I'm on Dreamhost VPS plan set at 400MB. I have 2 wordpress sites with not much traffic. I keep getting memory spikes. I'm told with wordpress plugins are most likely the cause. I've deleted all except plugins that are essential to my site and it still keeps happening. Sites run fine. But I keep getting these emails saying I'm over.
I'm at a standstill and a loss as I don't know what else to do. I'm not a server guy at all. Dreamhost will do NOTHING to help me except to say "upgrade your ram and spend more" I've already upgraded twice.
All I want to do is try and find the source of the spikes. If it is still a bad plugin I can try and find another one but DH won't tell me what causing it. They just want me to spend more and upgrade.
Like I said I'm not a server guy. Any help on what I can do to check out be great.
Have you tried adding caching? It may help as it lowers the number of requests you server has to deal with. If plugins are the cause then this may not help at all. It is worth trying before you spend more money.
You may decide to switch hosts that are more helpful. Or you may look at Amazon's S3 hosting.
It may well also be that you get traffic spikes and the concurrent connections are eating the memory. Cashing may help with this but you may also have to add more RAM.
Was there ever a time were you didn't have overages?
Can you let us know how much RAM and the speed and number of processors are currently on the server?
Also, can you list the names of your must have plugins. Knowing this may draw responses from other members regarding less memory intensive yet similar plugins.
I'd been on a VPS for quite some time without any problems at all - including multiple WP sites (albeit with about zero plugins).
"Canned" CMS's are known to be memory hogs so, if Steve's recommendations are not satisfactory, let me offer an alternative suggestion: I had had a client who wanted to change to a Joomla installation and run it with another webmaster so I searched for a host which could accommodate it's memory-hungry needs. That's when I noticed that a host I was using, WebHostingBuzz, offered "specialized hosting" (Wordpress, Joomla, Magento, Drupal and E-Commerce hosting) and had plans to suit the needs of the client. Since moving that client into his Joomla account, I have yet to hear a peep about lack of memory. Since WHB has several data centers in the US and at least one in the UK, you can ask to have your account at the nearest one (to you or your potential visitors).
Since then, I've left my VPS provider and moved to a dedi with WHB and love the service and support.
You could probably reconfigure your apache settings more conservatively so that it's less likely to exceed your limit. If you switched from apache to a server such as nginx you'd likely get similar performance for a lot less memory, though if as you say you're not a 'server guy' then this won't be an option.
For what it's worth when I used dreamhost many moons ago, I was unimpressed with their reliability and a casual approach to support. They mention unlimited in their specs which indicates overselling, if they oversell on memory using openvz then it'll be an unreliable platform.
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