrupt some Memberium functions.

Switching to a host or server-based cron system can address these limitations and offer several advantages:

 

How Host/Server-Based Cron Works

Instead of relying on site visits, host/server-based cron uses your hosting server’s built-in cron system to run WordPress tasks. Here’s a basic overview:

  1. You disable the default WP Cron system.
  2. You set up a cron job on your server to call wp-cron.php at regular intervals.
  3. This ensures WordPress tasks run consistently, even without site traffic.

Setting Up Host-Based Cron

The exact process for setting up host-based cron can vary depending on your hosting provider. However, here are general steps:

1. Set up a cron job on your server to run every 15 minutes (or at your preferred interval):

*/15 * * * * wget -q -O - http://yoursite.com/wp-cron.php?doing_wp_cron >/dev/null 2>&1

2. Replace ‘http://yoursite.com’ with your actual site URL.

3. Disable the default WP Cron by adding this line to your wp-config.php file:

define('DISABLE_WP_CRON', true);

The challenge with this setup is that most shared hosts do not give you command line access or server level access to run the command in step 1.

Each web host has a different way of doing this. It’s best to reach out to your host to ask them how they allow this to be set up.

To make this easier, we’ve complied some of the most popular hosts with links to their support docs:

Remember, while setting up host-based cron can improve reliability, it’s not mandatory for Memberium to function. However, it’s highly recommended for sites using OAuth authentication or those wanting to ensure timely execution of Memberium and WordPress tasks. By implementing this setup, you can enhance the performance and consistency of your Memberium-powered site.

 

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