Support » Fixing WordPress » WordPress on bluehost "Error establishing a database connection"

  • Recently (this week) my sites (all wordpress) have been getting this error “Error establishing a database connection” a LOT.

    At this point in time, I am effectively out of business.

    The traffic and number of users has not increased significantly in the last month. My site is being throttled, but a test site has no users and no complex queries and no traffic (and the “DailyNotes” ElegantTheme), but still gets that intermittent error. So I’m focusing on that one thinking that if I fix it there, then the busy sites will get fixed too. is part of a multisite installation but is a single installation and they both have the same problems.

    The phpMyAdmin, fillezilla, and the bluehost stats and logs and various utilities do not show anything obviously down or slow, but the wordpress sites have become progressively slower with that error coming up now more than half the times I refresh a page.

    I do have a trouble ticket into bluehost but they have not responded yet. The chat guy told me to enter a ticket.

    Does anybody here have a clue on what I can do to fix this. Bluehost has been good so far, so I had to pull the plug and move to a “better” host.

    I saw something about Zend Optimizer may be misconfigured, but would that help with the database connectivity?

    Thanks all, Ron

    ps: I posted this exact message on the bluehost forum.

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  • Update:

    The bluehost phone tech support gave me a idea that I already put in place. The two relatively high volume sites are on separate (single) wp installations with their own databases. The newer sites ( being one of them) is part of a multi-site wp installation, using a third database. However they all share the same MySQL User (configured in cPanel under MySQL databases). BH informed me that there is a 15 connection limit so the theory was that I may have reached that when split across 3 databases and 12 sites (even though the application users will get mapped to the db access user for only milliseconds). So the bluehost tech guy suggested I give each DB a separate MySQL User, so now I have 3 databases, each with a dedicated user (obviously I changed each wp-config.php file to match).

    That may have helped because the single sites and are performing better (eventhough I still get the occasion “white screen”), but the multi-site sites have only improved slightly. So, I’m continuing to test and troubleshoot and make a barebones, no-plugin, default theme, test sub-site and go from there. I know there are wp multisite installations with hundreds or thousands of on-line users and I want mine to work that way. Is that possible on bluehost?

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