Club Troppo crippled but moving soon

As you’ve probably noticed, Club Troppo has been almost unuseably slow-loading for the last few days. It has also been out of commission completely for substantial periods. Now the comment facility is not working at all. Apparently the latter is not an accident but deliberate sabotage on the part of our webhost, which goes by the ironical name “Dreamhost”. I received an email from dreamhost this morning in the following terms:

I’m writing you about your database “clubtroppo”. It seems to be very busy lately and today was causing severe load problems on the triumph mysql server. I’ve had to disable the table wp_comments until the issue can be resolved. The problem is that the queries on the wp_comments table are taking a longer amount of time now that there are around 50,000 comments in the tables, and with a flood or spike in traffic, the multiple-queries-at-once is causing severe problems. Please double-check that the wp-cache module is configured and working as this will help with loads. If nothing can be improved upon, I’m afraid your database needs are outgrowing what shared hosting can offer and you will need to look into a VPS or dedicated solution:

… (stats follow)

In fact I had already taken steps to find a new host due to Dreamhost’s appalling performance and non-existent service since I signed up with them a few months ago. We will be moving over to a new Virtual Private Server host over the next week or two. In the meantime, Troppo page load times are likely to remain slow, and the comment facility might or might not be restored. If you’re thinking about changing webhosts, steer very clear of Dreamhost. They’re without question the worst I’ve ever struck in 6 years of using webhosting services.

Additional by Jacques: All very embarassing for yours truly as I was the one who recommended Dreamhost in the first place. However Club Troppo has grown much faster than I or anyone expected. As Ken says we will be moving to our own Virtual Private Server, which should drastically improve the site’s responsiveness. I’ve literally just got off the plane but I can see I need to attend to the move immediately. I’ll be starting now so don’t be surprised if Troppo goes up and down like a yoyo in the next few hours.

Update by Jacques: Sorry, I’m not really in a condition conducive to cleverwork – desperately tired, jetlagged and hungover.  I think I’ve managed to reverse Dreamhost’s temporary disabling of comments, but don’t be surprised if they reverse the reversal at some point. I’ll get back onto the Big Move as soon as I can.

About Ken Parish

Ken Parish is a legal academic, with research areas in public law (constitutional and administrative law), civil procedure and teaching & learning theory and practice. He has been a legal academic for almost 20 years. Before that he ran a legal practice in Darwin for 15 years and was a Member of the NT Legislative Assembly for almost 4 years in the early 1990s.
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Francis X Holden
14 years ago

…tired, jetlagged and hungover.

c’mon.that’s the australian way on a monday. and judging from most websites the way most webmonkeys operate.

Gummo Trotsky
14 years ago

Serves you Troppodillians right for being among the 85% of Dreamhost customers who return only 15% of their revenue!

And, while we wait with bated breath to see how long it will be after stoushing resumes in the comments at Troppo before the Dreamhost guys toss the other clog into the works, one question hangs over our heads – what’s to become of Missing Link?

Forget I asked that – with a web-host of such pre-eminent silliness to deal with, it’s really only a minor matter.

Nicholas Gruen
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Nicholas Gruen(@nicholas-gruen)
14 years ago

I can’t see any reason ML should be affected.

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Tim Dunlop
14 years ago

Ken, having had similar problems with DreamHost I commiserate. They really are the pits. Hope it all works out. I notice you have other plans, but if you happen to still be looking for a host, happy to put you touch with mine, which is sort of a subhosting set-up that is working out well. Drop me a line if it’s of interest.

Alec
13 years ago

That’s funny. I followed your very good suggestions about running WordPress efficiently over here:

1. MySQL query and key caching will save you a lot of time. Most times a page is displayed and nothing has changed.

2. PHP opcode caching. There are several. I use xcache.

3. Selectable object cache. It’s a little known fact that WordPress does some half-arsed internal caches of intermediate objects; an even less-known fact that you can get it to use PHP opcode caches or memcached to hold those intermediate objects. This combination can really zip up the PHP side of things.

4. Reduce the number of plugins running if you can.

5. Don’t put your blogroll, archives or author listings on the front page. Move them onto a separate page. Each of those listings performs a nasty old bunch of queries. Not single queries that reduce to a single result set; oh no, dozens of queries.

And you’re right again. Dreamhost should rename themselves Nightmarehost.

Disabling accounts, servers down, broken emails, overbilling. You name it, they’ve done it in the past year. We still use them for testing but that will soon be at an end too.