First of all, let me tell you something about CloudFlare. It is a CDN (Content Delivery Network). It helps offload ‘strain’ over your host’s servers and helps get your blog served faster! And here, we will see what this ‘Error 522’ is all about and how to solve this issue.
If you are using CloudFlare’s free or Pro service, you might have come across this ‘error 522’ occasionally, while trying to access your blog. And you might have cursed CloudFlare for letting your blog down.
Yo man, you’ve been doing it wrong. Actually, CloudFlare is not the culprit. Error 522 points fingers towards your host’s server! Yes, it is a host error!
What exactly is Error 522?
It is a host error. Means, your host provider’s server is at fault. That fellow couldn’t respond to CloudFlare’s call!
Let’s dig deeper
Let me explain to you the process in detail. You are visiting a blog. During this, CloudFlare’s server starts off in a blaze, and attempts to connect to your host’s server.
It sends out series of requests, to get components of your blog, so that they may be delivered to the visitor (Mr Awesome, i.e you, in our case). This is the normal process. You see, CloudFlare is not like that ‘classic’ CDN.
Now, Error 522 pops up when Cloudflare’s servers fail to get any response from your host’s server. That is, when the requests made by CloudFlare server doesn’t get prompt response from the server, the error message is displayed.
And at the root of this all is one thing- your host’s lame server. Or it could be you who are the culprit, by over straining the server resources with shitloads of useless plugins.
In other words, mismanagement of server resources is often the culprit. Next comes bad host provider.
Okay, let us do one thing. Would you mind checking your blog’s SQL query database? In the SQL database query, you’ll find a log called ‘killed_mysql_query.log’. That log consist of the records of database queries that got cancelled.
And yes, database queries have a lot to do with this issue. You see, most of the times, if a query takes more than a ‘certain time’ for its execution, it will be killed by the server process!
And that log I mentioned above consists of the records of such ‘killed queries’. These ‘killed queries’ may result in error 522s!
The main solution is- Server Optimization. There are different ways to do it. I’ll run through the main ones here.
#1 Remove Notorious Plugins
By the term ‘notorious’, I mean plugins making unnecessary database queries. You see, suppose I have a freaking ‘mad’ plugin on my blog. This fellow keeps making unnecessary database queries each time a visitor visits my blog.
If these DB queries takes too long to execute, the server process will kill it all down, thus preventing the server from responding to CloudFlare’s request.
To avoid this, you must find out such plugins and avoid them. You may use P3 Plugin Profiler to find out ‘resource exploiting’ plugins.
#2 Caching Plugin is a must have
To avoid server resource mismanagement, this is the best step- use a kickass caching plugin! I’ve written an awesome post about WP Super Cache, an excellent caching plugin. It also has a tutorial showing how to set it up for optimal performance. Make sure that you give it a read.
And also read this post about ‘Leveraging Browser caching’. It’ll help you boost blog performance.
#3 Using APC (Alternate PHP Cache) Module in your server
Well, this step really depends on your host provider. Ask them if the servers support it. If yes, use the ‘APC module’ on the server with their assistance.
#4 Other tweaks
As I said before, sometimes, despite every optimization we undertake, the result might be disappointing. This could be due to a badly configured server provided by the host.
In this case, only one thing can help you- change your host provider. Choose an economical, but trusted one, who can guarantee you ‘good’ servers!
Wrapping it up
Hope you now know CloudFlare’s error 522 issue inside out! To explain this issue in simple terms, let me tell you a story. Imagine CloudFlare server as a young and energetic man. Imagine your site’s server as an old slow man. When a user visits your site, the fast man (CloudFlare’s server) approaches the old one to gather necessary information. But the old chap is too slow to reach and meet the fast man. The fast man, being impatient, returns to the site visitor and tells him/her that no one was available to provide information. Thus, Error 522 is displayed! You may make the old man (your site’s server) fast by trying out the above mentioned solutions or change your server altogether and choose a new, young (fast) one! If you think this article is awesome and could be of help to others, do share it!