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503 errors all of the sudden?

edited March 2014 in MarsEdit
I've been using MarsEdit3 for years, and mostly on the same site with the same host. All of the sudden this semester, I've started to get increasingly a large number of errors when I try to refresh:

Can’t get recent posts for Quarks, Spacetime, and the Big Bang because the server reported an error: unexpected response code 503.

or a 404.

This started about a month ago...


Ray Brock


  • Hate to report this, but I've been getting this lately, too. I can normally make about 3 or 4 posts via MarsEdit before getting the error code. I can usually just wait a couple minutes and it lets me post another 3 or so before getting the same error.

    MarsEdit 3.6.3 (6039), WordPress 3.8.1, hosting at DreamHost (dedicated server).

    Any ideas?
  • Hi - sorry I didn't reply earlier. I wonder if you are both using DreamHost? Often this kind of mysterious failure with codes such as 503 mean the server has instigated some kind of security policy on your host, and it's deciding (erroneously) that MarsEdit is a threat to your server. This sometimes happens because MarsEdit sends several messages in rapid succession (this is necessary because of the way the connection between MarsEdit and your blog works).

    Probably the best way to see this resolved is to switch the inquiry out of the forums and email me directly at It will be easier to deal with the specifics of each of your issues. A good first start would be to grab a network log showing the failure when it happens. The next time you notice the error, select Window -> Network Log, and copy/paste the content into an email to me. Thanks!

  • Hi folks - I have heard from one person affected by this problem that they have been in touch with DreamHost and they take responsibility for the change in the behavior. According to the response this person got, it sounds like DreamHost will be trying to alleviate the problem soon. Hopefully it will be worked out before too long.
  • Thanks for your help on this, Daniel. Have sent you my Network Log and will be in contact with Dreamhost to get their thoughts. Many thanks!
  • They're suggesting adding the following to the htaccess file:

    SetEnvIfNoCase Remote_Addr ^208\.113\.183\.100$ MODSEC_ENABLE=Off

    Where "208\.113\.183\.100" is your IP address. Hope that helps others.
  • Thanks for sharing - it sure would be nice if they could address it across the board without requiring folks to tweak the .htaccess file like this, but it's better than nothing!
  • Spoke too soon, their suggestion doesn't seem to work. Getting back with them, will report back.
  • Still no go. Their last advice to me was to disable WordFence. Still not working. Still searching for solution.
  • Sorry to hear they haven't been able to help you. Unfortunately I don't think there is anything else I can do from my end, but hopefully they will offer you a real solution soon.
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