Hi, I’ve been a dreamhost customer for… almost two years now (signed up april 2005), and make pretty good use of it. While there’s been some odd downtime here and there, its been pretty reliable. Unfortunately I began running into some issues in the last month or so.
On my site I run mainly two main pages, a personal blog (pretty insignificant, maybe a few dozen hits a day), and a game site dedicated to an online RPG ‘Ragnarok Online’. The site contains a wordpress log, a wiki, and a database utility so visitors can look up information about things within the game. The database utility is pretty small in terms of traffic, the wiki is the main source of traffic to the page.
Dreamhost contacted me a bit over a week ago to inform me that my wiki was causing too much server load and that they had taken the liberty of dissabling it by renaming the directory, suggesting that I upgrade the software before restoring it. Note that my Disk usage is 3% of max, and bandwidth is sitting at 2%. I presumed that it was because of sql queries, because I was hitting 20000-25000 connections with about 2m-3m queries a day on the wiki database.
At the time this happened, my site became completely inaccessable. A support request revealed that they had set up a throttle on my web page (without telling me), and (woops) didn’t set it correctly so it blocked all traffic. So the site was back up after they made the requested adjustments.
My wiki was originally using Mediawiki 1.5, so I decided to update to Mediawiki 1.9. It was a bit of a headache because it needed me to update php, but I got it working. Now the queries is down to about 100k-200k for the same number of connections (Conueries are down from about 2.5MCn to 0.5MCn).
The main issue is the throttle thats placed on my site. Pages keep giving me the error message ‘Service Temporarily Unavailable: The server is temporarily unable to service your request due to maintenance downtime or capacity problems. Please try again later’. At times its rare that I can even load an entire page without getting multiple broken images. Sometimes pages don’t come up at all. I presume that I could just email support and let them know that I’ve curbed the sql usage and see if they could remove it, but it concerns me that I have an upper limit on how popular my site can be before it basically gets to the point where Dreamhost will render it unusable, especially since this limit doesn’t appear to be all that high.
I don’t mind updating my package, but the page is just a fansite that gets 60k page requests daily (not unique visitors), its not something I would ever consider getting a dedicated server for. I can’t really control how efficient mediawiki is, if the latest version of mediawiki can’t run on the server and have people visit it without running into issues, I’d be a bit worried. I’m not certain how I should approach this problem, and am looking for some suggestions about what I can do.