Support ticket, November 20, 2005:
My Wordpress blog at http://www.escapepod.org is giving me the following error:
"Error establishing a database connection
This either means that the username and password information in your wp-config.php file
is incorrect or we can’t contact the database server at db-escape-blog.extraneous.org.
This could mean your host’s database server is down."
When I SSHed into my account and tried to connect to the database via the command line,
“ERROR 2013 (HY000): Lost connection to MySQL server during query”
The database in question is “escape_blog” at host db-escape-blog.extraneous.org. Your
MySQL status page indicates that this database is hosted on your server ‘grizabella.’
This blog drives my podcast, which is subscribed to by thousands of people daily, and I
had essential maintenance I intended to perform on it tonight. Without the ability to
connect to the database I’m essentially paralyzed, and anyone coming to my site sees that
ridiculous error message, which loses audience for me.
Between this, the fact that the site was down for more than an hour on Friday, and shorter
site outages on a frequent basis, I’m really beginning to lose faith in Dreamhost’s
reliability. Please fix this IMMEDIATELY.
Support ticket, November 26, 2005:
Cf. support log #5646302 – my Wordpress blog is once again giving me a “Error
establishing datbase connection” message. And the status feed from Feedburner.com on my
RSS feed indicates that the site has been up and down since 3 PM, with a probable constant
outage between 3 PM and 6 PM.
This is the second time in one week that I’ve experienced a downtime of several hours. Every
site I host with you relies on MySQL, and my primary podcast site has thousands of hits per
day. This level of availability is unacceptable.
Strike two. If a MySQL outage of more than a few minutes happens again this year, I will take
all of my domains elsewhere and make sure that everyone I’m in contact with via my blog and
podcast knows why.
Support ticket, December 10, 2005:
Cf. support log #5646302 and log #5677306 – my Wordpress blog is once again giving
me a “Error establishing datbase connection” message. It’s been over an hour this time,
I’ve had e-mail from my users, and the status feed from Feedburner.com on my RSS feed
indicates that the site was also down for some hours early this morning.
The last time this happened, I asked you to move my most important database to a more
stable MySQL server, and supposedly that was done. Obviously it didn’t help. I also said
that if I experienced extended downtime for a third time this year, I would take all of my
Well, this is strike three. I hate to have to do this, because your cost and features are
excellent, but Dreamhost has proven itself too unreliable to host my content. I have a
podcast with over 3,000 weekly listeners, and it’s growing. When people can’t reach my
Web site or my RSS feed, I lose audience. I’ve observed these MySQL problems for nearly a
month now and you don’t seem interested in fixing them quickly. Since you can’t keep my
site available, I’ll have to take it to someone who does.
That’s going to take a bit of time, however. In the meantime, how quickly you bring my
database back up and whether it stays up as I make my migration will determine whether I
make my bad Dreamhost experience public – on my blog, in my podcast, and on several
Support ticket, December 17, 2005:
Once again, my podcast with 4,000 weekly listeners and more than 35,000 site visits per
week is dead because of a Wordpress “Error establishing a database connection.”
This is the fourth time in 40 days that it’s been out for a period of several hours. The second
time it happened, one of your support people moved my escape_blog database to a MySQL
server that was supposed to be more stable – or so he claimed. Obviously it did not help.
I am rapidly going from aggravated with Dreamhost to furious.
MOVE MY ESCAPE_BLOG DATABASE TO A STABLE MYSQL SERVER. If this happens again, I
will post thorough and specific details of my site outages, including the error message and
length of outage, on the support forums at Wordpress.org, the Yahoo! Podcasters list, and
Webhostingtalk.com. I will do my best to make sure that everyone I am in contact with
knows that Dreamhost is too unstable to host blogs.
That’s not a threat. That’s accurate reporting.