I have worked with Dreamhost quite a bit for nearly ten years for small client sites without issue.
You’re asking your hosting company to troubleshoot your site (code, DB, etc.), when really it’s not their problem. As long as the servers are up and a web server responds, they’ve done their job.
500 errors for what sounds like a hastily tossed together set of sites is a code or configuration problem and of course they’re going to make awful suggestions that abate the real issue as again it isn’t their issue to fix.
When you get script errors, check the log files. In a default Dreamhost account there is a “logs” directory right inside your user directory. See what errors are being given – what lines of code in what files are causing problems – and work on those. As mentioned by others, it’s probably a plugin problem. Next in the list of possible issues is your theme or themes.
You don’t need to count CPU minutes or dive into deep server monitoring, especially if you’re on their low-tier shared hosting. If the server were the problem you would see other errors.
I’m sorry if this sounds hostile and I hate to break the “fuck your host” circlejerk but it is simply not a hosting problem. If you’re happy with the hate bandwagon and no real solutions, keep hassling their support staff and getting obsessive with server monitoring. If you want it fixed, check the logs and see why PHP is exploding and causing apache to spit out 500 errors.
The fact that you even see a 500 error means the request succeeded. There were no problems with resources, apache, MySQL or PHP other than that they got come code that didn’t make sense.
If you need help troubleshooting your errors or have any questions feel free to drop me an orangered or update your post with log details.
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