Why my sites are so slow?


#1

A friend of mine recommended me Dreamhost. His sites(PHP based) loads quite fast. So I too purchased an account from Dreamhost. But since the beginning my sites are slow. I have noticed only a few times within past one month when the sites were loading fast enough. I complained the support, and they said “there is a problem in your filer(titanic), and we are looking in to it”. I asked them by when can I expect things to be fine, and they did not give me any date, except saying “we are doing our best to fix it as soon as possible”. Now how soon is this as soon as possible? The free host that I was using previously(110mb.com) loads similar websites in about 1/5th of the time that it takes for my dreamhost hosted sites. Is that the situation with anyone else? I am losing my patience. [:(] [:x]


#2

I feel so sorry about your problem. Obviously something is wrong with the server you are in.

From our experiences, DH may not keeps you in touch. But when they contact you again, they should have already solved your problem. Let’s give DH a bit more time.

By the way, how long have you waited since they replied “there is a problem in your filer”. Maybe you should ask them for other solutions. And once your problem is solved, you will start enjoy DH’s great offers.

Good luck!

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#3

Its more than a week since they told me that there is some problem in my filer. I kept patient because the friend who referred me to DH told me that this could be a temporary problem, and I should give them a chance. But the problem is consistent. Whenever I run a test for my account, it says “peach notice Your web server was under a high load at the time of testing.”

There are practically no visitors to my sites, and the performance is so poor. I am not able to spread a word about my sites fearing that the visitors would get a bad impression because of the slowness. How long do i have to wait? I am waiting since the day I purchased an account from DH. Tolerated this for about a month.

I still hope that DH will come back to what I expected from it. But it feels bad.


#4

If it’s been a week since you last talked to support and nothing’s changed, it should be reasonable to ask for a status update.

You might also consider asking if they can move your site to a different server which isn’t affected by the piece of hardware they said they’re having a problem with. Since the trouble is on their end and there’s really nothing you can do about it, it seems fair to at least raise the possibility of getting you outside of the problem’s reach. From what I’ve seen on these forums, a server move by support is not at all unprecedented.


#5

Yeah, a week is way longer than “expected”. Are you sure that it’s still a problem with your filesystem host (titanic) - that is, are you sure that’s not fixed and it’s something else?

I always like to create little test sites and files that I use to debug problems. In this case, I’d just create a few static files to view/download that would give me some idea of how my filesystem was performing. Another possibility here is just logging in using ssh and touching a file. Actually, if there’s a serious problem with your NFS server just logging in will be slow.

What’s the load average on your server? Typically, NFS problems evidence themselves with a high load average as most processes get blocked on I/O.

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#6

Hi Alpico,
I mailed them yesterday, and they said:

"I’m sorry, the same problems are still causing this, would you like to be moved to another server? it will still be in the same cluster but we will choose one that is “less” effected by these issues with the filer then your current server “peach” is.

Let us know if you would like to be moved."

I am happy that at least the support team is great. They are ready to help. However, I don’t know if there will be any problem if they shift my files me to an altogether different(and better) cluster. I replied as follows to them:

“Yes, I would like to be moved. But can you move me to a good server in another cluster? If you can, I am even ready for the “site temporarily unavailable” message for an hour or so, while you shift me to a better server/cluster. Please move me to a better place.”

Your suggestions will be of great help to me.

Thank you. :slight_smile:


#7

Hi Lensman,
Thanks for the suggestion. I will try that out in future. :slight_smile:


#8

i actually have had the same problem. when i first purchased it. it was really slow then i was moved to a new server after weeks of complaints, the new server seemed fine for some time. but now the problem is back. my site is slow sometimes its fast but most of the time i and eveyone else experience slowness!
Get more servers DH!


#9

They do get more servers. As I recall, I went through the same routine. Good at first, then it slowed down. Sped up. Slowed down. Sped up.

I think that new users are added to a new server until it’s full, which is when things start slowing down. DH tweaks things to get them running smoothly and it speeds up. Usage digs in and slows down. Then after a while, things settle down; the new users stabilize their setups, or just stop using them, and things improve again.

My setup has been really stable for quite some time now, but it took a good 6 months or so before it became really robust after settling down.

-Scott


#10

I think it’s mostly new users who have no idea how to manage their load on a site. You know - Wordpress install with loads of database intensive plugins, etc or free video sharing site with unlimited transcoding, etc.

I heard on Cranky Geeks that the main stumbling block to YouTube supporting HD is the CPU usage for transcoding!

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#11

Hello sam47…

I too was having lousy performance and support also mentioned that I was on the titanic filer. It has improved some but I’m not sure that it’s always working right.

I was curious what the resolution to your slow site was?
Did you get moved to another server? If so, did the problem go away?

Let us know what happened…


#12

Hi danonymous,
The support team promptly moved my files to a different server. The sites are now loading some what faster. But well, I haven’t observed them for long enough to comment conclusively. I will keep you updated about the issue if there are any problems. But I am happy at least for now.

Regards


#13

Hi Crysis,
Thanks for sharing your experience. It looks DH is torn between two duties:

  1. Keeping existing customers happy.(they need to spend on servers)
  2. Attracting new customers.(they need to keep prices low)

If they are ready to listen to our woes, I am happy to be with them. Maybe I will get a private server with DH if their service is satisfactory, and my business needs demands one. Maybe they are overselling, but I feel its fair for the price they are offering that to us?

Regards


#14

“My setup has been really stable for quite some time now, but it took a good 6 months or so before it became really robust after settling down.”

Hi Sdayman,
Happy to hear that. :slight_smile:


#15

Hi Lensman,
Yeah I agree with you. It takes some time and some bad experiences to learn. But what can be done? I too must have contributed to someone else’s trouble by installing WP and other things. But its the initial setup thing that eats lot of resources. I don’t know if this is a good idea, but here it is:

New users should be put in to a different server, their resource usages be monitored, and depending on the usage history, they are put in to appropriate servers. Instead of trying to make everyone equally happy, reward the gentle ones more than the harsh ones. That seems like discrimination, but I feel its fair. Moreover, it would motivate people to learn to optimize their usage. What do you say?

Regards


#16

[quote]Thanks for sharing your experience. It looks DH is torn between two duties:

  1. Keeping existing customers happy.(they need to spend on servers)
  2. Attracting new customers.(they need to keep prices low)[/quote]
    I’m not sure what you’re saying here. The problems you’re seeing are not the result of too many people on the server. They’re the result of one person on the server taking up too many resources. That’s 90%+ of the problems on shared web hosting. If fact, I’d assert that it’s not something that other shared hosts have solved either. (I’m putting on my nomex suit in preparation for getting flamed for that statement)

I don’t think you’re using overselling in the way that most people use it. Overselling is the practice of setting the limits on your web hosting account way higher than most people are actually going to use. It’s not the practice of overstuffing servers with too many people so that their always overburdened. Dreamhost doesn’t do that. Dreamhost just suffers from the occasional client who has sites that use more CPU or memory resources than are feasible under a shared hosting account. They find these clients and either help them fix their webapps to work under shared hosting or they require that these clients get either PS or dedicated hosting.

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#17

No, I’m not saying that. Initial setup, done properly, doesn’t take up any more resources than a site that’s been running for a while. What I do think happens is that people who are kicked off of other web hosts for using more resources than can reasonably be hosted under shared web hosting flip to Dreamhost and set up shop here, where, surprise, surprise, their sites use up more resources than can reasonably hosted under shared web hosting. This creates problems for everyone on the “new” servers until these people can be identified and either moved to dedicated hosting or can be kicked out to cause problems at some other host.

[quote]I don’t know if this is a good idea, but here it is:

New users should be put in to a different server, their resource usages be monitored, and depending on the usage history, they are put in to appropriate servers. Instead of trying to make everyone equally happy, reward the gentle ones more than the harsh ones. That seems like discrimination, but I feel its fair. Moreover, it would motivate people to learn to optimize their usage. What do you say?[/quote]
I think it’s a decent idea, but I don’t think it’s necessary to actually move the good folks. You just need to kick the baddies out entirely. Eventually, the new servers fill up with good people and new signups are assigned to a different server for new folks.

I actually think this is what naturally happens without any intervention and is why most of the complaints are from new signups rather than people who’ve been here for a few years.

It’s all pure speculation on my part, though.

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#18

Are they still can moving us to a more friendly server when our server is getting very busy because of “bad” neighbors ?

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#19

This is still done on a case by case basis. I suspect it’s to give them more time to track down the bad neighbor. Ultimately, they’ll track down the offending processes and fix the problem. They have to since it’s a shared server.

-Scott


#20

Yeah, collectively, the main thing is that they track down the errant sites/processes. Getting yourself moved to another server doesn’t help the tens of other people on your original server - though it does help you! :slight_smile:

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