WordPress killing my Memset Miniserver?

I recently switched hosts from MediaTemple in the USA, to Memset in the UK. Initially happy with their low-end Virtual Miniserver, I’m beginning to think it’s just not up to the job.

I host two sites here, both powered by WordPress. One has virtually no audience, but the other — this very site, Frisk Design — has reasonable activity. Since my redesign, I’ve had a fair bit of exposure and two rather large traffic spikes crashed the web server and required a reboot.

I’m not happy.

At first, I thought that the VPS simply wasn’t up to the job. But it crashed several more times in the following weeks, even when traffic wasn’t high. Asking Memset support for help, they suggested that Analog Stats and SpamAssassin might be to blame as they consume a lot of server resources. I disabled Analog Stats and SpamAssassin wasn’t even running — and nothing improved. I still got a system hang a day later.

I have no complaint about the server performance in general. When it’s up and running, it flies and serves my WordPress pages much faster than MediaTemple ever did. It’s just when the server goes down that it’s obviously a problem.

The package that I’ve bought doesn’t get me a managed server. I have to do all server admin myself. So although Memset email support have been very helpful, anything they recommend I have to research and implement myself, either using the WHM / cPanel or command line stuff using SSH. Now, that kind of stuff does my head in — I know nothing about unix commands or troubleshooting memory consumption, and frankly I don’t want to either.

I’ve looked into different things that might be causing the problem. Perhaps WordPress is, as some people claim, unoptimised and inefficient? Maybe I need a WordPress static page caching plugin to decrease dynamic page creation? Maybe I need PHP opcode caching? Or perhaps, as Memset point out, the server simply isn’t powerful enough and I need to upgrade.

So what to do? Do I once again go through the horrible process of searching for a reasonably priced host? I just did that only a few months ago! Do I throw money at it, by upgrading the Miniserver and paying for managed support — taking me from £30 a month to around £80? Do I waste more hours looking for solutions that I have no clue how to implement?

I’m tired of this. I just need a solution where the host takes care of the details, and I can get on and run my business. If you have any ideas on how to fix this problem, I’m all ears. Or maybe you can suggest a good host that meets these criteria:

  1. Fully managed
  2. Servers in the UK
  3. Host multiple domains with separate accounts / cPanel access
  4. Not more than £40 per month
  5. Monthly payment plan

Thanks for any help you can offer; I’ve just about had it with hosting issues this year!

16 thoughts on “WordPress killing my Memset Miniserver?

  1. From my own research and development on wordpress, a cache plugin is almost necessary for any site with a decent amount of traffic. WordPress can be resource heavy, and serving static cached pages makes it much happier. :) I’ve used supercache for a couple of my clients.

  2. Hi,

    Sent you an email yesterday with some details of what my UK based hosting company can offer. I own all the servers that are housed in my own Ipswich, Suffolk based datacentre. All connected to 1gb backbone network.

    You are welcome to try my fully managed package for £34.99/month on a monthly payment plan and no contract. Multiple domains can be hosted with no additional costs.

    You’ll also get unlimited MySQL databases & bandwidth and a very high uptime rating. WordPress can be installed and you will have full FTP access to do what you require.

    You are welcome to give me a call on 01473 399377 to discuss further.

    Best Regards,
    Matthew Riches
    01473 399377

  3. Hi Simon. I’ve not done anything about his yet as I’ve simply not had the time. The server’s gone down regularly since then, and each time I’ve had to reboot. I really don’t know what the problem is, other than it seems the server regularly runs out of memory. I thought it was connected to surges in traffic, but further investigation shows this isn’t the case. It’s stayed up during very busy periods, and in slow periods has crashed within a few hours of being rebooted. Bizarre.

    Given that I haven’t got a paid support option (it’s outside of my budget), I can’t get any further help from Memset support at present which is a shame. Don’t get me wrong — Memset are great, but they make it very clear upfront that a managed server costs a lot more.

    Iv’e come to the conclusion that to run a VPS requires far more money and knowledge than I have, so I’m going to be looking for a different solution in the new year.

    I notice from your blog you recently switched to EZPZ. Recommended?

  4. You know I had very much the same kind of problems with my old host. But that was down to the fact that they were shit (technical term). For years they had run a good service, but then, things started to go downhill until it became unacceptable.

    My problem was moving 61 websites from one host to another seemed like an entirely daunting task and for a lazy bugger like me, one that I should avoid.

    In the end I did move to a new host and so far, so good.

    I was going to suggest a plugin to you called ‘Throttle’ http://www.mutube.com/projects/throttle/ But this would now seem to not be an answer for you

    My previous host told me the only answer to my woes was to get a much better server… which they didn’t have to offer me.

    Do post something as and when you find a solution, won’t you.

    Oh and hey… Didn’t you write a post about someone ripping off your design? I was sure you did, but I can’t find it anywhere.

  5. Cheers for the input, very helpful. How have you been getting on with EZPZ? I’m thinking of going back to a shared solution, as my blogs aren’t exactly high traffic and I’m not sure I ever needed a (semi) dedicated solution anyway.

    The one thing I do need to do is host multiple sites. I’m familiar with WHM and cPanel — does EZPZ handle multiple sites OK? Can I have a separate cPanel account for each domain, or do they do one of those weird ‘it’s all lumped together as virtual sites of your main domain’?

    I don’t remember writing about being ripped off. But if you do ever find my design ripped off, I’d be glad to know about it! Cheers. :-)

  6. Well, I’d say that EZPZ are pretty good so far. Though I actually shifted a number of my customers to Binasys a couple of months ago purely because I knew there service was solid. Plus I wanted those customers to take care of their own hosting needs!

    I believe the EZPZ reseller account allows for individual cpanel logins. However, I elected to go for the single virtual hosted option you mention purely because most of the domains were either my personal stuff, or stuff I look after for very low maintenance technophobic customers.

    My experience of EZPZ so far is VERY limited (we’re talking less than 2 weeks!), but I have been extremely impressed thus far. Check back in a couple of months and I’ll tell you how I’m getting on :)

  7. Hi Matt,
    I’ve just come across your website and
    it’s probably a bit late now but I would recommend clustered.net. The site might not be very inspiring but their service and support certainly are!

    I don’t run WordPress on their but I do have about 20 client domains running Expression Engine some with 3 – 4k visitors a day. I’ve been using them for over 18 months and they’re always quick to respond with any queries and I’ve only had about 10 mins of downtime since I started.

    I’m using the standard VDS 1024/25 with management and it’s 50GBP per month.

    If your still looking then contact John Morrison (john [at] clustered [dot] net) and I’m sure he’d help you out.

    I’m not associated with them in anyway it’s just it took me 3 years to find decent webhosting company and I feel passionately about them now!

  8. Pingback: Frisk design : Standards Compliant Web Design » Moving from Memset to EzPzEdit

  9. Just in case you are still searching. WebFusion’s cheap VPS solution has been (in-the-main) great for us.

    http://www.webfusion.co.uk/virtual-private-servers/fusion-value-virtual-private-server-hosting/

    We host around 10 websites per box and the combined traffic on each box is pretty low at about 1K per box.

    What is really good about their stuff to us is:

    [1] Cost £17/Month
    [2] Plesk Control Panel
    [3] Monthly rolling contract

    WordPress is in operation on one of the boxes and we have only ever had severe outage when we get spikes in traffic. But we think that this was down to two sites getting serious spikes at the same time, rather than anything specific to using WordPress.

    We do use a cache plug in for WordPress, and find that with around 200-500 visits a day it runs fine on the VPS. We have also moved the other website off this box now to remove the chance of them both spiking at the same time again and taking the server down!

    Also worth noting (and I cant speak for c-panel) but Plesk as a control panel has a migration assistant built in that allows you to transfer any website from one plesk-based server, to another one. This is great as whisking a website away from a dead server and reinstating it on a new server usually take me 30 mins these days. Change the DNS and you have a pain free move process for any website.

    Hope it helps.

    S.

  10. Cheers for input Stuart. From personal experience I wouldn’t touch any of the GX hosting services since their customer service sucks.

    I’ve moved to EzPz now and am perfectly happy with the reseller hosting that I bought. I’m hoping I won’t need to revisit this issue of hosting any time soon, I spent far too much time on it over the last two years.

    Thanks to everyone for their suggestions.