Posted on September 18, 2008 Posted by John Scalzi 9 Comments
After much kvetching, my host provider is rebooting my server to see if it clears up the errors. Depending how long it takes to put the site down and bring it back up, we might be out of commission for an hour or two. Don’t panic.
Am I the only one having problems with feedreaders? Several times in the last few weeks, and right now in particular, Netvibes gives “500 Internal Server Error” for any Whatever page I try to retrieve.
Going straight to Whatever works fine, though.
Good luck – it’s been up and down like a naughty person’s undertrousers today.
Here’s hoping it’s settled down.
I actually laughed out loud at “naughty person’s undertrousers.” It seems incongruous to pair a scatological reference with such prim language. Just thought I’d share that, Hugh.
joelfinkle: I’m using Sage with Firefox, and not having problems with the feed.
Hugh: Aptly put!
Why do people only say “don’t panic” whenever there is a good reason to panic? If not now, when should we panic?
To elaborate on the lack of feedery: I have set Netvibes to display the “actual” page rather than just the RSS contents when I show Whatever (some pages I do, some I don’t — usually if I am more likely to read the “below the fold” stuff regularly, I show the whole page). So the RSSy stuff shows up, but selecting the page results in an error.
Happened with my original post, but now it’s fine.
I would just like to point out, as a professional systems and network architect and administrator, that panic is a finely honed key element to good system management practices.
You have a couple options of exploration:
– Reducing plugins. Sometimes this helps. WP-cache and WP-supercache will re-generate a page when a comment is made, resulting in hitting the database again for every plugin that’s being displayed somehow, somewhere.
– There’s a plugin (or a couple) that will cache the output of the sidebar code. I think that may help you more than WP-supercache did; it and WP-cache only work at the level of entire pages, not individual little sidebar thingummies.
– Your MySQL database may be in severe need of cleanup, re-indexing, and whatever is its equivalent of “vacuuming” is. And a MySQL super-expert needs to look into tuning that database, either through creating better indexing, adjusting caching parameters (the last will help the most, I think), and maybe doing something with the number of threads the server has to process simultaneous requests.
Your database is your bottleneck here, as others have pointed out; it usually is with most blogs.
You may also be able to create single-post pages that don’t incorporate the sidebars. This is something that can be done by someone with not a small amount of knowledge of tweaking WordPress themes, both the PHP code, the HTML code, and the stylesheet sides—all three will need to be involved to do that. I think that will help quite a bit, though not as much as it could do.
I almost want to say “hire me! hire me!” but unfortunately my job won’t let me do that. :)