I'm dead

wordpress

#1

All my 3 sites are down. The status page says “everything is fine” which we all know it’s not true. No ping, no FTP, no web access, no SQL, e-mail barely works.

What is letting us all angry is the denial. Assume there are huge problems with your system, be honest with us, and we can be a lot more patient. Just don’t tell us that things are fine when they aren’t.


#2

If you are going to post a message saying that your sites are down, at least post a URL that we can check. Otherwise, your comments become just a pointless rant.


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#3

I would and could do as you are requesting but not in here, I’d do it in the status page instead, if I wasn’t being tagged as a spammer (???) in the status blog comments. There I would probably get much more useful answers than here it seems, or would they call me a ranting user there too?

If I don’t have anywhere to post my “rants” (which I prefer to call “genuine customer complaints” instead), I’m really doomed.

You are first assuming that the problem is in my site specifically, and with a single visit to the status page you can see that i’m just another “unplugged” customer (how many of them exist right now?).


#4

The only way you can get other customers to help you is to post the problem URL(s) here, otherwise why bother posting at all? You are going to get exactly zero answers in the status blog, which is designed for informing, rather than conversing. If everything is “dead”, opening a support ticket is the way to go.


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#5

I agree with scjessy. This is just a useless rant unless you actually post your sites so that others can verify they are down or not.

Also, filing a ticket about your sites being down works wonders. In my experience anyways.
My sites are up and currently fully operational… and I’ve experienced very little downtime with DH unless it was planned. So if your server is actually down, then filing a ticket would help you more than just ranting here, as I would say it would certainly be an unusual occurrence.
If support didn’t actually help you and you DID indeed already file a ticket, then asking for help here or even ranting about it I could see as appropriate (as I would probably do the same :stuck_out_tongue: ).


#6

I’m dead too.

http://mamidelux.com - a wordpress blog, went down five days ago without explanation, support told me yesterday that I could be consuming more than my share of memory and that i should try make my site as light as possible. Sure, I will as soon as i can get access to my site.

Some of my other sites (sub-domains) go down intermittently (http://killarney-ireland.info for example)

What kind of compensation should I expect for all of this lost business?


#7

Sounds like you are in a lot better shape than marcuswhinus; you now KNOW what the problem is on your site.

I am confused, however, about you not being able to get “access to your site”. Can you not ssh or ftp to your user space? After all, that is where you will need to do your tuning, and optimizing and via the PhpMyAdmin interface to your MySQL host, so you can index your tables and such.

If you can’t ssh or ftp to your user space, you should generate a ticket immediately so you can begin to bring your site’s resource usage back into line. If you show that you are making the effort, I’ll bet you can get support to help you - maybe something as simple as enabling WP’s cache, doing something to curtail comment spam, or curtailing the use of some mis-behaving plug-in might just do the trick.

You seem to have a very good command of the English language, so you should have no trouble figuring that out per the Terms of Service to which you agreed when you signed up for an account - short answer: nothing.

Of course, if you are within the first 97 days of your service, and qualify regarding your method of payment, you can get all the money you have paid Dreamhost back. If, on the other hand, you are talking about “consequential damages” or “business interruption expense”, you are out of luck, as the ToS very clearly absolves DH of any such responsibility.

Just a note for the future: If you are going to have “business critical” sites that use the resources it appears you might be using (based on your report of DH’s statements to you referenced in your post), you might be well advised to make a business decision and spring for you own server so you don’t have to share resources.

All that said, if you can provide more details (WP version, cache status, Plug-ins used), and need help curtailing resource usage or need help in indexing your tables, I’m sure there are those here on the forum who are willing to help you with that should you need it.

Work with DH to address the problems; they will generally go the extra mile if they can.

–rlparker


#8

[quote]http://mamidelux.com - a wordpress blog, went down five days ago without explanation, support told me yesterday that I could be consuming more than my share of memory and that i should try make my site as light as possible. Sure, I will as soon as i can get access to my site.

Some of my other sites (sub-domains) go down intermittently (http://killarney-ireland.info for example)[/quote]
First off, I can confirm that I cannot access either of these sites from my location in Pennsylvania. I am able to access the server for mamidelux.com, but not the site itself. I can access other sites on the same server, which suggests the problem is specific to your sites. Since you state that you have no FTP access either, you must rely on the support system for a resolution to this problem.

Secondly, it is never wise to put any mission-critical system on shared hosting, because it means you are at the mercy of the people you share a server with. In this case, however, it seems that you are the one running some sort of iffy script that is causing memory problems, making the other people on the shared server at your mercy instead! If DreamHost are saying that the problem on your site is your fault, you can’t expect them to offer any sort of compensation, can you?


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#9

Thank you for your helpful response.

WP version is the version before 2.1.2 (2.1.1?)
WP-cache is on

I use a lot of plugins on my sites: here are the active ones as far as i recall -:
democracy (poll)
get-recent-comments
social bookmarks
404 notifier
wp-xmlmigrate
wp-videoblogger
wp-video
wp-mobile
wp-flv
wp-extremvideo
wp-db-backup
wp-cache
wp-ozh-adminmenu
subscribe2
sitemap (google)
seo-title-tag
sem-subscribe-me
popularlity-contest
optimal-title
hello
googleanalytics
email
autometa
another-wordpress-meta-plugin
akismet
adsense-deluxe

I have no difficulty accessing the server by ftp or the database by mysql.domain.com.

I’d really appreciate any more help you can provide. BTW its a mommy blog in Spanish - you know how us latinas can get when thing take a turn for the worse :wink:


#10

Well, if that’s what you perceive to be a legitimate use of the comment section of a “Status Blog”, then I say “Bravo” for what ever bit of software magic DH used to anticipate the appropriateness of your “comment” and prevent you from posting there - I want me some of that, that sounds like some pretty neat stuff! :wink:

Hey, "rant anywhere you can that makes you feel better; it’s not nearly as efficient as addressing your problem in a business-like and professional manner, but suit yourself.

It looks like you are unfortunate in that you are, at present, one of maybe even dozens of users (out of hundreds of thousands) who might be effected by a crashed server or a a piece of wonky network gear - I’d get right on that with support so that they can get it fixed if I were you.

Dreamhost is a big network, and any single server can impact a group of people while the rest of the network runs fine - the status page is not going to report each such instance (though, actually, of late they have been very good about keeping users informed of even single server issues).

At any rate, if you really feel as though you are “really doomed” over something like this, I suggest you consider if you really want to be hosting sites on others boxen - if stuff breaking is going to send you into such a funk that you feel the need to rant, the stress of shared hosting is eventually gonna be the death of you. You might try working your way through the issues as opposed to complaining - it may or may not work any better (though in my experience, it usually does) but at least your stress level ought to be more manageable.

I sincerely hope you get your issue resolved sooner rather than latter; DH is actually a pretty fine host when things are working right, but it is not for everyone - if you are “new” you might want to consider the 97 Day Money Back Guarantee and look for a host that can guarantee their machines will never break (we’re talking about an SLA here), and get your checkbook out, because it will be expensive.

–rlparker


#11

Your sites is not “down” - I’m getting Internal Server Errors if you wait long enough. This means Apache is working. You should see error messages in your error.log file. That might help figure out what is wrong with your site.

So if Apache is working but your content doesn’t come up, you have to rule out things that are your responsibility - .htaccess files, applications like WordPress and its plugins, other scripts, etc. And you only need FTP or SSH. One thing you can try to do is remove the .htaccess file and the index.php temporarily to see if you can get an immediate response from Apache.

Read terms of service

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#12

Margarita,

Wow. I think you are running the most plug-ins I have ever seen on a single WP instance :wink: . While I have not taken the time to research all the plug-ins you are using, and isolate which may be the biggest culprits, I can tell you that running that many plug-ins can very easily push your resource usage way past acceptable levels.

I’m glad to see you are using wp-cache (which will help). While there may be several ways to approach the problem, here is what I would suggest:

1). Read and investigate the information available on the WordPress Support Forum (a good place to start might be with this search). There is helpful information there, as well as in the WordPress Codex.

  1. Use PhpMyAdmin to manipulate your WP database, and make sure your indexes are in order (read the post in this WP support Forum thread, particularly those that explain how to index your tables and http://blog.taragana.com/index.php/archive/how-to-improve-performance-of-highly-commented-wordpress-blogs/ and http://blog.taragana.com/index.php/archive/mysql-performance-optimization-a-lesson/

  2. Having done that, you have a choice to make:

You can either start to eliminate plug-ins using ftp or ssh (which will generate errors on your pages when a plug-in can’t be found) and write to support describing what you have done asking then to re-enable http access to your site, so you can start “selectively” re-adding plug-ins using the WP-Admin section to reinstall them, monitoring usage as you do so. To disable the plugins in this manner, just rename your plugin directory to some temporary name.

or

Write to support and explain that what you have already done, and ask them to re-enable access via http so that you can use the WP-Admin section to disable plug-ins “gracefully” without generating errors on your sites. I would offer to disable every plug-in except the ones they specifically say should be “ok” temporarily in order to lighten the load on the server, then add them back one-at-a -time until I saw the resource usage start to spike again.

Obviously, the second alternative is better for your visitors, as they wont see “errors” when WP tries to use plug-ins that are disabled.

You should also ask for any recommendation that they may have as to what plug-ins might be the most problematic, or you could research that yourself via the excellent resources (support forum /codex) at WordPress.org.

There are, I’m sure, other ways to attack this, but this is the method I would use; DH should be very receptive to this approach, as it temporarily returns your WordPress installation into a fairly “bare-bones” instance, you have shown a willingness to work to fix the problem, and you have taken the initiative to index your MySQL tables to help with the site’s efficiency.

I know it is discouraging to have to deal with this, but I don’t see any way some action of this type can be avoided. Others may also see these posts and offer additional help, and don’t forget that the WordPress.org resources are excellent and they are the experts when it comes to WordPress! Good luck, and let us know how it goes or if there is any other help we can provide.

–rlparker


#13

Thank you again. I contacted DH and outlined what I have tried and that I’m willing to (do anything) work with them.

Meanwhile I will check indexes.

I also disabled plugins by renaming the plugins folder. It gave me problems with wp_cache but once i reinstated that it didn’t improve the situation.

I renamed htaccess and index.html which gave me a listing of all the wp files in my directory on the screen.

Should DH be able to tell me the exact source of the problem as in the offending plugin?

Thank you again


#14

You’re welcome, and I hope you guys can work together to get it under control.

They might have some experience with particular plugins that they know to be problematic, but I don’t know that you can count on them being able to debug that sufficiently for you.

If you enable the plugins singly, then monitor your resource usage via the shell, you should be able to see which ones are causing the greatest loads. From there, you can mix-and-match to find what runs well together without borking the server. Don’t forget the WP folks either, they may have some valuable input.

I’m hopeful you can get it sorted relatively quickly and get back to enjoying hosting your site. :wink:

–rlparker


#15

[quote]Thank you for your helpful response.

WP version is the version before 2.1.2 (2.1.1?)
WP-cache is on

I use a lot of plugins on my sites: here are the active ones as far as i recall -:
democracy (poll)
get-recent-comments
social bookmarks
404 notifier
wp-xmlmigrate
wp-videoblogger
wp-video
wp-mobile
wp-flv
wp-extremvideo
wp-db-backup
wp-cache
wp-ozh-adminmenu
subscribe2
sitemap (google)
seo-title-tag
sem-subscribe-me
popularlity-contest
optimal-title
hello
googleanalytics
email
autometa
another-wordpress-meta-plugin
akismet
adsense-deluxe

I have no difficulty accessing the server by ftp or the database by mysql.domain.com.

I’d really appreciate any more help you can provide. BTW its a mommy blog in Spanish - you know how us latinas can get when thing take a turn for the worse :wink:
[/quote]
Each of those plug-ins uses up a certain percentage of CPU horsepower and memory. You have lots and lots of plug-ins there, and I can see where you might be pushing things a little too far. It’s also true that one plug-in can cause problems with another in the same way that the wrong kind of system enhancements can cause troubles for Mac OS and Windows users.

So I agree with the folks here that disabling as many plug-ins as you can will help you diagnose the cause of your troubles. You might also want to look at all your plug-ins and see which ones you absolutely do not need. You may find a leaner and meaner approach works better.

Peace,
Gene Steinberg
Co-Host, The Paracast
http://www.theparacast.com
[b]My DreamHost Promo Plan—Use the code: [color=#CC0000]ROCKS[b][/color]


#16

Thank you for your advice Gene.

Shouldn’t I be able to disable plugins by removing them from the server (via ftp) (still no http access)?

Any idea how to monitor CPU usage so that when i start adding back plugins I see which of them is causing a spikes or disproportionate CPU usage?

Thanks again


#17

[quote]Thank you for your advice Gene.

Shouldn’t I be able to disable plugins by removing them from the server (via ftp) (still no http access)?

Any idea how to monitor CPU usage so that when i start adding back plugins I see which of them is causing a spikes or disproportionate CPU usage?

Thanks again[/quote]
Yes, you can remove them that way. But as to CPU usage, it can only be done on a once-a-day basis (you can search DreamHost’s Wiki on the subject). I wish there were another way, but I’m not sure how.

Peace,
Gene Steinberg
Co-Host, The Paracast
http://www.theparacast.com
[b]My DreamHost Promo Plan—Use the code: [color=#CC0000]ROCKS[b][/color]


#18

In addition to the "daily " monitoring Gene mentioned (see the DH Wiki article on User Resource Reporting, you can always log into the shell and check the total load on the server at any time with the “w” or "uptime"command.

While it shows the total server load, including other users, since your usage is included in that total, you should be able to get some idea as to what plug-in is causing a large increase in CPU usage or RAM usage when it is running.

You could even arrange a cron job to run “w” and pip the results to file for later rebiew, though that may be a overkill for your purposes.

–rlparker


#19

Hi again,
I received this from tech support:
…“create more users on the same account and spread out the scripts so that each user isn’t using too much of the cpu/memory”

and this is what i responded:
My account contains several domains, mostly wordpress.

Each wordpress blog is associated with 1 user name.

I added a new user ( usr_md_x “Margarita Mami x”) but don’t understand how i can associate this user with the blog. Do I associate a new user with the database (db_md)?

And when i figure that out how do I “spread out the scripts” ? I can’t find any of this info in the wiki.

Finally, I have turned off all scripts (plugins) in all the affected blogs but they are still down."

Response time from support is about 1 per 12 hours so progress is slow. Any help or suggestions would be appreciated.

Thanks again - JoC


#20

Though I’m still extremely new to this dreamhost panel, one really cool feature I’ve found is the CPU usage reporting. You can see how many CPU minutes (how much processing power) you website is taking up, and this is viewed in terms of users.

Each file on your account has a user assigned to it, probably all to the same user unless you’ve played around with multiple users.

This needs to be enabled on your user account (Manage Users) in the panel.

Here’s a link to the wiki write-up on it.

http://wiki.dreamhost.com/index.php/User_resource_reporting