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    The last item I’ve arrived upon is my “Shared Unlimited” hosting plan can serve maybe a dozen uncached requests per second.

    Stating the obvious here, but this is pretty much the only relevant part of the whole post. Sure WordPress isn’t the most lightweight or efficient of tools, but getting timeouts for a few dozen concurrent 404s is just totally broken.

    There could of course be multiple other factors involved, off the top of my head:

    • Crazy or misconfigured WordPress plugins installed that are doing incredibly inefficient things
    • Shared hosting server is infested with crypto miners or something from some neighbor’s broken wordpress plugins
    • Some kind of misconfigured system or service on the VPS in question spinning on DNS requests or something like that

    But yeah given that this is shared WordPress hosting they’re getting from some cheap or free shared WordPress host, chances are they’re just getting something equivalent to <1 Rasberry Pi worth of computing power for their server. Actually, I’d be willing to bet even a Rasberry Pi could serve >50 WordPress 404s per second without timing out the load balancer.

    I don’t even know why I spent all this effort typing this comment up, nor why the author spent nearly 2k words writing about their bad WordPress host.

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      Thanks for reading all 2k words and even writing some feedback! I agree that this was totally broken and I wanted to share how I investigated and fixed it. I don’t think the process is entirely obvious. In the spirit of a hobby, I wanted to throw my brain and willpower at this problem rather than more money. I wrote because it’s fun and I wanted to share a story and a process. Maybe someone learned something like the existence of the Firefox bug?

      I definitely thought many of the same things as you with respect to crypto miners, spinning subsystems, or other tenants. That is why I reached out to customer support in the first place, though this was clearly me hitting my own CPU limits on a cheap plan.

      Some of your other comments makes me want to investigate and write more! I’ll probably start measuring and comparing what a vanilla Wordpress install can accomplish on various shared platforms as well as various VPSs. That’ll control for malware, extraneous plugins, and noisy neighbors.

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        If you want a cheap VPS recommendation, I like using vultr for small things at $2.50 / mo.

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        Sure, the host is flimsy. But do we have answers to these questions?

        Why is a Facebook web crawler meant to generate the metadata in Messenger links querying my website when I visit it in Firefox while syncing is enabled? Why is twitter involved?

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          Pretty sure that is simply the user-agent used somewhere in that stack.

          Update: Validated that myself: iOS puts all those crawler’s user-agents into its user-agent:

          Mozilla/5.0 (Macintosh; Intel Mac OS X 10_11_1) AppleWebKit/601.2.4 (KHTML, like Gecko) Version/9.0.1 Safari/601.2.4 facebookexternalhit/1.1 Facebot Twitterbot/1.0

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        fyi, the issue isn’t just you; we ran into it when some users of our website were inexplicably getting rate-limited; it’s a bug in Firefox on iOS (or was until recently anyway) which we reported here https://github.com/mozilla-mobile/firefox-ios/issues/12113