1. Steve

    Post revisions, perhaps? Trying to save every so often, connecting to db, repeat endlessly…


  2. Jeffro

    Not sure it’s Post Revisions. As long as I maintain an active connection and activity level within the Post Writing panel, things seem to be ok. It’s only if I leave the writing panel open for an amount of time with no activity. I’ll occasionally also see a number of WP-Cron processes running as well when the Internal 500 Server error happens.


  3. Travis

    Could this have anything to do with the new Heartbeat API?


  4. Ted Clayton

    WP v3.6 was offered with stern warnings that it was not suitable for production environments.

    If it is not too traumatic to revert to the latest stable release, that is an obvious ‘fresh light-bulb’ check.

    Actually, when I saw how emphatic the caveats were, it suggested itself to me that Dev knew 3.6 had issues that would interfere with production.


  5. Jeffro

    @Travis – That was one of my first guesses. I was thinking that the Heart Beat would occur but after a period of time, I would get disconnected and somehow, the Heart Beat would happen, get no response and repeat and somehow cause a pile up of no responses. I’m going to run YSlow while leaving a browser tab with the Post Writing panel open to see what it shows.


  6. Bryan Petty

    I wonder if this is related to the new Heartbeat system in 3.6+ that’s leaving connections open to the server or something…


  7. Chris Wiegman

    I agree that it is probably heartbeat. Can you revert to 3.5.2 and see if you still have a problem?


  8. Adam

    We were on bluehost but had to move because of this.

    I suggest either dreamhost.com for a better similiar service at a similiar price point.
    WPengine.com for a higher price point but fully managed and awesome.
    linode.com to do it all yourself.


  9. Jeffro

    Well, the site has since been reverted to WordPress 3.5.2. I’ll keep you all updated to see if the issues return or if they disappeared.


  10. Ipstenu

    Two things :)

    1) What plugins have you got?
    2) What’s your flavor/version of PHP?


  11. Jeffro

    Since downgrading to WordPress 3.5.2, I have not had any issues. I have left a browser tab open that has the WordPress Write Panel open as if I was editing the post. I’ve left it alone for a few hours and I have yet to see the Server Disconnection warning. I’ve also had YSlow running the entire time and have yet to see a POST Admin-AJAX.php request time out. It’s not conclusive just yet but it’s a step in the right direction.


  12. Rick Ankrum

    I also use Hostgator for my website (www.texbiker.net). In the last 2 or 3 weeks I had a similar problem. It got to a point that Hostgator called my phone as well as sent me an email. Recently I also started getting some 500 internal server errors. At the time I was running WP 3.5.1. I am not sure what I did, if anything, but the problem went away. I did clean out the posts revisions (over 9,000) and check some of my plugins.

    With the number of calls to the login and index php files I would guess some bot was trying to exploit the login weakness where people do not use strong passwords and the username Admin. The reason I think this is the index.php page has the link to the login link. After failing it went away.

    A problem I am working on now is the PHP memory limit Hostgator imposes on shared hosting accounts. One plugin (All-in-One Event Calendar) causes the problem: Allowed memory size of 268435456 bytes exhausted /home/texbiker/public_html/blog/wp-includes/wp-db.php
    This only happens when I try to list all of the events I have created over the years.

    Glad that you are back at WP Tavern. Keep writing.


  13. Ted Clayton

    Do you want to continue to pursue the issue you’ve had with v3.6?

    There are 3 flavors: Beta 1, 2 and 3. #1 was replaced with #2 under duress. Which have you been using?

    Another ‘fresh light-bulb’, is to put the same version you’ve seen the issue with on a localhost, and see if it can be reproduced.

    We’re not hearing anything from Dev these days … but still, to clearly ID a problem on your site would be a good thing. If you can ‘crowd-source’ bug-chasing this way, that would be a round on the house, eh?

    Notably, we can set limits for PHP memory and other resources, on a localhost.

    [I got a 500 Internal, the first time I hit this URL in my e-mail. I then trimmed it to the homepage, and it came up.]


  14. donnacha

    It’s well known that their alligators sometimes chew on the server cables, causing precisely the 500 Internal Server Error you describe. They have very sensitive noses and can detect a heartbeat API up to a mile away.


  15. Piet

    I am also running 3.6 on a couple of production sites and I had the exact same problem as you have described.

    However, since the last update (to 3.6-beta4) this problem is no longer.


  16. Jeffro

    I checked my error log and it’s filled with this SoftException in Application.cpp:641 with a link to my public_html index.php file, similar to what you see in the screenshot concerning processes. A google search showed this error message is prevalent in HostGator accounts and other people were also noticing their processes maxing out and thus, Internal 500 server errors. Why that is the case and why that’s in the error logs is another part of the mystery.


  17. Hristo Pandjarov

    That problem is solved in the last beta version of WordPress. I’d recommend you to update to WordPress 3.6 beta 4(available as latest). You shouldn’t have such issues with it.


  18. speedyk

    Maybe surf on over to Web Hosting Talk and find a new host. HG got bought out I think, that usually doesn’t bode well.


  19. Miriam Schwab

    Have you been in touch with Hostgator support? We host with them, and they help us with so much more than just hosting issues. They also help with WordPress issues that aren’t necessarily their responsibility, and they pretty much always come through for us. In short, their support is AMAZING (though their chat support can sometimes take ages – you need patience).

    I suggest running this issue by their support and seeing what they say.


  20. Zach Smith

    Thanks for publishing another great article for us. This is best for any technology related blog.


  21. Adnan Fasih

    You can revert back to 3.5.2 to see if there is any problem with the new Heartbeat system in 3.6. Have you asked your hosting provider to check the issue?


  22. Jeffro

    Since publishing this post, we have moved the site to Dreamhost/DreamPress. I’ve been very happy with the results. All of my previous issues have disappeared and the website as a whole is much more responsive. It’s interesting to note that just after we left HostGator, my account was one of the accounts on the list to be migrated over to a new server box. Also, a Level 3 tech has been in touch with me today to try and figure out my WordPress issues but it’s all a moot point now.


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