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Chatbot Orgs getting slower and slower

Sorry to grumble but this site is slower than ever today or is it just me ?

It’s always the slowest site I visit, I can go to three or four others while waiting for this one to load.

Grumble hat off wink


  [ # 1 ]

It is pretty slow, and there is something on the home page that tries to load forever.


  [ # 2 ]

I’ve noticed it myself, but I’m afraid I’m powerless to do anything about it. And God help you if you want to preview your post prior to submitting it. I’d love to take a peek at the error logs, but I think it would take me a week to read through them. downer

Have either of you considered filing a bug report, by chance?


  [ # 3 ]


I did bring this issue to Erwin’s attention not long ago. is one of the slowest sites that I frequent.  I *imagine* it sitting on a machine in someone’s home somewhere.  It should probably migrate to the cloud, like AWS or perhaps the new Google Compute Engine, above link.  It is showing a decent valuation on WideStat, below….


>> Estimated Value $17978.40 USD


  [ # 4 ]
Marcus Endicott - Jul 7, 2012:

  I *imagine* it sitting on a machine in someone’s home somewhere.

I did a little “poking around”, and found out that is hosted in Houston, Texas, by a company that started out as, but is now called softlayer. Their main page loads in a flash, which is to be expected, I suppose. smile

The forum software used here is Expression Engine. I’m currently looking through their support forums for similar complaints, to see if there’s a common problem that can be addressed. I’ll post back my findings.


  [ # 5 ]

I’ve noticed several posts on the Expression Engine support forums that dealt with performance issues, and I’ve read a couple of entries in their User’s Guide that deal with similar problems, but sadly, that’s as far as I’m able to go, since I’m only a moderator, and not an admin (or Super Admin). I’ve posted a bug report on the problem, and will also email Erwin directly about this, to see if we can work out some sort of solution.

In the meantime, I’d like everyone to do me a favor, and post how long the average page here takes to load, from the time you click a link, to the time it’s fully loaded. You need not be surgically accurate here; if it takes “around 7 seconds” to load, that’s accurate enough. Those of you who are also web developers/designers should have specific tools at your disposal to more accurately measure load times, but again, I just need a sense of how long it takes to load pages here.

I’d also like for you to let us know (on a geographic scale, mind you) what your location is when you post. Again, nothing specific. The country you live in is just fine. This may help to track trends, based on area, and that could help to isolate the problem, if it involves a CDN (Content Delivery Network), for example. Thanks. smile


  [ # 6 ]

I just click on a link, switch to another application and work for about 15 minutes then switch back to my browser and the page is usually loaded by then.

Works for me.. tongue rolleye


  [ # 7 ]

for me too, it’s slow as hell and sometimes dangerous to preview a post without copy-paste to a text-editor first confused
Maybe it’s time to look into this one?
Forgot to mention: Europe, Belgium


  [ # 8 ]

@Laura: That’s singularly unhelpful, but entertaining, so thanks for the chuckle. smile

@Jan: Yes, I’ve lost a few posts to the “Preview timeout”, myself, so I feel your pain. downer But how long (on average) does it take for you to see a fully loaded page? that’s the important bit. raspberry Are we talking about 10 seconds or less? Up to a half a minute? Longer?


  [ # 9 ]

it differs enormously. I have started to get the impression that it’s best not to post on or round the hour (in the morning). For some reason, it takes longer. Sometimes it’s ok, only taking a couple of seconds, but sometimes, I press preview, go do lots of stuff like go to the bathroom, and then come back.


  [ # 10 ]

I went ahead and used some of the web developer tools that I mentioned in a previous post and did some pretty extensive testing, and what I found is a bit surprising. First off, pressing the “dreaded” Preview Button, the page loads in an average of 7 minutes, with the longest actually kicking me to a “404” page in TWELVE MINUTES! That tells me there’s something broken there. Just reading posts takes anywhere from 5 1/2 seconds to nearly a minute and a half, with no rhyme or reason for the varying load times, but I DO see one “common denominator” with loading delays, and that’s in the loading of our avatar images. It turns out that, according to the detailed timeline that Firebug generates, the avatar images are actually generated by a PHP script, and each image on the page takes an average of one second to load. Now the weird thing is, if you load the same standard image several times in a single page, the first image takes the longest to load, because it’s actually being loaded (if it’s not in the browser’s cache already), and the rest have a load time of virtually zero. In this instance, however, every instance of the same image takes nearly the same amount of time to load each time! This doesn’t happen, even with a PHP script doing the image loading, unless the image is assigned a different filename when it’s being sent to the browser each time, and yet clearly this is not the case here, if you view the page’s source code, so I’m a bit baffled by the results. Anyway, the upshot here is that when you add around one second to the load time of the page for each and every avatar image on the page, you can quickly see where the problem is here.

Posting this response took about 21 seconds to complete, with ~5 seconds to process the post, another ~4 seconds to wait for the page to begin loading, and about ~10 seconds to load 11 avatar images, with the rest of the time taken up with loading the stylesheets and scripts. Interestingly, it only took ~3 seconds for the “Edit Your Post” page to load. Still rather slow, all things considered, but quite fast when compared to any other page here. smile


  [ # 11 ]

Thanks for your efforts Dave.

Today the homepage is taking about 20 seconds to load for me.  The forum is much quicker today than it was.  I suppose about 6 secs to load at the moment.

I see what you mean about the avatars.  I just opened yours in a new tab and sometimes it was quick and other times it took a good few seconds - so yeah there’s something wrong there.  Such a small image should load a lot quicker.


  [ # 12 ]

OK I take that back about it being quicker…that reply (using the ‘fast’ reply) took about 30 seconds to go through.


  [ # 13 ]

I just got both an email from Erwin, and a reply to my bug report, both of which to let me know that this issue is being addressed. As soon as something is learned, either Erwin or myself will let you know. Some preliminary measures have already been taken (garbage collection, server-side cache clearing, etc.) that may help for now; we’ll just have to wait and see. smile


  [ # 14 ]

There hasn’t been any “formal announcement” made, but I’ve been “promoted” to the role of Super Admin for, which gives me the power to investigate matters more directly. I’ve already poked around a bit, looking for any “generic” reasons for why things are so slow. So far, all I’ve seen is a `slightly` bloated DB, which I’ve already done repair/optimization on, but I’ve got other things to look at still, such as the issue with the avatars. I’m going to get to the bottom of this problem, I swear it. smile


  [ # 15 ]

Good stuff Dave smile


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