Major Slowdown Issues with DreamHost recently


I guess I just wanted to throw this out there, and see if anyone else has been seeing issues… but basically, my site has slowed to a CRAWL in the past 2 or so weeks. I’ve got a small MySQL database (400 rows) which drives the site. I’m not saying I’ve programmed everything 100% efficiently, but I can say that I have databases and code that have been static for over a year now… and up till 2 weeks or so ago, some “large result” queries that would typically take about 3-5 seconds for the page to load are now consistently taking 15-30 seconds. I’ve ran the “account tests” and have even contacted support… and “nothing out of the ordinary” is going on. So, I come here to see if anyone else is seeing this, or if I’m the only one? It does seem to be at it’s “slowest” during the afternoon and early evening times. I guess this is the issue with going shared-server? It’s just weird that I’ve never had these problems until very recently… so maybe they’re just packing the servers more these days (or someone on my server all of the sudden got really popular). Anyone?


I’ve been having very serious issues as well. I have a Joomla/Virtuemart site and I spent a lot of time optimizing queries, reducing size of images, following pagespeed recommendations etc… to no avail. Because, what can one do when a server is so much oversold that is crawling ? I requested a move to another server but guess what ? When the move was completed things became worse!

Despite the above, I was almost convinced that my site had coding issues as well - it couldn’t be THAT slow. On the local server it was running fine, but it’ a local…

And then I decided to test my site in other hosts. I found several who were offering test accounts or money-back guarantee. I uploaded my site to 5 hosts… and I couldn’t believe what I saw: My site is actually FAST! I didn’t need to optimize to death trying to save a few milliseconds when pages were taking more than 20 seconds to load.

So I guess it’s time to leave. Apparently Dreamhost have become too big to care.


So which hosts are they? Let’s benchmark them and check them out.

For the OP: try running your queries with ‘EXPLAIN’ just before the query to see how MySQL is trying to access your data. I found that I had been sorting a 5000+ row database on submission time, but that field wasn’t indexed. I changed the sort to be on the primary key, which almost matched submission time in terms of order, and found that queries went from 3-30 seconds to < 1 second. I could have indexed the submission time field, but for the task, the primary key (autoincrement) was good enough.

If the results of the ‘EXPLAIN’ query show that MySQL is looking through more rows than you intend to retrieve, then your query is not efficient. You can modify the query or add an index.


For some reason, I hadn’t subscribed to this thread when I posted it… alas, I haven’t been here in a while… and just saw your reply for the first time… and wanted to say thanks! I was unaware of EXPLAIN, and it has been a tremendous help… even a year+ later! Thanks again.


I’ve been having very serious issues too, I use Joomla website with virtuemart and not, all my websites are very very slow.


I’m Dream-ling with a better server, better host, better services … more consideration.
What a hell are you doing??

Every day my clients call me complaining about your server and you are not able to respond to my tickets … answer me.

You are no longer the dreamhost for me are the nightmarehost.


Hello Tony,

We apologize for any delay in response! We did not forget about your ticket, our support team was investigating your issue. A support manager recently replied to you by email, you can click here to view all your support history. If you have any questions or need any further support please reply to the email sent or click here to send our support team a ticket.

Thank you for your patience,
Matt C


I’m having the same problem and I could be a problem for others since my site keeps getting huge amounts of traffic (is 5000 - 6000 hits a day a lot?). It seems to go up each day. I wasn’t expecting this and I have contacted support to see what can be done, they came back with too much CPU usage…I’m not even sure I understand that. BUT, I replied asking for more info and if I had to move to a different hosting plan and 3 days later I have yet to get a response or info on what I need to do and how much it’s going to cost. I replied again asking so hopefully soon I can fix this.

Also, how can I figure out how much RAM I need if I go to VPS?


5-6k/day is not much. That’s 1 per 15s on average. Whether you need more RAM or not depends on a variety of things. Most likely you have a peak in traffic sometime during the day. That’s what you’ll need to look at. How many requests per second are you getting then? What portion are for static items and what portion for scripts (Perl, PHP, etc). If you have a lot of static assets, you can put them on a subdomain under a different user, on a separate domain altogether, behind a CDN (cloudflare, amazon), etc. What scripts/webapp are you running? Some are better at managing memory than others. Some have caching options. How often are you hitting a database? etc, etc, etc.

There’s no simple answer that fits everyone. It depends on a lot of different factors. I get 5-10k script requests per day, 99% of which are Ajax requests, and don’t have any problems with memory on shared hosting. All of my static assets are on another domain and behind cloudflare with long expires set. All database requests are cached so that, on average, each user may make 100-200 requests, but the database will only be hit a few times.


Hi Bobcat, thank you for your response, unfortunatly I’m a newb and don’t know much technically. My stats page broke last week so I can’t get any detailed info, only from a hit counter I put at the bottom of the home page, this is where I’m getting those numbers. I’m not sure about running scripts at all, I’m using Concrete5 and the only big add-on I have is an event calendar program which I have been using since August of this year when I didn’t have any problems loading the site, now it either fails or takes up to 30 seconds to load. I am trying to understand what is causing this high CPU usage and what I can do about it, if it’s traffic then nothing I guess except move to a different more expensive plan.

This is my site if anyone can take a look and see if anything jumps out at you for what is going on:

Thanks for any insight provided to fix this ongoing issue.


hello, your site seems to to running slow again, so are mine, I wonder if we are on the same server?


thebigeventpage, your server’s running nice and fast (low processes, just like we like to see). A couple things you can do is switch to PHP 5.3 instead of 5.2, and turn on xcache. You’re using Concrete5, so maybe see if they have some caching add-ons?


Thanks for the reply!

Hi, I’m not sure how to change PHP from 5.2 to 5.3, I don’t know too much technically. Where do I go to turn on xcache?

There is a caching issue with Concrete 5. There was a thread saying setting the cache options to this help. It did help my site when I first did it but is seem slow again to me. I have a test page with nothing on it and 16 seconds to load it…which when it was fast was only 6 seconds. This is an ongoing issue that is confounding and way over my head.

Turn ‘Basic Cache’ Off.
Turn ‘Full Page Caching’ Off.
Set Full Page Rebuild to Automatic.
Clear the Cache.

Thread with the technial info:


You can easily switch from PHP from 5.2 to 5.3 via DH panel --> Domains --> Manage Domains --> Edit --> Web Options


Thank you for the step by step. I did that so we will see if it helps.

Thanks again!


xcache is on your VPS configuration page :slight_smile: