Questions: Is The Site Running Better Than It Was? Anyone See Any Issues?

The Virtual Private Server I use has been having problems for awhile now, but, it has gotten much worse over the last few months. You may have noticed some downtimes, for which I will either notice and reset the server, or it will automatically reset. But, one big problem was that the CPU usage would go and spike at 100% and not come down, while the RAM would barely be used. That’s a big deal, because RAM is unlimited, while the CPU causes problems for others.

Last week, there was a big spike, and it was causing major problems, so Dreamhost shut the site down by changing the folder name (they also sent me the wrong email, which made some threats about cutting me off permanently, which, as you can imagine, sent me into apoplexy). I got everything working again, and then went to check into a few things.

I cleaned out a whole bunch of deactivated plugins that I will never use again. I cleaned out the backup folder. Apparently, the plugin was saving all the backups in the server folder, when it was supposed to email them to me. At least 1GB going back to 2013. I have a new plugin to replace it, just have to set it up.

Bigger, I found a few possible issues. One is the Shareaholic plugin, which has some really negative reviews as of late. Turning it off seemed to seriously reduce the CPU load. Deleting it totally did even more. Notice that the sharing buttons at the end of posts are different. I’m using the Jetpack included ones (Jetpack is something that comes with WordPress).

I also whacked W3 Total Cache, which had been giving me some issues for a bit, namely that it wouldn’t ever let me clear the cache, and went back to WP Super Cache. It is very powerful, but, sometimes it will make it seem as if nothing has changed.

So, does the site seem more stable, load at a decent speed? Anything weird you’ve noticed?

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10 Responses to “Questions: Is The Site Running Better Than It Was? Anyone See Any Issues?”

  1. gitarcarver says:

    I was going to write you because over the past few days, connection to the Cove has been sketchy at best. Lots of “timed out” connections and or “site offline.”

    I really thought that Jetpack was an plugin and doesn’t come with WordPress. I think I will have to go searching for that.

    The Shareaholic thing is downright depressing as a lot of people use it. Guess I will be on the lookout for a new “share” plugin.

    I ditched W3 Total Cache awhile back for the reasons you talk about. I and using Super Cache now as well and have found it to be a tab bit glitchy at times, and there is also the issue that sometimes updates wipe out your settings. (I also hate the ads on the dashboard and associated pages.)

    Hope the clean up works well for you. Glad to see the site up and running strong again.

  2. Everything loaded fine for me. The other day I had a problem but looks good now.

  3. I’ve gotten the down message 2x since making changes, not the best server at Dreamhost for WP. But, seems more stable. There are lots and lots and lots of complaints about Shareaholic. I have a bunch of scripts that can cause a bit of a server beatdown, but, they are integral to certain theme related needs.

    Jetpack is technically a plugin, but came with a WP upgrade. There are a bunch of valuable features which integrate very well. I leave Super Cache mostly on basic. If things start to not change on the posts and front page, cache clear time. Not quite as fast as W3, though.

    Thanks for the info, LC. I about melted down when Dreamhost temporarily took me down, and couldn’t do a dang thing cause I was at work and busy.

  4. The Neon Madman says:

    Just as a first impression, the site seems to load better. Of all of the sites I visit daily, the Cove always took longer to load than the average site, and occasionally wouldn’t be there at all.

    I run Firefox with Adblock Plus, and on my tablet have javascript turned off.

    I’ll have to see how it is over the next few days and will let you know. I enjoy your site – I appreciate your pokes at the AGW nonsense and am in awe at your tolerance of some of the commenters. You’ve got a much thicker skin than I have.

    That pretty girl each day doesn’t hurt, either.

  5. rod says:

    After careful review, all I’ve seen hasn’t been any different –
    seriously – I don’t understand all the server stuff, I have an iffy connection to my internet out here in the sticks.. if I get to review your blog a couple time a week = I’m set. carry on Pirate!

  6. Dana says:

    The site is slow-loading this morning, probably due to the surreptitious carbon emissions brake that the Obama Administration has imposed, by secret executive order, on all skeptic sites. If your server, and you at home, can certify that you have installed Solyndra solar panels to power this site, the President will allow the site to speed up.

  7. Thanks, Neon. Preciate your input. I usually see the site using my phone and get the mobile version, rather than the full version, during the day, so, it’s hard to judge.

    I notice it loads a tad bit slower, Dana, than with the previous caching plugin, but, seems more stable. The CPU use is way down, at least right now. But, hey, notice the “Green Site” badge in the far right sidebar! Dreamhost does a lot to reduce it’s environmental and “carbon” footprints.

    It probably doesn’t help how old this theme is, and all the scripts used. But, haven’t seen anything I like better in a long time. I like 2 sidebar variable width ones which load the posts first. Most are formatted to load the posts last, and not variable.

  8. Dana says:

    The theme I use, F2, loads the posts first, and allows a variable width main content screen — and yours could be wider; on my widescreen monitor at home, there’s a lot of grey on the sides — and one or two fixed width sidebars. I don’t have nearly as much in the way of graphics as you do, but F2 is very customizable.

  9. True, the theme only goes so wide, I’d have to check the code to see what the maximum width is. Should have seen some of the themes I’ve used in the past. Wild! But, many were no longer supported as WP updated. Had one I spent a lot of time making work, only to have it killed by WP changes.

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