Dreamhost-hosted PHPBB3 board is slow. Why?
July 11, 2008 5:27 AM   Subscribe

My Dreamhost one-click-install PHPBB3 website is often slow, and sometimes completely inaccessible. What's going on?

I've got a Dreamhost account and use it to host several domains. I used one-click-install (the "advanced" option) to install a PHPBB3 board at one domain. The trouble is that it's often slow (pauses of 30 seconds before it responds), and sometimes is completely inaccessible, although other domains I have with Dreamhost work fine, and the site pings OK. I've not personalized, or changed any settings.

What's going on?
posted by deeper red to Computers & Internet (13 answers total)
Response by poster: Oh, and here's a REALLY important point: I know nothing about PHP or SQL, and only the basics of web-hosting and HTML.
posted by deeper red at 5:30 AM on July 11, 2008

Isn't this really a support question for DH? My stuff is hosted with them, and I've found their support staff to be really responsive. File a trouble ticket and tell them what's going on. There may be a server issue. Or they may have some tweaks for you to get more performance. Also, check www.dreamhoststatus.com and make sure there aren't any issues with your web or (especially) database servers. You can find out the names of yours through the DH control panel.
posted by wheat at 5:48 AM on July 11, 2008

DH hosting is pot luck - it's been fast and pretty reliable for me, but others have been put on horribly slow and flaky file/web/db servers. The 'blingy' file cluster had serious problems for weeks.

Forums tend to be pretty resource-intensive at the best of times and so can struggle on cheap shared hosting even with low traffic. I'd suggest submitting a low-priority general support query while looking into possible sources of the delays (e.g. try to tell if it's the database causing delays).
posted by malevolent at 6:05 AM on July 11, 2008

I've heard nothing but consistent complaints about Dreamhost. For what it's worth 1and1 is horrible also. I've been using LunarPages for years, but there have been inexplicable bouts of slowness late at night on their servers. During the day everything seems fine. (In North America.) So their quality may or may not be declining.
posted by MaxK at 6:22 AM on July 11, 2008

To counter what MaxK is saying, I've really liked Dreamhost. Their support staff seems knowledgeable and relatively quick (although via email). I think you get great value for $10 bucks a month.

But yes, shoot them a support query, and if it continues, ask to be moved off of your current web/db server, and moved to a different one. They don't seem very good at balancing user load across servers.
posted by cschneid at 6:37 AM on July 11, 2008

ask to be moved off of your current web/db server, and moved to a different one

This is key. Can't stress it enough.
posted by dmd at 7:36 AM on July 11, 2008

I've also been overall very satisfied with DH, but always with the get-what-you-pay-for caveat in the back of my head -- my sites go down for a couple hours on average every month, sometimes more and sometimes less, and I figure it's pretty good bang for my buck.

Thirding requesting a server transfer.
posted by Shepherd at 7:44 AM on July 11, 2008

I have Dreamhost and have the EXACT SAME PROBLEMS. I have almost quit them over it. It's not like I have a huge forum that have millions of people on it at once...

Support in the past has sometimes moved me to a new server (sometimes it was their suggestion, other times it was mine) but lately it seems that they are resistant to move my site.

Their support is spotty with some people being completely helpful and others being bottom of the rung. I've had a support ticket open with them for 8 days now and no response! It's horribly frustrating.

But the thing is it's a combination of Dreamhost not giving you enough power and forums being power intensive. Your options are to open a ticket and hope to get a response, or move away from Dreamhost. I've not found a better option than Dreamhost, though, that's anywhere near the same price...
posted by arniec at 7:52 AM on July 11, 2008

God, Dreamhost. I used them for a couple years, the first couple of which were awesome. Then they oversold their capacity, and it all went downhill ~2 years ago. All of their shared hosting plans at this point, IMO, are shite, even at the price points where it's no longer "bargain basement" hosting. I switched a couple years ago to Pair, which is more expensive but way more reliable. They recently introduced PairLite, which may be up your alley, but I can't vouch for its level of service.
posted by mkultra at 8:19 AM on July 11, 2008

BTW, if you follow your tags, you can pretty much see the answer to your question hasn't changed at all in years.
posted by mkultra at 8:21 AM on July 11, 2008

Most shared hosting is completely terrible (and also inconsistent, so you may know one person who LOVES their account, but another ten who are MISERABLE. some machines are just faster than others). I would send them a support ticket, they're usually pretty good. Perhaps there is something wrong with your cache or configuration.
posted by shownomercy at 9:12 AM on July 11, 2008

shownomercy is right. Shared hosting is often problematic. But it's also the only game in town if you don't want to run your own servers, pay for a private/co-located server, or pony up a lot of dollars per month for a pricier host. I've used some pricier hosts in the past that were not as reliable as DH, though. So it isn't just a money issue. Worse, hosts can become worse over time. DH has been good for me, but it hasn't been good for everyone. And it's certainly not perfect. But, since you're already in bed with them, you should at least give them a chance to address your problem. If you're not happy with how they address it, move on to another host.
posted by wheat at 11:30 AM on July 11, 2008

As said, shared hosting can be tricky. Thousands of pages are hosted on the same server. The more they host on the same server, the more money they make.

Try to host here, I never had problems: http://www.hostgator.com
posted by yoyo_nyc at 12:11 PM on July 11, 2008

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