Fix Dreamhost Error 500 and Error 404
If you have more than one blog hosted on Dreamhost and they generate lots of traffic, chances are, even if you have all the caching plugins in the world, you will eventually get the dreaded 404 not found or 500 Internal server error messasage when you click on one of the links in the admin panel.
Error 500 and error 404 may happen in the middle of installing, or updating a plugin; upgrading the WordPress Core files to the lates version; writing, editing, or deleting a post; or just clicking the link to view them.
These error messages are not exclusive to Dreamhost hosted sites but it seems like most of the people looking for a quick error 500 and 404 fix are Dreamhost customers.
What Is and How To Fix Error: 404 File Not Found on DreamHost
Error 404 means the web server cannot find the file or web page you tried to pull up in your web browser.
Since we have access to the WordPress files via FTP, we can be sure these files exist and the error 404 we are getting are, well, erroneous.
Before we discuss how to fix Error 404, let’s first learn more about Error 500.
What Is and How To Fix Error 500 Internal Error
On a regular net surfer scenario, this error usually occurs when you fill in a form on a web page (contact form, shopping cart, feedback form) and click the submit button. For WordPress bloggers on Dreamhost, this happens more than a lot when we have countless of processes hogging the shared CPU and RAM.
Error 500 means the server or the script handling the form on the server has a major problem. This problem usually occurs when your user account goes beyond the shared ram quota of 120 MB. In my case, this started to happen after running feedwordpress for a couple of days. I did not realize the plugin and the default options I chose are too heavy for the server so it kills the process before it ends giving us the error 500 message.
If you talk to tech support about this, they might ask you to install caching plugins such as WP-Supercache to prevent repetitive database calls from happening. If not, they maypoint you towards getting a private server which costs a couple of dollars more than shared hosting.
So how do we fix Error 500 and Error 404 on Dreamhost blogs?
I went through all sorts of troubleshooting procedures before I finally found a way to remedy this scenarion. From adding a line to my wp-config to increase the maximum memory allocation for each blog’s process to enabling LockDown mode on WP-Supercache, which turned out to be a bad idea, and to the point where I tried to move my blogs to another host. Trust me, it’s not a very neat process.
So what did I do? Well, I just assigned different users for each website. That’s right, a different user per WordPress install.
Dreamhost is not using CPanel and by default, you only have 1 user account for all the blogs you have. A user account can only use about 120 MB of RAM. If you have 6 sites on one user account, all your sites will, without a doubt, encounter Error 404 and Error 500 more often specially when it’s loaded with lots of automation plugins.
On the Dreamhost Panel, just go to manage domains, click edit on a specific domain, and under user, select create a new user, type in a user name and then put a check t make a copy of the existing blog to the new user’s folder. Wait for a couple of minutes for the email from DreamHost about your site’s successful migration to a new user account and you’ll then have a blog free from all those file not found error 404 and error 500 internal server error messages!