Help: Irreal Loading Slowly

For the last couple of weeks I’ve noticed that Irreal has been loading slowly. Irreal, like many small WordPress blogs, runs on a virtual server and I assumed that my hosting provider was moving things around a bit and that the problem would resolve itself soon.

Then Jean-Philippe Paradis noticed that although the blog was slow to load, he could connect to irreal.org instantly. By using the Safari Timeline Recording function I can see that the problem is a ~22 second latency before the front page starts to load. Once the load starts it completes in about 300 ms. It does not appear that plugin loading or running is an issue. I did a Web search for the problem but didn’t find much. I did notice that one entry on the WordPress Forum claimed that things speeded up after the site was pinged. I tried that and sure enough the site started loading quickly again.

Rule 2 states, “There is no magic” so I’m not really believing in the magical power of ping. Because the problems started around the same time as the automatic WordPress udgrade to 3.7.1, I reloaded the update by hand. As things stand now, the site is loading normally for me.

If you find that the site is still loading slowly for you, could you please leave a comment to this post? Also, as I’ve said before, I’m really a back end guy and don’t know much about PHP or Web servers so if you have any wisdom to impart please leave a comment about that too. Thanks.

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10 Responses to Help: Irreal Loading Slowly

  1. Xah Lee says:

    yes, it’s still slow. over 20 secs.

    this Google PageSpeed insights might help

    https://developers.google.com/speed/pagespeed/insights/?utm_source=pubinsights&filter_third_party_resources=true&hl=en&url=http://irreal.org/blog/?p=2275

    might also try start using Google Webmaster tools. It’s helpful in various ways for web masters. Be warned, once one started to be concerned about SEO, it starts to become a time drain.

    • jcs jcs says:

      yes, it’s still slow. over 20 secs.

      Darn. It still seems OK for me. I don’t know what’s going on.

      this Google PageSpeed insights might help

      I already used that. It suggests all sorts of things that don’t appear to apply. I can see from the Safari Timeline that there’s an initial delay of ~22 seconds and then everything works as normal.

      Thanks for checking.

      • Xah Lee says:

        maybe it’s the server. What kinda hosting service do you have? on pagespeed, your page shows up 30/100 for desktop. I got 90/100 usually. Some of the things i can’t change on server, things like compression (apache module) etc. So, am thinking of switching to a more modern hosting provider associated/provides ngix, ruby, node.js, git, etc. I already signed up with digitalocean but haven’t got time to change my structure… today, more and more mobile, the older generating of hosting with apache/php/mysql/ftp is getting obsolete i think.

        page load delay has significant impact on your readers. google search also take action reducing slow site’s rank. You probably knew all this, but anything beyond few secs is way slow.

        • jcs jcs says:

          I don’t think it’s the server because I can connect to (my mostly unused) home page on the same server without delay. I was seeing what you are seeing: anything that invokes WordPress gets the delay. That’s why I think it’s a WP issue but as I say, my expertise lies elsewhere so I’m sort of feeling my way along.

  2. Xah Lee says:

    another data point. I’m on your page. Clicking a new page take 20 secs. Clicking a page i already visited seems also 20 sec. submitting a comment, same. (was’s like this before a month or so before.)

  3. Phil says:

    My comment seems to have been eaten. (WordPress didn’t let me re-submit it, so I thought it must have been okay…)

    In brief, I noted that a HTTP HEAD request is fast, taking 1-2 seconds; but HTTP GET is slow, taking 20+ seconds. Static file requests are fast; the only problem seems to be with the blog page URLs.

    In theory both HEAD and GET requests should cause the server to generate the same content, which *should* rule out slow page generation, but the static file delivery speed seems to rule out a very slow transfer rate, so I’m more inclined to suspect the page generation. I’m guessing the pages aren’t cached?

    If possible, I would check whether requesting the URL directly on the host is still slow?

    • jcs jcs says:

      Yup, that’s what I’m seeing too. When I run a tcpdump on a page load, the three-way handshake completes in a few milliseconds and is followed immediately by the GET and the responding ACK. Then there’s a 22 second delay until the host starts to transmit the page. The page load completes in 340 ms. so it’s almost certainly page generation. I don’t know why this started happening all of a sudden unless it’s related to one of WP’s automatic updates.

      I’m going to try installing the W3 Total Cache plugin to see if that helps.

    • jcs jcs says:

      Not a sign of your (first) comment that I can find.

  4. I think you should check some plugs for caching your site (WP super cache or smth). Try to verify whether the situation happens only on your computer or on all of them. if it just yours, get back to dashboard and be smart as far as plugs settings. if it’s on all the PCs just cache your site. Reload and try again.

    • jcs jcs says:

      Thanks. I’ve added the W3 Total Cache plugin. Tomorrow I’ll post an update on where I am now. I’m hoping the caching will resolve the problem. As far as I can see the problem is definitely page generation. Site responsiveness and download times are fine; it’s just generating the output after the initial GET that is the problem.

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