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I am getting 500 error "Internal Server Error" when I type in my domain. I called customer service and they said that my site has reached it maximum use of memory and therefore the cloud system generates this error. I have never heard of this before. What they said is I can get this error because of either higher:

  1. Memory Usage
  2. CPU Usage
  3. MySQL usage

They recommended to tweak the website and remove plugins etc to get rid of this error or upgrade. Things have not changed much here and we didn't do any major upgrade either. What should I tweak if any? Has anyone come across such error. We are hosting with lunarpages and using PHP 4.7 (it is an older site).

Would upgrading to PHP 5.3 fix things? Interestingly if I go to mydomain.com/index.php it works.

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Check your error log (most part of hosting providers give access to this log) and read the exact error message. – Simone Carletti Oct 11 '11 at 15:05
[error] [client 173.200.xxx.xx] (12)Cannot allocate memory: couldn't spawn child process for: /home/mywebsite/public_html/index.php – slow diver Oct 11 '11 at 15:29
It might be .htaccess too, try renaming the file for a few minutes and see if it happens with the file disabled. – Osvaldo Oct 11 '11 at 15:54
up vote 4 down vote accepted
[error] [client 173.200.xxx.xx] (12)Cannot allocate memory: couldn't spawn child process for: /home/mywebsite/public_html/index.php

According to the error message, your server is running out of RAM. In case of shared hosting, it normally happens when the server is no longer able to handle the increasing number of accounts hosted on that machine.

You might want to contact the provider again letting them know about the specific error.

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this might be true. Got feedback from the host again that their cloud system had some conflict and therefore cause our website not to load. The interpretation that the website was somehow using more memory was probably incorrect. – slow diver Oct 11 '11 at 17:48

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