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Site Slow or Unreachable (High Number of 404's)

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This document is meant to discuss the potential issues and fixes with slow websites returning a high number of 404 status codes for images and other missing assets. 


  1. Identifying the Problem
  2. Potential Fixes
    1. Cheaper 404 Images

Identifying the Problem

Have you noticed one or more of your sites slowing down or possibly unreachable? The issue might be related to a large number of 404 (Not Found) response codes. To see if this is what is causing your sites to slow down or become unreachable, follow these steps:

(If you have multiple nodes, you will need to check each node using the following steps)

  1. SSH to your VPS 
  2. Tail the gateway log file
    1. tail -1000000 /mnt/log/nginx/gateway.access.log | awk '$NF > 2 && $10 == "404" {print $6$8}' | sort | uniq -c | sort -nr | head

If you are seeing an abundance of output from image assets, then you might be a candidate for the fix outlined here. A large number of 404 responses will take a lot of CPU cycles on high traffic sites. Apply the fix below to see if it corrects your problem.

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Potential Fixes

Cheaper 404 Images

If you have verified that the problem causing your sites to slow down or become unreachable is a large number of 404 (Not Found) response codes for image assets, add the following lines to the .htaccess file for each of sites with a large number of 404 (Not Found) response codes.

(If you have multiple nodes, you will need to apply the changes on each node that hosts the sites with the 404 response codes)

# Pagely Admin edit -- cheaper 404 for images
# To not crash the server due to overloading
<IfModule mod_rewrite.c>
RewriteEngine On
RewriteCond %{REQUEST_FILENAME} !-f
RewriteRule \.(ico|gif|jpg|jpeg|png|swf|flv|pdf|map|mov|svg|mp4|mp3|zip|eot|ttf|woff|woff2|ttc|otf)$ - [nocase,redirect=404,last]

Note: You might need to clear your cache after applying this change. To do so, follow the steps found in the How do I purge all the cached pages/assets for my site article.

For additional assistance, please do not hesitate to contact Pagely Support!

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