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Dreamhost, you are a terrible host
01-08-2007, 09:27 PM
Post: #31
Dreamhost, you are a terrible host
I am also a member of the So There forum run by Evan and Lynn, and have also experienced a lot of the issues that the other users have.

What I do find surprising is the blase tone of many of the Dreamhost people regarding the support that Evan and Lynn have received. Its not so much that theres an issue - but more that its exasperated by the lack of support being received and the poor service. Ok, its a cheap site and for a forum of our size that is all it needs to be. Its not an ecommerce site to thousands or millions of users - just a small forum run by friends.

I do have to say that this forum leaves a lot to be desired too - so its little surprise that ours isnt running that well either.

All that is required here is for the hosting support people to help - point us in the right direction with the issues being experienced - Evan and Lynn are the customer after all - whatever happened to customer service? The fact that the members of the forum have posted here is more a reaction to the lack of support and the problems being experienced. We are all fed up as anyone would be. You dont buy anything to have it not work properly - you take it back for a refund, or you expect things to be put right or pointed in the right direction.

Thats all we want, nothing more. I think its time Dreamhost actually showed they care about customer care and support instead of just coming up with excuses for a rather poor product.

Enough said.
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01-08-2007, 09:28 PM
Post: #32
Dreamhost, you are a terrible host
Quote:Also Raz, We would not be at this forum if Dreamhost was doing their job. Smile
I am sorry if my comment offended anyone, it wasn't meant as a serious comment.

Having frequented a few forums with similar problems, I totally understand the frustration. However, as rlparker suggested, my first step in any such situation would be to try to optimize the forum itself, to reduce the server load as much as possible.

I'd suggest enabling CPU usage logging to see what kind of load the forum is placing on the server. Also, logging in via SSH and checking the server load during these 'slow' periods might shed some light on the matter too, it is possible that someone else on your shared box is running an errant script.

Mark

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01-08-2007, 10:12 PM
Post: #33
Dreamhost, you are a terrible host
We will give those suggestions a shot and see what happens.
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01-08-2007, 10:25 PM
Post: #34
Dreamhost, you are a terrible host
Dawn_Renee,

It's pretty easy to tell that you and your friends are frustrated, and I certainly understand how hard it must be for you to use your forum the way you would like. Nobody likes to wait for a slowly loading or badly performing site, least of all those responsible for maintaining it.
Quote:Wouldn't you be annoyed with this kind of problem and then couldn't get a hold of anyone at Dreamhost to correct the problem? Think about it. Wink
I would be *very* annoyed, and I would begin an intensive investigation as to why my site is having the problem. I'd lose the "weighty" animated gifs from the front page, I'd index my MySQL tables, I'd beat the vBulletin forums to death looking for ways to optimize the software's performance, I'd investigate caching as much as possible, etc. I'd enlist some knowledgeable help if I didn't have the skills to determine the source of the problem myself.

I'd regularly monitor my server's load from the shell, to determine if the server's loading *is* or *is not* likely to be part of the problem.

Only when I was completely convinced that I had done all I could do would I even contact my host's tech support people, and then I'd be asking for *help* (instead of "demanding" they put me on a different server because I was convinced all my problems were the result of the host's "overselling"). I would not "unleash the dogs of war" on my host's customer-to-customer forums (solicit on my forum for members to help me "against Dreamhost") complaining. If I had conducted my research thoroughly and completely, was convinced the host was at fault, and worked with the host to resolve the issue, but it became clear it would not be resolved to my satisfaction, I'd find a new host. A concerted "drive-by bashing" of an associated business whose service I was unhappy with is almost as childish as it is ineffective.
Quote: We would not be at this forum if Dreamhost was doing their job. Smile
I also would not be so arrogant to assume that is "their job" to make my site run "fast" - I'd ask for their help in determining the source of the problem, rather than "invading" their forum with my whining.

Okay, whining might seem harsh, but how else is one to interpret someone complaining about the speed with which their site loads when the site's opening page has two large (not in dimensions, in filesize) aninmated gifs?

--rlparker
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01-08-2007, 10:36 PM
Post: #35
Dreamhost, you are a terrible host
How does that explain why the site is still so slow when people are using the un-altered skin that doesn't display any animated images on the front page? It's just the straight, out of the box VB skin, and it makes no difference whatsoever. If the forum is running slow, it's running slow. The skin doesn't seem to matter.

We are going to try removing the images anyway, I was just curious why the skin mattered to those that didn't use it.
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01-08-2007, 10:40 PM
Post: #36
Dreamhost, you are a terrible host
Looking at the comments in this forum I have to say that these are CLASSIC symptoms of a poorly indexed/maintained DB. (this just happens with time and why there are people with the job title of DBA - this is what they do.)

One problem with trying to diagnose these issues on a system where the DB runs on a machine other than the web server is that you have nearly no visibility into the db server to see what is going on.

One REALLY good piece of information though is that MySQL does have some good tools to see what's going on with the DB - and DH has a couple of guys that JUST work on DBs.

At this point, I'll be that no one has actually LOOKED at how the DB is running. It could be your tables getting full and not being indexed properly (this will cause queries to return slowly). It could also be that someone else is using all of the DB server.

I would either grab the MySQL tools and connect directly to the DB and see what you can see (you'll have your answers pretty quickly - once you know what you're looking at - there should be info on the wiki of how to do it) and/or report "Slow DB" to support to ask a DBA to take a look at it. A good DBA can look at the current status of the server and have a decent idea of what's going on pretty quickly and make some quick index changes or recommendations.

If the boards are really heavy it may be necessary to move older data out of the main tables.

But a good DBA can make recommendations for everyone's benefit.

Wholly
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01-08-2007, 10:51 PM
Post: #37
Dreamhost, you are a terrible host
Quote:What I do find surprising is the blase tone of many of the Dreamhost people regarding the support that Evan and Lynn have received.
Joker,

First, I've yet to see any "Dreamhost people" participate at all in this thread. This is a customer-to-customer forum, and, while Dreamhost staff do occasionally stop in, and even more occasionally post here, most of us are just customers just like Evan or Lynn.

I suggest that what you are interpreting as "blase tone" is more accurately described as a difference of opinion about what is properly the purpose and responsibility of tech support in such instances.

It appears some here feel that the *basic* troubleshooting for speed/responsiveness problems is the responsibility of the site developer. There are many threads here where developers have posted high load values, DNS availability problems, or other issues that were *clearly* the responsibility of the host (bad_http config, etc) and have gotten empathetic support from the users here.

This situation is different in that none of that has been done. Instead, one day a group of "new users" show up an complain in concert, under a provocative thread title, that the host is responsible for their problem with no representation as to why that is true.

Most here are not particularly empathetic with such behavior, especially if we take the time to visit the site, find it working "reasonably well", and note that while the administrators of the site complain about loading speed, they put over 400KB of animated graphics on the front page of a totally dynamic site. We tend to think, "Yeah it could be faster , but it is obvious no attempt has been made to optimize it."

Additionally, the, "Hey guys, let's all go to the DH forums and bitch till they give us a new server" tone of the so-there forum makes me so-not-interested in how it all works out for them.

There have been several sincere suggestions regarding steps that could be taken to speed up the site and help identify to what degree the server is to blame. Until some of that has been taken seriously, all the rest of this is just "bitchin' in the wind". Wink

--rlparker
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01-08-2007, 10:55 PM
Post: #38
Dreamhost, you are a terrible host
We are on it.
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01-08-2007, 10:58 PM
Post: #39
Dreamhost, you are a terrible host
I appreciate the help and info, but when it comes to looking at SQL data I may as well be looking at Chinese. Vbulletin has a maintenance section in their admin control panel and I have ran the "repair/optimize tables" function and removed the dreaded animated gifs that were plaguing my front page so we shall see if that helps.
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01-08-2007, 11:03 PM
Post: #40
Dreamhost, you are a terrible host
Quote:How does that explain why the site is still so slow when people are using the un-altered skin that doesn't display any animated images on the front page?
It may very well not have anything to do with the speed problem for users that don't use the skin - I have no way to evaluate that as I only see what a "guest" sees.

To me, the graphics themselves were not so much a "problem" (I have a "fastish adsl connection") in and of themselves, as they were an indication that no attempt at, or consideration of, optimization had been made.

Now, I realize that may not be true, but that is how it appears. I suspect that things like optimized MySQL queries, indexed tables, and caching are most likely to be the the best approach to avoiding "bottlenecks", but I recognize it *could* be the server - the problem is that no server load numbers, or any other types of empirical evidence, were provided - only the anecdotal reports of "It's unusably slow".

My experience has been this is *usually* more a problem with the site than the server; if it *is* the server, there should be other indications. Wink

That, the provocative post title, and the "let's go invade the DH customer forum with complaints" tone of the so-there forum itself pretty much turned me off and made me less sympathetic than I might normally have been.

--rlparker
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