Techpocalypse Now! (Where are the comments?)

by Latoya Peterson

So yesterday, Dreamhost sent me this email:

Thanks for your patience, the load on the host machine was actually caused by your VPS.

I would highly recommend that you follow the steps in the following wiki articles in order to reduce your usage:

http://wiki.dreamhost.com/Finding_Causes_of_Heavy_Usage

http://wiki.dreamhost.com/PS_Optimization

Lastly, you may want to look into raising your memory limits via “Private Servers” > “Manage Resources”.

This will especially make it easier to diagnose the problem without the scripts constantly getting killed while you’re attempting to resolve the issue.

Please write back in with any issues or questions.

Our little site crashed their servers. Gee freaking whiz.

Our long time friend, long ago contributor, and webmaster/guru Phillip Arthur Moore was persuaded to take time off of his vacation and help us out, and for that, we are grateful. So theme is being fixed over the weekend, the R is fixed now, but there is one thing that had to change.

According to Phillip:

I’ve looked in the error logs and there was a recurring “Premature end of script headers: index.php” error. This is a fancy way of saying 500 Internal Server Error, which can be caused by any number of factors. My hunch is that the nearly 90,000 comments on the site were causing this error. WP-DBManager, which is installed on the site, was being executed every day and all of those comments were being backed up into `wp-content/backup-db/`. The backups were nearly 1GB, which was putting a great deal of load on the server.

In my opinion the Disqus move was unavoidable due to the sheer number of comments on the site. Better to outsource comment moderation to Disqus than put heavy load on an already overtaxed server.

Apparently, y’all talk too much ;-)

So, comments will return as soon as Disqus is up and running. Friday, everything should be like normal. Over the weekend, we will cautiously tweak the new (modified) theme, and make sure nothing else crashes.

Thank you for your patience.