Why do Cron Jobs need to run every five minutes?

What are cron jobs? What they do and why they need to run every five minutes?

Cron is a Linux utility which schedules a command or script on your server to run automatically. A cron job is a scheduled task and is used to automate repetitive tasks. For example, checking for updates, send scheduled emails, publish scheduled posts, make backups,  etc.

WordPress comes with its’ own cron system, however this may fail to run if your WP website has low traffic.  You can learn How to Properly Setup WordPress Cron Jobs here.

We recommend you set cron jobs to Every 5 Minutes. 

The WPEP platform is a dynamic Learning Management System, created for educational purposes.  This means all information in (for example) the Statistics area on student activity and discussions, amongst many other insights are produced due to cron jobs functions.

If, for example, you are using the Personalized Learning Module, which has a conversation facility, notifications are sent out (if you enable them).  The notifications being sent in a timely manner, hinge on the cron jobs running frequently and this is why we recommend every 5 minutes.

You may be told by your hosting company something similar to:

“It is not recommended to run a cron job every 5 minutes, because that will exceed your account resources and the account may be limited due to over-usage”

This is true, running cron jobs every 5 minutes will use a lot of resources, however …

If you want to use certain applications, such as the Personalized Learning Module, then you need to have a hosting solution that is suitable.  You can learn more about our hosting company recommendations here.


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