Support » Fixing WordPress » DreamHost 404 when working in admin

  • Resolved kgagne


    I have a VPS with DreamHost. In the last few months, I’ve been getting more and more 404s while using WordPress 3.0.4’s administrative interface, such as publishing posts, activating plugins, or approving comments. The only recurring error I see in my error.log file is “Premature end of script headers“. Even the frontend of the site can take 15+ seconds to load, if at all, as indicated by Pingdom Tools. Though I’ve set my VPS’s memory limit to 374 MB, my admin panel rarely shows usage above 247.

    I’ve read several threads on similar issues and have followed some suggestions, such as pruning my plugins and adding this line to my wp-config.php file:

    define('WP_MEMORY_LIMIT', '90M');

    and disabling this line that’s added by DreamHost’s one-click installer:

    $base = DB_NAME;

    I’ve not installed any caching plugins, as even though I currently run 16 WordPress sites, none of them receives more than double digits of pageviews per day. (Only half accept comments; most have revisions disabled.) I had DreamHost’s Google Pagespeed option enabled for awhile, but it seemed to make things a bit worse, so I disabled it.

    With all my plugins enabled, my site makes about 22 queries to load the homepage. The TPC plugin pointed out one instance of high memory usage that involved 38 database queries — presumably while I was accessing the admin panel.

    Here are some other statistics reported by the TPC plugin when loading a page:

    TPC! Memory Usage (
    Memory Usage: 23413816
    Memory Peak Usage: 23749872
    WP Memory Limit: 90M
    PHP Memory Limit: 90M
    Checkpoints: 7

    From the admin dashboard:

    Usage Sample: 30.62MB (12%)
    Peak Usage: 30.87MB (12%)
    All-Time: 22.33MB on 2/1/11 @ 11:28 pm (wp_head)
    Load Averages: 0.23 0.28 0.28
    WP Memory Limit: 90M
    PHP Memory Limit: 90M

    I’ve recently optimized my databases via phpMyAdmin. I also ran a free Load Impact test.

    Despite these efforts and diagnoses, my problems persist. Do any of these numbers look unusual? Any suggestions of what I could try that I haven’t already?

Viewing 15 replies - 1 through 15 (of 26 total)
  • I definitely think this is a Dreamhost issue that they are not owning up to. I have their shared hosting and have the same issues, yet they suggested I move to a VPS account to resolve the issues. Obviously that is a lie if you’re on a VPS and having the same problems.

    I have another WordPress site with a different web host, and a much lesser hosting packing, and I *never* encounter any of these 404 issues as I do with Dreamhost. Actually I’ve never encountered any of the problems I have had with Dreamhost! (Time to switch I guess.) And this other site is at over 600 pages, running a business directory, and getting far more traffic than all my sites on Dreamhost combined.

    Sorry that I’m not answering your questions, other than pointing out that I feel that this is a Dreamhost issue which they refuse to resolve.

    Thanks for the reply, eatlocal — commiseration is always appreciated. 🙂

    I had a friend with these issues on a shared server. They were resolved when he moved to a VPS.

    Even though each one of my individual sites may be within its memory limits, it’s possible that I’m running so many WordPress sites that collectively, they’re exceeding their bounds. Maybe I should try increasing my maximum RAM even further, an option available only via the VPS plan. It’s a potentially expensive solution, though.


    Adding additional memory to my site does seem to have worked. I guess the memory usage charts available in the admin panel weren’t very accurate.

    I’m having this same problem, also with DreamHost, even after doing the VPS trial. I’m trying your wp-config fix to see if it makes a difference, but I wanted to chime in that VPS will not necessarily fix things.

    Good luck, giapet! Let us know what happens.

    FYI, as an amendment to my original post, a friend and fellow DreamHoster recommended I try commenting out all four of these lines from wp-config.php:

    $server = DB_HOST;
    $loginsql = DB_USER;
    $passsql = DB_PASSWORD;
    $base = DB_NAME;

    I haven’t tried it yet, as those lines don’t appear in all my sites, so I’m not sure how much a difference it will make.

    I’m no expert, but wouldn’t commenting out all of those lines cut WordPress off from the database it needs to run? >_>

    My WordPress sites that lack those lines are running fine on DreamHost. I too am no expert, but I think they have something to do with WordPress 3.0+’s multisite network features, which I don’t use.

    Well, here’s a plus: turns out I hadn’t actually set up the domains *on* the VPS yet (although now I’m disconcerted that my VPS records show some usage despite having no domains).

    Will get back to you once I’ve set it up properly.

    Ah. That can make a difference. 🙂 Good luck with the transition! Let us know what happens.

    Well, so far it’s been some 12+ hours and I haven’t gotten an e-mail confirming that my domains have been moved over to the VPS, just a couple of notifications about WordPress updates that I’m guessing are related (but might not be?).

    I’m pretty confident I’ll be spending this weekend moving away from DreamHost…just gotta decide where to -_-

    Sorry to hear that, giapet. Have you emailed their customer service? I usually get pretty fast responses from DH — in fact, between their email replies, Twitter account, and blog, I’d say status updates are one of this hosting company’s strengths.

    I’ve been talking to them throughout this whole process of trying to track down these 404s…spent hours and hours tweaking everything to try and lessen my memory usage to get those procwatch kills to stop. Sigh!

    How many WP sites are running? What is your memory limit set to?

    A friend of mine found his high memory usage was caused by having redundant analytics plugins installed. As soon as he disabled Ultimate Google Analytics, leaving only Google Analyticator, things got much better.

    DreamHost has been a bit reticent at answering what my memory limit actually is; I currently have three installs, one of which is semi-plugin heavy, and one of which is fairly heavy on plugins. None are redundant though…as part of all that tweaking I made sure to get rid of any plugins I’m not using, and I don’t have any google analytics plugins.

    Each install has a limit of 90mb of RAM, though, and the sites only range from like 25-35mb according to the memory usage plugin.

    If you’re on a DreamHost VPS, you should be able to set your own memory limit.

Viewing 15 replies - 1 through 15 (of 26 total)
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