Support » Fixing WordPress » Dreamhost pulled my site and I don’t know why.

  • This is driving me crazy.

    I had 2.0 installed. Activated Akismet. Put in a plugin for push-button backups. That was it. Hadn’t even tweaked the theme yet. Total Kubrick. Archives were ported over from MT after some difficulty. 800-some-odd posts. Couple thousand comments. 300 – 400 unique visitors a day.

    Worked fine from December through Sunday 21 January. Site went down; I reported it; they fixed it. Monday: site went down; I reported it; they fixed it; site went down again; they fixed it again. Here’s what they said:

    Your server had a problem with one of its file servers. This problem has been resolved and the server is responding quickly again.


    Site went down again Tuesday. Here’s what they said:

    Actually I’m finding that your site,, is taking down the server somehow. I made sure there were no processes owned by your “kiplet” user then I browsed to your site and pretty much immediately these php.cgi procs started stacking up, making the server slow to a crawl:

    kiplet 19333 0.0 0.1 14420 4944 ? DN 13:44 0:00 php.cgi
    kiplet 22401 0.0 0.1 14608 5460 ? DN 13:44 0:00 php.cgi
    kiplet 31484 0.0 0.1 14428 4948 ? DN 13:44 0:00 php.cgi

    The list of numbers went on for a bit. I can reproduce it if someone would like to see it for whatever reason. Anyway. They pulled the site, by which I mean I guess they set so it wouldn’t resolve there so no one could make WordPress do anything. I have two other domains that point to the same server. They put back up later, and all seemed to be well.

    Then it went down again today. Here’s what they said:

    Just to continue this super fun ongoing saga about [the server]’s load and your scripts, you definitely got some bum info this morning…the high loads and crashiness on [the server] is definitely being caused by your user.

    Basically, we’re periodically seeing a few hundred PHP procs owned by kiplet spawning in a few seconds.

    It can be difficult to pinpoint exactly what is causing the freakouts. We’ve been taking long looks at your access.log as the machine goes down the tube, but even that is difficult, because WP by default shows every request as successful (return code 200) due to its permalink/mod_rewrite stuff.

    But from what we can see, it’s a bunch of hits for feeds from RSS aggregators and web crawlers and the like.

    Again, I know you didn’t write WordPress, but we don’t have much of a choice but to disable your domain when this stuff pops up. It’s not fair to the other people on the machine.

    If you have further clues or ideas, please let us know, but we can’t keep letting [the server] crash!

    And that’s it. They’ve pulled the domain, I can’t get at it to try something else, I don’t know what’s wrong, and there’s nothing I can do to try something else since they’ve pulled the domain. And they haven’t answered any emails for over 8 hours now. But apparently, they seem to be saying an out-of-the-box install of WordPress with two perfectly standard plugins and a minimal amount of traffic is screwing them up.

    But–even though they’ve pulled, I still can’t get at my other two domains on the same server. They’re down just like before. Nor can I get at my database through the MySQL panel. Nor can I FTP in; it keeps timing out.

    So maybe it isn’t WordPress. But again, I can’t tell.

    This is mostly a rant. I’m actively looking for a new host. But I don’t want to move again, goddammit. And SOMEthing is going on. Does any of this ring a bell for anyone? Is there any sense to be found here?

Viewing 15 replies - 1 through 15 (of 24 total)
  • Hi,

    I am really sorry to hear what has happend to your site. I personally cannot advise you on what to do because i have no idea 🙂

    The only thing i can do for you is suggest a host. The only reason why i would say GoDaddy is because they have had the best support from the few host i have tried.

    However in your case since your site is getting alot of visitors i might go with a host that only focuses on ”hosting”. Godaddy for example is a domain name company and hosting is not what they do best.

    So perhaps one of the hosts that WordPress suggests should suite you.

    Hope that helps 🙂

    Oh 🙂

    BTW how did you get so many visitors to your blog 🙂 ?
    I am starting mine, dont even know how to change the themes properly but i really am excited of getting my first visitors 🙂

    What would you advise me for traffic later on ?

    300 – 400 unique visitors a day.

    That’s nothing.

    Dreamhost is talking about how maybe it’s hits from aggregators—feed-readers and the like. But I don’t think they know for sure. Anyway, they aren’t people visiting. It’s sites and programs that read your syndication feeds. I’m not high-profile. I don’t have that many people subscribing to me, honest.

    Ouch, I feel for you!

    Have you tried running the domain with the plugins disabled and seeing that affects the problem. Then maybe downgrading to WP 1.5 to see if it’s an issue with WP 2.0?

    I really can’t offer more help than that unfortunately.

    As for hosts, consider hostgator – they offer phone support and they’re pretty good. (I am not affiliated and I make no guarantees)

    I can’t do anything with the domain; they’ve pulled it. And the continuing server outages mean I can’t get at the files any other way.

    But I would expect a company that works as closely with WordPress as Dreamhost to be able to handle 2.0, Akismet, and a very common backup plug-in that’s only active when you’re making a backup. Which I haven’t done since Friday. What with all the outages.

    I find it extraordinary that they (DreamHost) refuse to communicate with you in light of their arbitrarily measures.

    How can you possibly rectify your problem if you can’t get to your source? How can you possibly hope to achieve anything if they won’t let you communicate with them?

    Irony at its best.

    I feel for you KipManley. There’s nothing more despicable, or indeed frustating, than someone arbitrarily cutting off all avenues of comminication, and then expecting you to forget about it.

    with hosts that are overselling resources, there are more shady parts than they want to reveal at their convenience. how does it crash the server? does it cause Apache to issue segmentation fault and/or preventing it from gracefully restarting? could php-cgi be one of the culprits? they need to go beyond log files. get those highly paid server-admins to work! 🙂

    they can disable your site(s) but they should at least give you access to your control panel and/or FTP so you can make backups. they should work with you to resolve the issues and go the extra mile to address and/resolve them, whether moving you to another server, perhaps to suggest a VPS or a dedicated solution to remedy, if all their efforts should fail.

    “800-some-odd posts. Couple thousand comments. 300 – 400 unique visitors a day.” that’s more than enough to justify a better hosting solution. don’t wait around for them to make the move. start doing research on VPS and/or dedicated solutions while you’re at it. ask around at

    To clarify: they weren’t locking me out of the site entirely–removing access to the domain name keeps the (presumably) bad WP-whatever from “freaking out.” So if they’re correct about that, I understand why they did it. Just makes it impossible to tweak the install and see if it can be fixed with, say, a caching plugin. So that’s frustrating.

    But what’s also frustrating is that the outages have continued after the domain name got pulled. So basic logic would seem to indicate they weren’t caused by the (presumably) bad WP-whatever. At least not on my site. I understand basic logic sometimes isn’t with computers, but still.

    Anyway. Just checked–the other sites were back up, and I can FTP in, so I’m downloading and grabbing every damn thing I can while I can.

    Still haven’t heard back from them. A simple “Patience, we’re working on it, it might take a bit” would be (would have been?) enough.

    Mark (podz)


    Support Maven

    Dreamhost are far far from even being “okay on a really good day” according to 99.9% of posters here.

    They are featured here: and you would be helping a lot of people out if you could let Matt know that they are no good at all.

    My blog is hosted by DreamHost and I have no problem with it at all. I upgraded from 1.5 to 2.0 and so far nothing’s wrong with it, so I’m pretty satisfied. fyi, I do not have Akismet enabled. I used to use CATPCHA to stop spam, but now I use Bad Behavior plugin and it works pretty well so far for stopping spam bots.

    DreamHost has pretty good supports and they offer really good bandwidth and webspace for the money you spend, compare to other host out there. Of course, if your blog is low profile, you might not make use of all the bandwidth they offer.

    I believe they will fix the problem for you sometime later, maybe they’re working on the problem, who knows. You’re not the only WordPress user they’re hosting, there’s no reason why your blog is messing them out while others aren’t. I’m thinking a clean install, maybe ask the support to do it (just to make sure everything’s right), will help you out.

    That would be a great idea, Eyn, and as soon as I can get someone to answer an email, I’ll be sure to ask why that wasn’t suggested right out of the bat. I’ve done nothing to WP to tweak it that would be lost by replacing it with a clean install. But that wasn’t offered or suggested and is impossible to do at the moment. —Nor was moving me to an evaluation server ever offered, to see if maybe something else was causing the problems. The only solution they had, it seems, was to yank the offending site and offer me a refund if I wanted to move. Well, of course I am at the moment rather inclined to move. They aren’t allowing anyone to see my site. Does me very little good.

    An update, in case anyone is curious: I prodded them this morning with a list of questions, got a “I’m not familiar with this problem, but I’ll check with the person who was working with you and get back to you” message, which is heaps better than nothing, and then nothing for the past six hours. So I’ve poked them one more time.

    I get the sinking feeling I know precisely what I’ll be doing this weekend. Flippin’ whee.

    (TextDrive, A Small Orange, HostingMatters, etc. etc. etc…)

    Please, keep us posted on this. I’ve got a site on DreamHost and am nervous about the sheer quantity of bad press they get on this forum. I’m watching them closely.

    Not to thread jack, but I just heard from someone who signed up with, another huge storage/bandwidth hosting company. will be interesting to see whether they are any better than DH.

    I imagine we know what your first post’s topic will be once you’re back up…

    While I’m not sure if my problem was the same as yours, I also was shut off by my host when on of those pesky bots decided to scan every single blog entry I had ever made (2000+), and every picture ever posted (also 2000+). With the server load being detrimental, the host modified my htaccess file to shut me out. And while they thought that would fix things, the bot kept going.

    It took me looking at the raw access logs and going into CPanel to deny the IPs generating all the activity. My host wasn’t going to do anything but keep shutting me off.

    If you can see who is generating this extreme traffic on your site you may want to try a similar approach to cut it down.

    no offense but this is what you get when you deal with a penny host (a company that sells you a lot of space and bandwidth for very few funds)

    all I can say is find a new host. I run my own company but I am not suggesting my self. but this is the exact sort of reason I started my own company.

    The Latest of WordPress, is what they provide with ‘one click install’.

    If it is something they provide, they are the one that is responsible to rectify any problems with it.

    I might say, that you downgrade to WP 1.5.2 and see if the problem persists.

    my website was brought down a while ago, by and the reason was the ‘xmlrpc.php’ with WP 1.5
    They asked me to upgrade to 1.5.2, and I did that. then there were no issues.

    you must definitely have the FTP access. If the “kiplet” user does not work, then create a new FTP user from the control panel. and use that to access FTP.
    you can even disable the ‘kiplet’ user from any access to any of the files, and create a new one ‘kipletnew’ or something.

    good luck.

Viewing 15 replies - 1 through 15 (of 24 total)
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