Posted on 8 August, 2008 By 7 Comments

Related Posts Account Suspension


Yesterday my site had the most unique visitors ever and I was feeling like maybe I could be somewhat successful with it. Then, today everything went awry. I wanted to send a link to my Twitter Tools article and found that my site was not available. Since I was at work, I already had to click through Web”Non”sense to access it and my first impulse was that work had completely blocked my domain. I then realized that the suspension notice was coming from my webhost. I immediately started panicking: Is everything backed up? What went wrong? Why now after finally getting some traffic? Is my webhost going to reinstate me?

I then ran into my second problem. My webhost is also blocked by Web”Non”sense and I could not send in a support ticket. Since it was close to lunchtime, I live close to work and my boss was not in the office I decided to go home and see if this could be resolved quickly.

I got home and contacted my host who told me that my site had been suspended due to excessive server load and they provided me with log files that showed the problem. Surprisingly enough, it was not this site causing the problem but was a WordPress installation in a subdirectory for eleblog, my elephant news site. That surprised me because I’ve been running eleblog for almost 6 years and have not made many changes to it recently. I had, however, installed the Broken Link Checker plugin and thought that was the culprit. Anyway, I told my host that I would remove the problematic plugin(s) and they immediately reinstated my account. Once I contacted them, the problem was resolved in 30 mins so I highly recommend Total Choice.

I then disabled the Broken Link Checker plugin and downloaded the php file to examine it. I was perplexed because the code in the plugin file did not match the logs showing the heavy server load. Actually, I was a little relieved because this plugin saves me A LOT of manual work. I started downloading other plugins I had installed to determine the cause of the problem and finally discovered that it was the Related Posts plugin. This was also surprising because I have been using it for a year and had not been notified of high server usage before. Eleblog does, however, have almost 4,000 posts. I am not positive about this but I believe the Related Posts plugin has to search through too many posts (tags) to find the related ones for each entry. I have also had problems with this site being slow and realized that not only was the plugin using too many server resources but was also the cause of the slowness. I was relieved to find the cause of both problems at one time though I would have preferred to not have my site turned off and suspended for two hours in order to reach this conclusion.

This part of my site still uses the Related Posts plugin but I may remove it soon. There aren’t that many posts yet so it isn’t an issue but it is something that I will want to watch. I think that if I were to ever reach the traffic level and the number of posts that it needed to be removed it would be time to move to a dedicated server anyway.

So, if you are using the Related Posts plugin, are getting more hits to your site and are noticing slowness, remove the plugin. You don’t want to access your site and be faced with a suspension notice the way that I was this morning.

credit: FreeFoto

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7 Responses to “Related Posts Account Suspension”

  • How did you identify related posts as the culprit – is there a tool you can use to calculate the load your site is placing on a server?

    Scams last blog post – Population Control, Facebook Style

  • Hi,

    My webhost provided me with the part of the server log file that showed the processes that were causing the heavy load. From this I was able to determine the database, which surprisingly wasn’t the one running this site. I wasn’t sure about the rest of the information in the log file so I looked at my list of plugins, eliminated most of them, and then examined the php file for the ones that I suspected as causing the problem. Like I mentioned, I thought it was the Broken Link Checker because that is the only plugin I had installed recently for the elephant site. But the code didn’t match what was in the server log so I kept checking. The code in Related Posts did match so I deactivated it and everything seems fine now.

    If a site has less than 5000 visits per day, it should be fine. I think my problem was that there is 4,000+ posts on the elephant site and numerous tags. Each page causes related posts to go through all of that data.

    One thing to do is install the WP Super Cache plugin. I do have this on the elephant site but I’ve never been certain that it was working properly – I need to spend more time with it.

    And today I found the Throttle plugin which will monitor and report the server loads of plugins and themes. I have not installed this yet so I can’t say whether it works or not.

    Once I got the site up and running, I didn’t want to deal with it anymore. I still have some research to do and I will write about it when it is clear in my own mind.

    Oh – if you have access to cPanel through your host there is a link on the bottom left called Server Status – Click to View. You can see the server load – I’m not sure yet if that is just my stat or is everyone’s on that server.

    Yesterday started out great and ended up being a difficult day.

  • I’ve tried installing the wp-cache plugin before but couldn’t get it working – does it work well?

    Is it worth trying to install it again?

    Scams last blog post – Moving Company Scams And How To Avoid Them

  • I have it installed but have no idea if it is working properly. The documentation, help, forums, etc also really confuse me. It is activated and “working” but there is nothing in the cache. So, my best answer here is I have no idea. ;-)

  • That was what I had that led me to conclude that it wasn’t working!

    As I hate having unused plugins I promptly deleted it when I figured that it probably wasn’t working.

    Scams last blog post – Moving Company Scams And How To Avoid Them

  • I’m bad about disabling the plugin but then leaving it in the directory. It seems that even disabled plugins can increase wordpress overhead so I’ve deleted everything that I’m not using. Of course, I also deleted one I was using ….

  • I wish the host I use was so studious in contacting webmasters when they over-used resources – there have been many occassions recently when my site has gone down due to other’s actions.

    I guess that’s the penalty of using shared hosting.. now, if only I had the first clue about running a VPS..

    Scams last blog post – Moving Company Scams And How To Avoid Them

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