Extremely Slow performance

wordpress

#1

Hi,
In my current Dreamhost plan I have a 291.09 GB space allotment of which I used 394 megabytes or .1% and I have 5.59 TB bandwidth allotment of which I’ve used 438.2 megabytes. So I’m only using a tiny fraction of what I’m paying for.

It’s takes over a minute to load a simple non-graphic Wordpress site. It’s so slow the site that it would be unusable for the user. I just put it up so its not a question of lots of users.

I’ve emailed support at dreamhost about the problem. I got one email back which stated that Dreamhost had a load problem and my server was being rebooted and should be back up shortly. It’s more than 24 hours later and its still slow. All I get from Dreamhost tech support are emails saying we know its more than 24 hours since you contacted us - be patient we will get back to you as soon as we can.

It seems, given the size of may account and allotments I should at least be able to count on a good level of performance. When you are on a shared host does this mean that you are not guaranteed any level of performance - a heavy user on the same server you are on can bring your sites to a halt? Does Dreamhost cut the line of how many users can be on a server so close that there is no margin for extra use and all users will on the same server will grind to a halt? Dreamhost has some extra cost options that guarantee you some space and time. Why do I need to pay extra for something I thought I was already paying for. If there is a user whose use is so heavy that it loads the whole server down shouldn’t his usage be throttled down rather than bringing all of the other users on the server down?

Why am I not getting what I paid for. In response to my tech tickets all I get are automated responses that say we know its been 24 hours since you contacted us but hold on we’ll get back to you just as soon as we can.

What are your experiences with other hosts? Dedicated servers? Virtual Servers? Any recommendations? Thanks in advance for your help.

I’m on high speed cable and all of the other sites load quickly so its not a question of my equipment. In fact one of the people I’m working with has his site, which has been up for several months and has far more users on a $6 Hostgater shared plan and he’s getting much faster performance.

All the best,
Ted Sudol
Ted Sudol


#2

There are many things that can cause a site to be extremely slow loading; what is the url for the site that you are talking about?

What is the load on the server where that site is hosted?

That seems to indicate that they acknowledge receipt of your support requests, and will respond to you when they have a constructive response. It may well be that some further investigation is indicated, and they may need some time to accomplish that. :wink:

Yes, it pretty much does mean that (and the TOS makes that pretty clear). That said, my experience with DreamHost over the last 10 years has been that, while there are occasional glitches that need attention, DreamHost’s performance levels have been very high for what I pay.

It sounds like you really didn’t understand what you were paying for. The DreamHost PS offerings guarantee you exclusive use of “N” amount of CPU and RAM, and the shared plans share those resources.

Absolutely! It sounds to me like that may be what is happening on your server, based on your reported response from DreamHost Tech Support., and it sounds to me as though they are looking into the situation.

[quote]
Why am I not getting what I paid for. In response to my tech tickets all I get are automated responses that say we know its been 24 hours since you contacted us but hold on we’ll get back to you just as soon as we can.[/quote]
It sounds to me as though you are getting what you paid for. You have the ability to submit tech support requests via email, you have had “real person” responses as well as “automated responses” when you are “in the queue”. DreamHost has indicated repeatedly that they try to respond to all tech support requests within 24 hours, but the never guaranteed that would be the case. You could have paid for a higher level of support response (callbacks on older higher level plans and as an option on the newer shared hosting plan).

My experiences have varied greatly with other hosts; they all have “warts” of some kind or another. Other shared host have done no better (and most have done much worse) that DreamHost when it comes to basic service level, and none of them have been as flexible and powerful as the DreamHost custom web panel/shell combo. There is a reason I keep all my sites that are suitable for shared hosting on DreamHost, and have for years - they are simply the best deal going, over the long haul, in that type of hosting.

Dedicated servers are more expensive, and require more expertise to manage - I like having the basic infrastructure managed for me the way DreamHost does it. Virtual servers can be great, but they are also more expensive. It’s all about your requirements.

[quote]
I’m on high speed cable and all of the other sites load quickly so its not a question of my equipment.[/quote]
Fair enough, but that’s not particularly relevant in the situation you have described - your equipment can be fine while still having routing issues (though I doubt that is the case). It very much sounds like you have an overloaded server, and that can be fixed -though it sometimes takes a little time for that to get worked out.

It’s also possible, particularly with WordPress" that even with “few users”, the site itself is part of the problem. The ready availability of all manner of plugins that do, or attempt to do, all manner of things means that two different WordPRess sites with the same available resources can respond in hugely different ways.

I’ve seen WordPress, and other, sites grind to a complete halt over things as simple as a slow response from Google analytics, a slow RSS feed parser, or inability to “grab” content form elsewhere on the net in a timely manner - happens all the time. Even major media portals have their sites sometimes rendered “unusable” by their own ad networks crappy performance.

Yep! Folks’ experiences will vary greatly, though that statement alone is pretty much meaningless without seeing both of the sites. I wonder if that would still be the case with identical sites that are running on identically loaded servers?

I can tell you are frustrated, and if the delays to get help from support are just more than you can bear, then you may well be happier with a different host. I can only speak from my experience with DreamHost and other hosts, and I’m more than willing to give DreamHost time to “sort it out” when something is amiss in exchange for the “total package” they offer … YMMV.

All the best to you too!

–rlparker


#3

Hi,
Thank you very much for your reply. Reading through the support files DH suggests you run a tracer route. I did and this is what I got. Now I’m not an expert in analyzing these files but it seems on the NJ side (that’s where I’m located about 3 miles from Oakland, NJ) The first hops okldnj have short latency times. 7 ms - 9ms -12ms
Then something happens and it times out on hops 3,4,5 so maybe some router in between is down and it has to reroute. However what concerns me then is that on the dreamhost side there are huge latency times at newdream and flanders (the server I’m on) of 275, 143, 237 ms and at flanders of 85,90,80.
So is this telling me that even though there might be a problem with a router between NJ and Dreamhost that even if that was fixed the site would still be slow because of the latency of links at dreamhost? Of coures Dreamhost can’t be held accountable for connections and equipment outside of their control. But they should be responsible for stuff they can. As I said I’m not an expert in reading this tracer route so maybe I’m wrong in the way I’m interpreting this. If anyone has more experience with this let me know what it means.
I’ve been with Dreamhost about two years an have been relatively pleased. However there are two trends I’ve noticed over that time. It seems to me that over that period of time web sites have been getting slower and the periods of really slow performance have been getting more frequent. The second trend is that response time from support seems to be getting much much slower. Where in the past I would get an answer within minutes or at the most an hour or two now if is not unusual to wait a day or two before getting a response.
In reading the forums there are lots of hosts that seem to have more complaints than dreamhost so I’d like to keep my domains here if I can this is just a problem I need to resolve. If one of your goals in running your web site to earn money and your users can’t get to it because its too slow loading you are effectively out of business and you have to look for a solution.
All the best,
Ted Sudol
Tracing route to thedomainhunter.com [208.113.148.22]
over a maximum of 30 hops:

1 8 ms 9 ms 7 ms 10.105.128.1
2 7 ms 9 ms 12 ms dstswr1-vlan2.rh.okldnj.cv.net [67.83.248.161]
3 * * * Request timed out.
4 * * * Request timed out.
5 * * * Request timed out.
6 * * * Request timed out.
7 16 ms 15 ms 15 ms cr1-eqix-peer.wdc003.internap.net [206.223.115.1
29]
8 79 ms 79 ms 79 ms cr1.lax009.inappnet-4.cr1.wdc005.internap.net [6
6.79.146.142]
9 80 ms 81 ms 81 ms core1.lax.inappnet-12.cr1.lax009.internap.net [6
6.79.149.130]
10 82 ms 81 ms 82 ms border1.po2-bbnet2.ext1a.lax.pnap.net [216.52.25
5.95]
11 275 ms 143 ms 237 ms newdream-1.border1.ext1a.lax.pnap.net [216.52.22
0.78]
12 85 ms 90 ms 80 ms apache2-nads.flanders.dreamhost.com [208.113.148
.22]

Trace complete.


#4

That traceroute is a good start on identifying what factors might be involved in your site’s slow response. I agree those “newdream” and “flanders” response times are slowish - but they are not the whole source of the problem.

Another thing you should check/monitor is the load on your “flanders” server. Log into the shell and use the “w” command to see how heavily your server is loaded, and keep track of how that relates to the slowness you are experiencing.

Any of this type of information you can provide support will help them help you … it can make it easier for them to track down a user/process that is being abusive to the general health of the server.

Your domain is slow to respond (about 8 seconds for me), and even slower to actually transfer the contents of a page (approximately 20 seconds), so there is an indication that there may be a problem on your server (DreamHost has confirmed that per your earlier post).

My advice is to just work through the issues with the support people, and recognize that for what you pay some patience will be required.

It has been my experience that DreamHost will work with you - they do not want a page they host to load as slowly as yours does either. :wink:

–rlparker


#5

[quote]Thank you very much for your reply. Reading through the support files DH suggests you run a tracer route. I did and this is what I got. Now I’m not an expert in analyzing these files but it seems on the NJ side (that’s where I’m located about 3 miles from Oakland, NJ) The first hops okldnj have short latency times. 7 ms - 9ms -12ms
Then something happens and it times out on hops 3,4,5 so maybe some router in between is down and it has to reroute. However what concerns me then is that on the dreamhost side there are huge latency times at newdream and flanders (the server I’m on) of 275, 143, 237 ms and at flanders of 85,90,80.[/quote]
Accessing servers on the west coast over the internet, you’d be lucky to get under 100ms on your pings. A more typical number is the 200ms you see. These things are always improving. I’d never seen less than 200ms until the last couple of years. (This is all through some broadband provider in NY or NJ, dialup, such that it exists anymore, will be 200ms higher due to the latency of dialup itself).

See above, I’d consider this normal latency for internet traffic traversing public transcontinental backbones.

I hadn’t really noticed much of a slowdown myself. I don’t submit many difficult tickets as I’ve had a string of good luck since going for the Dreamhost PS service. The majority of my tickets are low priority questions which are always answered promptly - well within a day.

I think everyone has to make good business decisions. If you’re earning a decent amount of money from your site, I can recommend Dreamhost PS. I guess it all depends on the economics of your situation and what a couple hours of downtime or slowness every month is worth to you - which I consider to be something close to the weighted average downtime across all users for the uncertainties regarding your neighbors on shared web hosting. BTW, I pulled that number out of my *ss. You should substitute your own number when you make your financial decisions.

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#6

As you and others have said, this is slow. Simple non-graphic Wordpress sites can be slow if there are lots of posts and you’re using the “slow” plugins.

I kinda like doing two things. First, I have a set of vanilla test sites that I use to benchmark performance. Say, a static page and a simple Wordpress one-click install with no plugins other than the ones that come standard. I’m thinking of using the super-easy Wordpress that DH just implemented, actually. That helps me figure out whether it’s just my main site or the server itself. I also ssh in and run w or top to see if I can notice anything about the server itself.

Next, I use the Firebug and YSlow plugins for Firefox to see why my main site is slow if the server itself is alright.

BTW, I use my test sites when I submit trouble tickets because it makes it real obvious to the DH support people that the problem was not caused by my own poor coding skills. :slight_smile:

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