WordPress Internal Server Errors

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Today I had to deal with several hours of outages for my wife’s music production company site Rock Along Productions as the WordPress kept erroring out with:

500 – Internal Server Access Errors

In the apache error log I would get:
[Sun Jul 19 17:36:42 2009] [error] [client 66.235.116.128] Premature end of script headers: index.php
[Sun Jul 19 17:36:46 2009] [error] [client 70.176.170.126] Premature end of script headers: index.php
[Sun Jul 19 17:36:56 2009] [error] [client 209.85.238.11] Premature end of script headers: index.php
[Sun Jul 19 17:36:59 2009] [error] [client 74.125.44.136] Premature end of script headers: index.php

As it turns out my Hosting Company has scripts setup to kill your php and apache processes when they consume too much RAM, this is a common issue with shared web hosting plans where to prevent one website from negatively impacting the rest you have to put such measures in place. My hosting company informed me that php plug-ins for wordpress were the most likely cause, and I disabled all of them, but it looks like my All-In-One-SEO pack and the Google-XML-SiteMaps are the worst offenders of plug-ins. These in my opinion are really important plug-ins for your blog though, and as a result I have decided to upgrade my shared hosting plan to Virtual Private Hosting instead. Though I will be paying more per month, I need dedicated processor and memory usage that I can tweak so that I can avoid site outages and run the optimization plug-ins I need.

-Justin Germino

Updated: July 19, 2009 — 9:26 pm