Strange sitemap issue?

Posted January 9, 2022 133 views

Hi, been having a headache of an issue lately. My site is hosted by Digital Ocean and runs on the forum software Invision Power Suite. We’re on PHP version 7.4.26 and MySQL version 8.0.27. The forum has several background maintenance tasks that run at intervals. One of them, the sitemapgenerator, submits our forum’s latest content to search engines, Google and Bing. However, recently it has been failing to properly run at random times (there is no consistency to it so I can’t really describe a pattern) and then other times it runs fine without issue. Sometimes when it fails, it possibly causes a server slowdown and CPU spike that makes our site have an nginx loading error for about 5 minutes. At least I assume it failing is the cause. We disabled all third party plugins, and none of them are the source of the issue. We were told by IPS that this is an issue with the server in writing a sitemap and/or submitting to the search engines, so we’re turning here for any advice. Any ideas what could be the cause of this or where to look in our files? Maybe there’s something really obscure we’re missing; we’re not professional developers so it’s been hard to figure out. Any direction to point us in of where to search would be every much appreciated.

We also don’t mean to annoy the Digital Ocean team if this is out of your hands, but IPS keeps insisting this is a server issue and not anything to do with their software, so we’re caught in a bind on who to ask. There are no other issues with our server otherwise so this isn’t a major problem, just an occasional annoyance I’d like to figure out the source of.

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Hi @gloveworld49,

So, there could be a lot of reasons as to why this is happening. It can be due to memory shortage, some error in your website’s code, high load on your Droplet and so on.

Let’s try to troubleshoot this, first when you notice the issue of your website is down, check your Error Logs, SSH to your droplet and see what does the log says. You should be able to find it at /var/log/nginx/error.log or /var/log/nginx/error_log. In there you can see the exact error as to why your website is down.

It’s possible as said that you have high load and there is not enough memory on the droplet. You can also see if Nginx and MySQL are actually running:

systemctl status nginx
systemctl status mysql

If they are down, it’s most possibly due to memory shortage or high load. In that case, you can try adding SWAP to your machine or just upgrading.

If your error log suggests otherwise, it would be wise to try and search for that error in either some search engines or post it here and we’ll try to assist.

Lastly, it’s possible there is some bug with the Application. It’s good practice to check the developer of the platform you are using, in your case Invision Power Suite and see if any other users report the same behavior.

Hope this helps!

  • Thank you for the advice and being willing to help as I know it can be difficult for a host to see if it’s an issue on their end or the software’s. I checked the IPS support board but as far as I’ve seen nobody else has encountered our sitemap issue. While we have yet to figure out the cause of the issue, we haven’t seen a major CPU spike in a while but if it happens again we’ll use the nginx logs to track the source. According to Search Console, Google hasn’t had any issues accepting our sitemap.

    I will say, if it helps, that this issue only started when we updated our PHP to 7.4 back in October. There was never an issue with the task running before that. Perhaps something in there is actually the cause? Here’s our PHP setup if you want to take a look through that for any possible faults:

    If there’s any values in here you suspect could be a cause, we can easily change those, or any other parts of PHP you suggest we look into. It’s very well possible the problem lies in here after all, but I can’t say for sure.

    We’ve never had any other issues using your service otherwise and we’ve loved using it. It’s possible this is an oversight on our ends instead of anything on your part.

    • Hi @gloveworld49,

      Sorry for the late reply! I can’t say I see any values that might be causing this issue but what you said made me think that it would be a good idea to turn on your PHP error logging and if this happens again check those as well.