Any Tech-Savvy People Out There? October 9, 2007

Any Tech-Savvy People Out There?

This site’s getting a lot of readers. That’s very exciting.

It also means this site crashes frequently.

You may have already been greeted by the “SUSPENDED” page before.

The most common problem is: “This Account Has Exceeded Its CPU Quota.” Which I think means there are a lot of people coming to this site all at once… which happens when there are incoming links from popular sites like Reddit.

Right now, this WordPress site is hosted by Bluehost. It’s on a shared-server. There are some options (via Bluehost) to upgrade to a “high cpu load option” that has far fewer accounts on each server.

(I have no idea what I just wrote in that last paragraph.)

So I’m wondering if anyone has any advice on what I should do. Because I don’t know too much about this type of stuff.

Is there a better provider to host this site? One that’s somewhat affordable? What is my best option?

Thanks in advance for any help.

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  • Kate

    Maybe God is getting pissed. 😉

  • I recall that Cosmic Variance had a similar problem, and it sounds like they solved it by switching hosting services, but I don’t know whether it’s the same problem or if that’s the only solution.

  • Charles

    This blog is powered by a piece of software. Every time someone looks at a page, that software has to start running, figure out what the user is doing, ask the database for information, then take that information and do something with it and pass it back to the user.

    Many web hosting providers, rather than actively manage their servers, pack them as full as they can, and let automated tools determine when people are “abusing” their overloaded machines.

    (Ever see a WordPress powered blog go offline and complain about the database? A lot of people blame WordPress for this, and while it’s true to an extent, the hosting provider is also to blame for not configuring their database server in a sane way.)

    You would be better off with a hosting provider that does not pack their servers to the filling point in the name of profit. They are not inexpensive, of course.

  • Richard Wade

    The latest wrinkle is I’m now getting email notices for postings here to which I have not subscribed, not commented, merely visited. They’re not on my list of subscribed postings, so I can’t turn them off. Hemant, I love this site but what’s with that?

  • emerson999

    The ideal would be a dedicated server, an entire box only for your site. I’m assuming far more than you’d want to spend though. Next best would be a vps. Basically the machine would host a small number of virtual servers, think of how a emulator for an old game console is simulating what amounts to a computer, on your computer. The main upshot of that is that the virtual servers are sandboxed in, and allocated a specific amount of resources. So, in theory at least, they shouldn’t be able to interfere with each other in the same way that sites on a traditional shared server do. A slight downside though, is that many companies hand you the reigns to a more complex system without many details on what to do next.

    As far as recommendations though, conflict of interests from former employment and being out of the game so long I couldn’t really vouch for any of them at this point nets me bowing out of that one. A tip though, as said above, a large number pretty much hand the maintainence off to automated systems. The best companies use those same monitoring devices, but have at least one person whose only duty is keeping track of server performance and troubleshooting the second anything out of the ordinary is detected.

  • One thing that you can do (which only takes a small amount of technical nous) is install the WP-Cache WordPress plugin, which can decrease your server load.

    Caveat utilitor.

  • As nullifidian says, use WP-Cache. It can help a lot.

    Other suggestions:

    – use the latest version of WordPress, and of the theme you’re using
    – check if there isn’t a WP plugin you’ve installed some time ago but aren’t really using; if so, disable it
    – upgrade to the latest version of the plugins you *are* using
    – if you have access to them, check your logs for errors or warnings; they may give you some hints about something that is misbehaving

    If all of those don’t solve your problem, you really need more “power” to run FA, either by upgrading to another option on your provider, or by changing providers.

  • “This Account Has Exceeded Its CPU Quota” is a result of the software (i.e. wordpress) using up more CPU time than average. When a user visits any page on your site, the page is usually generated on-the-fly, unlike static HTML.

    As others have suggested, ensure you’re using the WP-Cache plugin. It creates static versions of your pages, so the pages don’t have to be generated every time someone views them.

    It appears you’re using WordPress 2.2.1; the latest version if 2.3, which IS faster, but it also changed some table structures, so your current plugins maybe incompatible with the upgrade. Here’s a list of plugin compatibility:

    Feel free to shoot me an email if you’d like more help.


  • Mriana

    Hemant, I use Bravenet . They have good rates for hosting and you can keep your personal URL, if you decide to move. Given your traffic, I’d chose the package with the greatest amount of bandwidth.

    However, what Jody is saying makes sense too, even though my expertise is in HTML. You may want to try that idea before you go through the headache of moving your site.

  • Aj

    Like others have already posted, first things to do would be to update and install a plug-in that makes use of a cache. Next would be to see about a new host or upgrading your account. The only thing that I didn’t see that might be another useful tactic is to deal with traffic (mirrors, non-styled pages) from certain sites (reddit, digg, etc…) by making use of the referer (identifies where the person came from). I don’t use wordpress so I don’t know how to implement any of these, but I’d be willing to guess some of the above will.

  • I just abandoned Dreamhost, another shared host that packs their servers to the gills, then complains when anyone starts using too many resources. I got a vps account and so far I’m very happy. Good luck.

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