Delay Update

Just a quick note to bring you up to date on my efforts to fix the slow page loading that’s been plaguing Irreal lately. As I mentioned in my last update, the problem appears to be page generation not server response. Watching the transfer with tcpdump, I see that the server response and actual transfer of data is very snappy. It’s the time between the GET and when the transfer starts that the delay happens.

To deal with this I installed the W3 Total Cache but visitors were still seeing the delay. I tuned the cache a bit and now it seems to be working pretty well for me. Right after I push a new post, I’ve been loading the home page to get it into the cache but it occurs to me that many of you are coming to Irreal through RSS or Planet Emacsen and going directly to a single page. Therefore, I will also load each new page alone to get it into the cache as well.

If you are still consistently seeing a delay of over 20 seconds for the home or current page please let me know and I’ll try something else. Thanks for your patience and for those of you who have taken the time to let me know about the site performance that you are seeing.

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One Response to Delay Update

  1. Ok, I have some good news!

    Since the delay was still there for some people but had gone away for others, I suspected that this might have something to do with client caching.

    To recap, with Chrome I was getting a 20 seconds delay on every single page load of or one of its subpages, even when going to a page I already visited (presumably hitting my local cache, if any). Reloading pages did not fix the problem, though I forgot to try a “Super Refresh” (CTRL + clicking the refresh button I think that was, I don’t normally use this feature).

    So just now I tried with Firefox and the delay sometimes happens when I load a page for the first time (I presume that’s when I’m the first one to load the particular page since server restart), however when I go to that page again, or even hit the refresh button, everything loads immediately, as one might expect.

    So I went back to chrome and tried the nuclear option: CTRL+Shift+Del, select all boxes to clear all forms of caching since the beginning of time, then restart the browser. And now pages I’ve already visited always load immediately! (I still sometimes get the delay when loading a page for the first time.)

    Deleting the whole client cache is quite inconvenient and there’s probably no need to delete everything like I did, but I think I tried checking just the “empty the cache” box and that didn’t fix the problem, so it must be one of the other options that did the trick…

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