Magento 503 errors, intermittent, capacity problems?


I'm having intermittent 503 errors, out of the blue, on a Magento install. Occasionally the page will half load, without JS or CSS, or sometimes the images will not load, but the rest of it will.

I'm running 1.5 magento, and no settings have been changed before it started going awry.

My hosting guys (it's on shared hosting) have said:

Basically every time someone hits the site, you spawn about 10 - 20+ connections for every hit to:


For example: /media/catalog/product/cache/1/image/9df78eab33525d08d6e5fb8d27136e95/2/0/200_2_series-max.jpg

And this is maxing out the capacity. I've disabled cache, and the problem persists. Is there a way I can check why this is happening, or am I at the whim of my hosting chaps.

Thanks in advance.

Not the cache you've disabled, turn that back on as it only causes more severe system loading as everything that would normally be cached has to be recompiled on every request.


This is the image cache. Your system is being overloaded serving out images to your customers. Therefore your server is probably suboptimal and not able to properly handle the loads being placed on it. Typical symptom on a shared hosting plan when attempting to run Magento, this typically causes your website to fall flat on its face the first time Bing, Yahoo and Google decide to simultaneously index your website.

The first thing to do when you start noticing the website to get boggy is to go into "Customer - Online Customers" and see how many Magento reports are online. Sort by IP and see who's hogging resources and take that ip over to Bots VS Browsers to see if it's a known web indexer. The next step is to get your Web Server Access log and start viewing what's being requested to make sure you don't have some script kiddie on your site trying to break it.

One way of eliminating your image loading problem is to go over to Amazon Web Services, sign up for CloudFront and serve your images out through this CDN. Basically it serves as a proxy system so your images only get requested on the initial view and then get served out through CloudFront. Your server still probably is going to have problems with overloading, but it won't be image serving that causes most of it.