PHP Error 503


#1

At least once a week, any DreamHost site of mine that runs WordPress loads with error 503:

Service Temporarily Unavailable
The server is temporarily unable to service your request due to maintenance downtime or capacity problems. Please try again later.

These are low-trafficked sites with daily hits in the double digits. I have tried installing a cache plugin, disabling all plugins, and deleting all plugins, all to no avail. I don’t know what the problem could be, or if it’s on my end or DreamHost’s. Any thoughts? I am running WordPress 2.7.1 and PHP 5.2.6.


#2

It’s most likely an overloaded server. Next time you get that message, log into your shell account and type ‘uptime’ to get the load averages. They should be below 5.

-Scott


#3

Scott,

Thanks for the suggestion. This is the output I got from an uptime command:

07:16:53 up 6 days, 12:41, 9 users, load average: 291.82, 246.10, 233.07

Definitely not below 5! I wonder what’s causing it? Sites I run that don’t use WordPress are able to load during these times, but I feel like I’ve done everything I can think of to pinpoint it as the culprit.

-Ken


#5

Thanks! Last time I brought this issue to their attention, I didn’t have quite as many details. I hope we can pin it down this time.


#6

Support tells me that “Our admin team has tracked down the root of the problem, which is apparently related to I/O handling”. They’re working on it. Phew!