VPS or Dreampress?

I just switched to a VPS after getting an email earlier in the month saying that my site is frequently reaching the technical capacity of its hardware.

The only real application I run on my site is WordPress and it doesn’t really get that many daily views, maybe 20-50.

I signed up for the 1GB RAM/30 GB Disk plan but get emails saying the VPS has exceeded its’ memory allocation. I’ve turned off WP Super Cache and turned on XCache for my domain.

Would I be better off switching to DreamPress instead of the current One-Click WordPress installation?

When I run top -c I often notice 2 or more php56.cgi processes which are taking up 6+% of my memory.

Is there any other way I can better optimize my VPS and or blog?

My site is https://blog.mikepolinske.info

Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated.

The symptoms you describe seem to point to a rogue plugin or a very heavy, not-optimized theme. Since you have very little traffic, something tells me that your WordPress installation is very bloated and is abusing memory.

DreamHost knowledge base has some ideas on what to do to optimize your WP, before you keep on throwing money at it. Start from this article and keep on readon the suggested articles too: https://help.dreamhost.com/hc/en-us/articles/215300817-Fine-tuning-your-WordPress-plugins

let us know how things proceed.

Thanks. I’ve gone through and removed quite a few plug-ins which weren’t supported in 4.7.4 and that I don’t really use. While it did help the page load time, as long as multiple php56.cgi processes were running, the free memory was greatly reduced.

I am now running just the following plugins: Akismet Anti-Spam, All In One WP Security, Code Embed, Easy Twitter Feed Widget, Jetpack by WordPress.com, UpdraftPlus - Backup/Restore, VaultPress, WP Embed Facebook, WP-Optimize and YouTube Pro.

I’ve also removed any themes which I am not using, so I just have the TwentySeventeen theme.

Any other suggestions?

Things should be better now but when I try to load your site it still feels very slow. The home page is about 5Mb, takes about 30 seconds to load fully, with 373 requests. I run your site through gtmetrix, they offer quite a few easy fixes, the most important of which is enable gzip on the server side (it’s on by default, check if you may have it disabled with a custom .htaccess or something):


The other thing I noticed is that you import a lot of things from various domains. Each one of those calls is a DNS lookup and those add up. You may want to do some more caching optimization, too.


Thanks for the pointers. I will definitely try to optimize it more. Didn’t know there was a site like gtmetrix, very interesting.

I enabled gzip, installed W3 Total Cache and WP Smush and have been able to get the page load time down to 9.4s.

I still have to optimize about 4000 images, but I am making progress.

Since I installed W3 Total Cache do you think I should disable the XCache setting on my DreamHost panel?

Thanks again!

Much better, congratulations :slight_smile: XCache and W3TC may conflict indeed. This guide has some suggestions: https://help.dreamhost.com/hc/en-us/articles/215945977-How-do-I-use-XCache-on-a-private-server-

Also check https://help.dreamhost.com/hc/en-us/articles/214879308#Caching_your_site

I think I have my blog as optimized as I can get it. I removed a lot of the sidebar items and the social media menu

I am still getting dinged for a few items, but it’s much better than it was.

Thank you smaffulli for all your help, I greatly appreciate it.

I guess the lesson I learned is that unless you have a powerful server hosting your site, you are better off leaving off a lot of the “fluff” (RSS feeds, Twitter feeds, weather widget, etc.)

Here is a link to the latest performance report: https://gtmetrix.com/reports/blog.mikepolinske.info/zXFYGKPb

And here is the result from the last time I ran free -m in an ssh:
total used free shared buffers cached
Mem: 1250 669 580 0 0 490
-/+ buffers/cache: 178 1071
Swap: 0 0 0