Random WP Dashboard Page Not Found Errors

I’ve had my Dreamhost account since 2009. For the last 2 or 3 years I’ve been having multiple random Page Not Found Errors on all the WordPress sites that I host on my account. These errors happen while I’m working in the WP dashboard. I don’t know if the errors happen to my site visitors because when I’m on my sites, I’m usually logged in. I have requested support from Dreamhost on this problem and they blame me for having too many plugins. I’m a web designer and I use other hosting companies for my client’s numerous sites, I have NEVER experienced the Page Not Found Error on other hosts and have worked on countless WordPress sites.

Today I became aware of the secret Dreamhost limits being governed by something called Procwatch. I’ve never seen these limits posted to the Dreamhost Terms and have not been made aware of them until now.

I previously have upped the memory to my sites which on the high end use about 50mb according to memory watch plugin I have installed. The sites should have access to much more than 50mb according to how I have them setup and also according to the info the PHP and memory info plugins that I use give me.

I feel like I’ve been fighting with a ghost that only Dreamhost can see. I’m not happy.

I want to know what I’m paying for. I want to see these limits clearly posted.

What’s limited is CPU time, and that has never been a secret, just hidden behind the word “Unlimited” for many other categories.

What IS a secret and what doesn’t work is dreamhost communication that you’re over a limit. Specifically, it seems procwatch doesn’t send emails or have other means of notifying the customer. A customer only eventually finds out what’s up because a support agent mentions it. (FWIW, I hope I’m providing incorrect information that smaffulli will quickly correct me.)

Thank you for your response LakeRat, but I don’t think that’s the case. I apparently had close to 4000 “kills” this week for “uid ram” according to Procwatch logs. I don’t know what that means exactly but it sounds like they are limiting my RAM.

Yes, I would also of course like to be notified about these limitations LakeRat. Being able to make an informed decision about my hosting is extremely important!

procwatch limits RAM, CPU and total number of processes for each shared hosting user. The logs should give an overview of what the issue is.

When a WordPress site starts getting affected by procwatch after many years running, I would take it as a sign that something is wrong with the site. What changed? New plugins, and themes are common causes for increased consumption of resources. Sometimes it’s new traffic, hopefully it’s a site that has become popular all of a sudden. Or it’s been vandalized… and many more possible explanations.

A memory watch plugin in WordPress itself could be causing a lot more memory usage, as many of these ‘monitoring’ plugins do. Make sure to disable it as soon as you have collected some data.

There are lots of things that users can do to find out what’s going on and i listed a set of first steps on this message:


Try to follow some of those advice and see if things change. Let us know here how your debugging efforts go.

Thanks. That is probably the most definitive statement I seen made about procwatch. I think that sentence alone conveys more than this help page.

Memory confused me at first, since php limits memory. The linked help file tho helped me realize account-wide mem use could be a problem.

Here is the problem!! The logs are only visible by support, and only if the customer thinks to ask!

How do you know to ask about procwatch before you know procwatch exists?

There is really nothing to make a shared hosting customer realize what is happening to their site.

I’m a shared hosting customer that has read this forum almost everyday for 9 years. Today, for the first time, I understand the procwatch issues better than I have at anytime during that 9 years.

The performance on my websites on Dreamhost seems to be much improved. I haven’t had a problem updating my plugins for a while now. I did 2 things that may have fixed the problem, I’m not sure if one or both fixed it. One thing I did was to move each of my sites to a unique user, this was suggested to me by a tech support person at Dreamhost. The other thing I did that seemed to help was to delete an old install of a website which I was no longer using, I just hadn’t had time to back it up and delete it.