Last Wednesday (August 20th) everything was working fine on my DreamPress hosted blog. When I logged in the next morning it was broken. I could neither access my site, nor the admin panel (which was throwing a memory error and white screen of death). This was odd, since nothing had changed on my end.
I’ve spent the past handful of days going through the logical steps to troubleshoot this. First, I disabled every single plug-in on the back end. This did, in fact, bring the site back up, so I assumed perhaps there had been a hotfix that might have created problems. I began to re-enable each of the plug-ins one by one, until it broke again. This happened pretty quickly, with only a small handful of things enabled, when I turned the NextGen Gallery plug-in back on. It seemed I had found my culprit, so I disabled it again, and tried to turn the next plug-in back on. This is where I realized it seemed unlikely to be a plug-in problem, as every single plug-in I tried to turn on after that did the same thing: broke the site, and threw a memory allocation error in the admin panel.
Next I went down and began physically deleting plug-ins through the admin panel, getting rid of at least half of what I had been using (completely without any problems until now) to try to ensure a lean load. Still, no joy.
This makes absolutely no sense, because it’s behaving the way it did when I hosted my blog on the regular DreamHost service. There, I expected memory errors once I started to build out a more robust blog using the BuddyPress community plug-ins. I migrated to the DreamPress service in March, and it’s been brilliant ever since. Something happened after midnight on the 21st that has basically thrown my site back into the stoneage. It feels like it’s back on the old side all over again.
In addition to the memory allocation errors it keeps throwing in the admin panel, I am encountering problems in almost every single function on the web site (from saving posts, to using functions in plug-ins). The errors are random, and often non-specific, which makes it incredibly difficult to see a pattern to help with troubleshooting.
I am wondering if my database has become corrupted, but don’t have enough working knowledge here to know how to check that, or what to do about it if it is.
I’ve also run it through the http://isvarnishworking.com tool to check on the slowness issues that kicked in the day this all went nuts, and it says it’s working “sort of”, suggesting I try it again later. I’ve done it three days in a row and get the same results, so I need to do a bit more digging here:
[quote]Varnish appears to be responding at that url, but the “Age” header is less than 1.
This means that either, 1) you checked right when Varnish cleared it’s cache for that url, or 2) for whatever reason Varnish is not actually serving the content for that url from cache.
If it is the former, just check again and see if you get a more solid confirmation.
If it is the latter, perhaps one of the following is happening:
That url is excluded from the cache on purpose in the Varnish vcl file (in which case, yay! It's working.)
The application is sending cache headers that are telling Varnish not to serve that content from cache. This means you'll have to fix the cache headers the application is sending to Varnish. A lot of the time those headers are Cache-Control and/or Expires.
The application is setting a session cookie, which can prevent Varnish from serving content from cache. This means you'll have to update the application and make it not send a session cookie for anonymous traffic.[/quote]
Speed issues aside (I can live with those at the moment), I’ve simply hit a wall with trying to figure out what is causing the sudden memory issues and the bumper crop of general functionality issues, and need to reach out for help. This is crippling, as I am about to go live next month, with a blog I can no longer update or manage.
I am still able to ftp in to upload files the same way, which suggests my DreamPress hosting is still intact, but the behaviour suggests otherwise.
What might I be missing?
Thanks a bunch for any help you might be able to provide me with in getting this corrected.