Support » Fixing WordPress » Regular 503 error every 5 minutes for logged in users

  • samwickins32

    (@samwickins32)


    I am getting regular 503 errors (every 5 minutes) on my wordpress site for all logged in users including myself as the administrator, which has been happening over the last few weeks. I have had many hours on the phone across different days with GoDaddy who have had their backend team run numerous tests and tried to diagnose the issue. They believe that the server is running fine (my other site is on the same server and experiencing no issues). They believe it to be a theme or plugin issue but having deactivated all plugins and changed themes, the issue persists.

    Again this issue is only experienced by logged in users, 5 minutes after logging in. Waiting a few minutes (sometimes resolves issue) OR accessing the homepage from another browser (not logged in) always makes the error disappear until the next 5 minutes are up.

    It feels like there is some cyclic process eating up the resources perhaps by a plugin (which continues even after deactivation) and as it only affects logged in users if seems it may relate to a database connection issue?!

    I am at such a loss and would welcome any help / ideas on trying to resolve this issue.

    Below is a log of my attempt to work out any possible pattern:

    Logging started at 12.37 GMT
    All Plugins Disabled
    Spacious Theme Active
    Logged in and refreshing dashboard page every 3 seconds (using a chrome auto refresh addon):
    12.39 – 503 error (error remains until I load homepage from another browser where I am not logged in)
    12.45 – 503 error (error remains until I load homepage from another browser where I am not logged in)
    12.50 – 503 error (error remains until I load homepage from another browser where I am not logged in)

    12.50 Theme changed to AWADA (plugins still all deactivated)
    Logged in and refreshing dashboard page every 3 seconds (using a chrome auto refresh addon):
    12.56 – 503 error (error remains until I load homepage from another browser where I am not logged in)

    12.57 Theme changed to HappenStance (plugins still all deactivated)
    Logged in and refreshing dashboard page every 3 seconds (using a chrome auto refresh addon):
    13.01 – 503 error (error remains until I load homepage from another browser where I am not logged in)

    13.01 Theme changed back to Spacious (plugins still all deactivated)
    Logged in and refreshing dashboard page every 3 seconds (using a chrome auto refresh addon):
    13.06 – 503 error (error remains until I load homepage from another browser where I am not logged in)
    13.12 – 503 error (error remains until I load homepage from another browser where I am not logged in)
    13.17 – 503 error (error remains until I load homepage from another browser where I am not logged in)

    Conclusion – This error occurs after 5 minutes and remains for the logged in user until the site is accessed by another – which seems to reset the issue.
    All plugins were disabled and various themes used with the error continuing on a timed basis – plugins and themes therefore don’t seem to be to blame.
    PLEASE HELP

    These are the plugins the site uses:

    Advanced Cron Manager
    Akismet Anti-Spam
    Contact Form 7
    Download Manager
    File Manager
    Google XML Sitemap Generator
    Hide Admin Bar From Non-admins
    Import Users from CSV
    Login With Ajax
    Modal Window (free version)
    Paid Memberships Pro
    Paid Memberships Pro – Add PayPal Express Add On
    Paid Memberships Pro – Import Users from CSV Add On
    Qwizcards – online quizzes and flashcards
    Search Engine Visibility
    Sliced Invoices
    Sliced Invoices & Contact Form 7
    SOGO Add Script Header Footer
    Testimonials Widget
    WooCommerce
    WooCommerce Checkout Manager
    WooCommerce Helper
    WooCommerce PDF WatermarkWooCommerce Stripe Gateway
    Wordfence Security
    WordPress User Notes
    WP Bouncer
    WP Full Stripe Free
    WP-Pro-Quiz
    WPDM – Button Template
    WPDM – Image Button
    WPDM – PDF Stamper
    Yoast SEO

Viewing 10 replies - 1 through 10 (of 10 total)
  • Moderator Steve Stern

    (@sterndata)

    Support Team Volunteer

    What cron jobs might be running every 5 minutes or so?

    https://wordpress.org/plugins/advanced-cron-manager/

    Moderator Steve Stern

    (@sterndata)

    Support Team Volunteer

    samwickins32

    (@samwickins32)

    I thought about this but the visible cron jobs are mostly daily. The most regular is hourly. Could their be more cron jobs that are not shown by the cron manager plugin?

    samwickins32

    (@samwickins32)

    Thanks for the additional advice / suggestion – It happens if its just me or if several are logged in.

    samwickins32

    (@samwickins32)

    Have installed – what do you suggest setting the request time to – tried 60 seconds but error persists

    samwickins32

    (@samwickins32)

    Tried many different configurations but unfortunately the 503 error continues in a timely fashion.

    Thanks again for your thoughts.

    Any other ideas regarding this issue would be most welcomed.

    Vince K-1

    (@vincek1)

    Do you have Shell and WP-CLI access on your server (or can GoDaddy test this for you)? If so, see if a simple WP-CLI command like

    wp option get home

    responds quickly or if it takes longer than a couple seconds. If it takes several seconds or a really long time to return the home URL, you could have a database bloat/query speed issue. I recommend starting by checking your wp_options table. Typically this table is under 1 MB but if your plugins make use of a lot of transients (cached data in wp_options), this could grow very big, to several MB which can slow down every aspect of DB access on your site, which if you have good caching on your site can mean slowdowns particularly evident as 503 errors for logged-in users.

    That’s just one possible culprit. Also see if GoDaddy can check for any particularly slow DB queries for you while you access WP-Admin and get 503 errors. Hope this helps!

    samwickins32

    (@samwickins32)

    This sounds great vincek1! Thank you for your advice. I will certainly investigate this line of enquiry!

    samwickins32

    (@samwickins32)

    So finally i get a response from godaddy…

    ” We have checked your site ?????????.com and the 503 issues were caused by transient processes piling up which were causing problems to your site’s resources. We have cleared them and the admin dashboard now resolves properly, kindly check on your end. You would want to clear your browser cache first or use a private / incognito window to visit your site. ”

    Im really annoyed. As this problem has happened before (1 month ago with a ‘good’ godaddy worker quickly diagnosing the issue as being caused by a build up of processes, that he killed) what’s to say it wont happen again??

    I was after diagnosis and a remedy not a quick fix.

    Any ideas or advice?

    Vince K-1

    (@vincek1)

    I understand your frustration! I agree that it’s much better for the root cause to be discovered and permanently resolved, and it’s irritating when that doesn’t happen and the issue recurs.

    Please keep in mind that 503 errors can be caused by more than one thing, so the issue GoDaddy resolved one month ago may not have been the same issue this time.

    Transients aren’t “processes” per se, but the GoDaddy tech who responded may have just tripped up the wording. If what they found was indeed the issue I brought up earlier, one thing to note is that transients aren’t used by the core WordPress functionality but is an available option for plugins to use to cache data, so it could be that one of your plugins is storing transient data suboptimally or in too great a volume for your database to handle. Researching which plugins of yours might be causing this can be difficult, but I have seen a few articles recommend the Transients Manager plugin: https://wordpress.org/plugins/transients-manager/

    One way to avoid/bypass this issue is to see if GoDaddy makes use of an “object cache” software on your site’s server, such as Memcached or Redis. If so, ask them to make sure it’s functioning correctly (often it will need a drop-in plugin to work). If GoDaddy does not use a server-side object cache, you can use a caching plugin to replace this functionality. W3 Total Cache offers object caching: https://wordpress.org/plugins/w3-total-cache/

    Having a functioning object cache will usually help ensure that those transients are written to your server’s RAM or disk rather than your wp_options table, avoiding wp_options bloat which can slow down DB queries and cause 503 errors. Hope this helps!

    P.S. If you end up trying W3 Total Cache, make sure you review all the features carefully and only activate the ones you know will work with your site. Because of the plugin’s many features, you can sometimes cause an error on your site by activating the wrong feature or wrong combination of features. Having a good backup/restore process in place before you make a change to the site/plugin will be beneficial in this case (as with any change or regular maintenance of your site).

    • This reply was modified 2 years ago by Vince K-1.
Viewing 10 replies - 1 through 10 (of 10 total)
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