DREAMPRESS: Service Unavailable, Performance


Looks like Google CHROME doesn’t work with the forums. Everytime I posted with CHROME it gave an undefined error. It works with Firefox:

Here is my post:

I upgraded to DreamPress with the hope of a faster site but all I am getting are issues:

  1. I wanted to rebuild my site and do so in a subdirectory and then promote when it was done in order to avoid downtime --> but was told by support this isn’t supported

  2. I uploaded my new site last night (http://supportpay.com/) All day today i have been unable to edit any posts. Everytime I hit save I get a “503 Service Temporarily Unavailable . The server is temporarily unable to service your request due to a maintenance downtime or capacity problem. Please try again later”. I am now going on 15 hours with this issue/error with no response from support.

  3. I keep getting the error from JetPack Monitoring that the site is down.

  4. I randomly get Error 503 Service Unavailable Guru Meditation: XIS XXXXXX Varnish Cache Server

Is anyone else seeing these issues? Do you see the performance increases that should occur for the additional money each month? It seams DreamPress has made things worse, not better for me (and I have been trying for 4 months to give it the benefit of the doubt… but losing patience now.)


It looks like you meant to post something here, but it got lost along the way! Can you please try posting again?


There we are.

For what it’s worth, I’m using Google Chrome, and am able to post to the forums just fine. You may have a browser extension installed that is interfering with the forum’s posting features.


Probably true I have a lot of web development extensions installed. Any insight on DreamPress?


A lot of the delay is that even though we do have 24/7 support, sometimes our experts (hi) take time off for Holidays and stuff. We’re working on that. Just takes a little more time to go from good to amazeballs. Also we ARE working on a list of not-recommended plugins, however we will not outright ban any plugins at this time, unless they’re malware. The extra freedoms means you need to make some hard choices though :confused:

Because DreamPress is for ONE install of WP on a domain, and we don’t support Multisite, having your ‘dev’ site in a subfolder is breaking that one :confused: So generally I suggest people develop sites locally on their desktop. You can use MAMP/XAAMP or tools like http://serverpress.com to build locally and push when it’s done.

That said you actually HAVE WP installed twice. Once in the main site, and once in a subfolder, which messed up support, and is why we thought you had maintenance mode. You need to delete the unused WP files from your main site’s folder please, since you’re not using it, and having WP installed twice isn’t supported.

What’s happening is you have a plugin (or a theme) that is using PHPSESSIONS. Sessions are the mortal enemy of Varnish (our caching server).

Plugins that use sessions:

broken-link-checker - This plugin is VERY detrimental for any site to run, as it’s very, very, heavy on your CPU. I would remove and delete it. It’s a nice idea, poor implementation.

adminer - An SQL management plugin is not needed for most people. Anything it runs, you can do via PHPmyAdmin or command line, which would be way more efficient. In addict

gravity-forms-salesforce - This is still active, even though we mentioned it may be the cause. Actually you have it listed twice, which is weird and may mean it was installed wrong.

updraftplus - This is using sessions properly so I would be highly surprised to find out this was the cause.

kissmetrics - This isn’t using sessions, but it’s possible it could be a problem, since any metrics plugin can be scanning too aggressively.

That said, I also noticed you have a couple redundant plugins: kissmetrics, Google analytics, AND Jetpack stats - You don’t need all three. Also WordPress SEO can take the place of BOTH Google Analytics and google-sitemap-generator.

These plugins are ones you really only need the one time you import/add content and then you’re done: velvet-blues-update-urls, wordpress-importer, search-and-replace,

And then wp-dbmanager, much like Adminer, is one of those things that can work, but can also cause a sight to slow down. It’s generally better to do this by phpmyadmin or command line.



I recently upgraded to DreamPress (to try to improve page speed performance – still working through that with DreamHost support), and I came across this thread.

My website has not yet launched, and I need to figure out a way to have a development environment so I can continue to make changes/additions and preview them but not automatically make them on the live site, which would be bad when the site has launched. After some research, I was leaning towards a subfolder for the development site. Working locally seems problematic since my co-worker and I work on different machines but both work on the website.

I e-mailed DreamHost/DreamPress support on how to do this, and they (Antonio H.) said: “You could create a sub-domain for developing if you wish to. Then items can be exported/imported from the other site: http://codex.wordpress.org/Tools_Export_Screen

I have not yet tried this, but the posting below makes me concerned I will not be able to do this.

Can you please explain?



There are a couple options here but I find this the simplest:

  1. Develop your site OFF DreamPress (that is on regular hosting) for a subdomain (dev.yourdomain.com) - Make sure you use a One-Click Install here (that will matter soon)
  2. When you’re ready, create the DreamPress account for yourdomain.com as a new WP site
  3. Finish WP setup by simply making the site have Hello World, the normal status of a brand new site
  4. From the DreamPress panel, there’s an ‘Import’ button - http://cl.ly/image/2r1F1y1D0M3P - Click that and tell it you want to import dev.yourdomain.com

Everything will magically copy over, replacing what you had before, and changing URLs and paths for you without any extra work. As the warning says:

[quote]This will completely overwrite the existing WordPress installation at yourdomain.com and cannot be undone.

The username and password for your WordPress Admin Panel will also be overwritten. The import process may take several hours to complete. Please do not make changes to your site until the import is complete.[/quote]

But I want to reinforce: We don’t mean for people to use DreamPress as a development location. In part this is because WP isn’t really whizzbang at moving things from development to production itself :confused: Obviously you could buy two DreamPress instances, one for dev.yourdomain.com and one for yourdomain.com, and move the dev over the exact same way. Since we’re charging you for time-used, you won’t be paying an astronomical fee if you do that and you’d get to test exactly how your site would work on DreamPress. If you do that, I would suggest not buying the DreamPress hosting for yourdomain.com until after you’re satisfied with the dev site, so you pay for as little overlap time as possible.


Thanks for explaining.

To clarify, my site is already on DreamPress, so steps 2) and 3) don’t really apply to me. In fact, I would at first be doing reverse: creating a subdomain and importing my current DreamPress site. Then, after making certain updates to this new dev site (probably on normal hosting), I would export to the DreamPress location, which would replace what is there. Is that all correct?

Also, to clarify, I see this a continual process, not just a one-time thing when the website is “finished” and ready to launch. We expect to make significant enhancements to existing webpages even after we launch, and I don’t think it would be a good idea to make them and test things with the live page (right?). I guess for a new page, we could just restrict access to it until it’s ready.

So, would it be possible to only import/export certain updated pages/URLs rather than the entire website? It seems overkill to import/export the entire website each time, which you said may take several hours.



That is correct. Keep in mind, if you have comments and such in your live site, or make any changes to the CONTENT of the live site, it gets overwritten.

Not really, but this is a function of how WP handles things, less than how we handle things.

When you say your editing ‘pages’ do you really mean a page or a post, or do you mean you’re re-doing the whole design of the site? If you’re JUST going to be editing a few pages, then yeah, this is way overkill, and you may want to look into RAMP - http://crowdfavorite.com/ramp/


In addition to making new pages (in which case perhaps we can just work on those on the live site and password protect that individual page, if that’s possible), we do expect to continue to make enhancements to existing pages (e.g., tweaks to design, add plug-in, add other features) and probably should not be doing that while page is live.

We use the Headway theme framework, and my understanding is that a page in Headway is equivalent to a page in WP. When I say a “page,” I mean www.mydomain.com/page1/ or www.mydomain.com/directory/page2/ We do not use WP “posts” currently.

This all being said, any further advice on being able to update individual pages without doing so initially on the live site, and without having to export/import the entire site?

Thanks for the RAMP suggestion. I will look into it more. I am not sure if it is compatible with our Headway theme framework, and I am not sure if it allows both my co-worker and I to be making changes from different computers at the same time (my main concern with local development). It’s also $250, so not insignificant investment.


Yes, that is possible with WordPress, but WordPress also supports putting pages into a “draft” status, so that you can edit and preview on the backend and only publish them when you are happy with them. I, and a lot of WP users, do this all the time.


kjdodle – thanks for the tip. Yes, that seems like a good solution when making new pages. We can either keep in “draft” status until ready, or keep visibility Private (also an option in the WP Page interface).

However, for making substantive updates to existing pages, I don’t see a WP Page option that would help without having to remove the page from the public website until changes are final. If we didn’t take it down, I don’t believe we could leave the WP Page without making it live (not good while trying different options out) or losing our (tentative) changes, since the only way to save would be to press “Update.”

Also, we’re likely going to be making changes (e.g., new plug-ins, design) that impact multiple existing pages, so this in particular might make a staging area (i.e. separate development version) most appropriate. Note: we are an eCommerce site, not a blogging site.

So, still seeking advice on how we might have a development version of our existing pages so we can continue to work on them and only publish updated versions when we are ready…



Since I already have my DreamPress main site and I need to export/clone it to my development subdomain, how do I do that? I only see an import button, not an export. I don’t see any import option for my new subdomain…



You definitely aren’t alone. Glad to know I’m not the only customer who has been experiencing these issues with Dreampress since signing up with them in October. I switched from shared hosting over to dreampress thinking I would be getting a performance boost, but the performance I’ve been experiencing has been awful. My previous shared host at $39/year was way faster. I get the 503 service unavailable errors with varnish far too often, and the site itself loads insanely slow on every single page - the wordpress back end / cpanel as well.

I’m also constantly unable to perform maintenance on my site due to hosting issues. I swear my site is being choked for resources, which would not surprise me one bit. I get hit with 503 Service Unavailable with varnish far too often. Usually whenever I perform certain actions that the server thinks are taking too long, or something. E.g. attempting to upload an image and compress it, attempting to delete X number of posts, tags, categories, anything really. It generally doesn’t happen when attempting to perform a very simple action, but the fact that it happens when performing rather routine maintenance makes me believe the timeouts are far too short or something else in their Varnish setup needs tweaking. The fact that you yourself can’t even do something as simple as edit a post without getting hit with it supports my assumptions.

Support itself as well is very poor. Calling it 24/7 is a joke. Not only do they take ~24 hours to get back to you on urgent issues, you can’t even reply to their response unless you go through the entire process of creating a new ticket. Not a good support system at all.

You are more patient than I, as I have given Dreamhost three months to improve their Dreampress service but all I’ve seen thus far is degradation. I’m finally tired of not being able to get work done, waiting forever for pages to load, and not getting adequate support in a timely manner. I was really hoping the service would improve and I would become content since on paper it all seems great and easy to work with, which is why I gave it three months, but unfortunately that hasn’t happened. I will be switching to a new host as soon as I make up my mind on which one to go with. I am not looking forward to a site migration, but I cannot afford to stay with dreampress as the service stands.


[quote=“denko, post:14, topic:60851”]

Calling it 24/7 is a joke. Not only do they take ~24 hours to get back to you on urgent issues, you can’t even reply to their response unless you go through the entire process of creating a new ticket… [/quote]

First, let me say I hear you on the customer support issue. I just had a ticket that took over 3 days to hear back on.

However, you can simply reply back to an email you get from customer support, rather than going through the process of turning in a new ticket…although it is not very clear that you can do that.
I have recommended that they put a note on the email saying such, but my list ticket-response email did not have any indicator that I could reply back.


It’s really kind or ironic that you can’t open a ticket by email, but once opened the only way to reply to it IS by email.

I also don’t understand the long delay’s support has. In an organization the size of dreamhost, the average arrival rate of new tickets shouldn’t change by much, meaning that generally it should be very easy to staff accordingly to provide better service. It really doesn’t make sense overall that the clock they seem to be trying to beat is to not let a ticket age longer than 24 hours.


Following up on my question above since it may have gotten lost…



It didn’t get lost, I was just at a WordCamp this weekend and only got back yesterday.

You don’t have to export. Press import, it should ask you which other site you want to import FROM, and there you can say maindomain.com

What options do you see at the bottom of the DreamPress box for your subdomain?


I had created a subdomain (for my DreamPress main domain). For this new subdomain, I created a new user. This subdomain is on a server called lizard. I did a one-click install of WordPress for the subdomain. Now what?

Under the DreamPress menu, is just shows a box for my main domain. On the left, it has 2 boxes, one to Choose a New Domain to Host and one to Choose a One-Click Install to Upgrade (where is shows my subdomain in a drop-down menu).


Ah, okay, we’re not looking at the same thing :slight_smile:

I’m talking about the DreamPress box for the domain: http://cl.ly/image/1y2Q0R3t0D1r

When you click on Import you get this: http://cl.ly/image/0m0N422Y3l3X

So it sounds like what you did was create a normal subdomain for sub.domain.com

In THAT case, you would have to manually import the posts like any other WP site - http://codex.wordpress.org/Importing_Content - and then from the DreamPress box for the main domain.com you would import from sub.domain.com