I have it saved as a favourite and have been timing it from my click to the forum home page actually appearing. It’s averaging 10 seconds which is unaccountably long. No other site I use regularly takes anywhere near this time. For example, Chowhound is about 3 seconds and two major forums running on Invision take 2 seconds.
FWIW, I’m running on Windows 10 and Firefox and have tried clearing cookies to no effect. Is the slow running just a fact of life because of whatever server it’s running on?
If its a UK problem, perhaps the solution would be to try to see if the hosting company can serve up the content from a location somewhere in the middle for everyone, like US east coast. In the longer term, it’ll be an investigation into multiple server delivery to reduce latency.
From London. Loads ok for me, but I’ve a quick connection.
PING www.hungryonion.org (18.104.22.168): 56 data bytes
64 bytes from 22.214.171.124: icmp_seq=0 ttl=45 time=170.709 ms
64 bytes from 126.96.36.199: icmp_seq=1 ttl=45 time=171.711 ms
64 bytes from 188.8.131.52: icmp_seq=2 ttl=45 time=169.962 ms
64 bytes from 184.108.40.206: icmp_seq=3 ttl=45 time=171.379 ms
64 bytes from 220.127.116.11: icmp_seq=4 ttl=45 time=168.901 ms
64 bytes from 18.104.22.168: icmp_seq=5 ttl=45 time=168.831 ms
64 bytes from 22.214.171.124: icmp_seq=6 ttl=45 time=171.584 ms
64 bytes from 126.96.36.199: icmp_seq=7 ttl=45 time=170.259 ms
64 bytes from 188.8.131.52: icmp_seq=8 ttl=45 time=171.674 ms
64 bytes from 184.108.40.206: icmp_seq=9 ttl=45 time=170.192 ms
64 bytes from 220.127.116.11: icmp_seq=10 ttl=45 time=171.439 ms
64 bytes from 18.104.22.168: icmp_seq=11 ttl=45 time=180.019 ms
64 bytes from 22.214.171.124: icmp_seq=12 ttl=45 time=171.705 ms
64 bytes from 126.96.36.199: icmp_seq=13 ttl=45 time=172.436 ms
64 bytes from 188.8.131.52: icmp_seq=14 ttl=45 time=169.746 ms
64 bytes from 184.108.40.206: icmp_seq=15 ttl=45 time=171.398 ms
64 bytes from 220.127.116.11: icmp_seq=16 ttl=45 time=170.981 ms
64 bytes from 18.104.22.168: icmp_seq=17 ttl=45 time=169.043 ms
64 bytes from 22.214.171.124: icmp_seq=18 ttl=45 time=170.180 ms
64 bytes from 126.96.36.199: icmp_seq=19 ttl=45 time=171.608 ms
64 bytes from 188.8.131.52: icmp_seq=20 ttl=45 time=177.761 ms
64 bytes from 184.108.40.206: icmp_seq=21 ttl=45 time=178.384 ms
64 bytes from 220.127.116.11: icmp_seq=22 ttl=45 time=168.960 ms
64 bytes from 18.104.22.168: icmp_seq=23 ttl=45 time=168.935 ms
64 bytes from 22.214.171.124: icmp_seq=24 ttl=45 time=168.885 ms
64 bytes from 126.96.36.199: icmp_seq=25 ttl=45 time=168.862 ms
64 bytes from 188.8.131.52: icmp_seq=26 ttl=45 time=171.125 ms
64 bytes from 184.108.40.206: icmp_seq=27 ttl=45 time=170.584 ms
64 bytes from 220.127.116.11: icmp_seq=28 ttl=45 time=170.038 ms
64 bytes from 18.104.22.168: icmp_seq=29 ttl=45 time=169.743 ms
64 bytes from 22.214.171.124: icmp_seq=30 ttl=45 time=170.812 ms
It’s always been slow for me. I didnt raise it earlier as I was going away for 3 weeks and it’s only since I got back that I started to time it.
It’s specifically only an issue on initial load - the time from clicking on my bookmark, or clicking on the Google listing, to the forum’s front page loading. Once I’m here, it’s generally fine . As I mentioned, I have the same issue with the FTC site but nowhere else. I’m running Firefox.
I did some additional testing- Most of the load time in the London- Manchester path
San Francisco users load the page in 4s (where the server is based)
East coast USA in 6s
London in 7s
Manchester in 13s
Unless I move the server to Manchester its not really going to significantly help you. (Moving to East Coast may save you 2 seconds).
I found another Discourse-based forum using multiple content-delivery network server (i.e. delivering content from servers near your location), the load time surprisingly isn’t any better (which I don’t think its possible if their servers are optimized). Which led me to believe that the forum software itself isn’t completely optimized. The page loading is kinda slow in the middle of the load. (that purple part is I think when they load those 2 Mb of forum software to your browser.
I’ve looked into ways to see if there is something that I can optimize the actual software, but so far no great ideas yet beyond saving you perhaps 0.5 seconds.
It’s sort of more evidence that London is a different country from the rest of the UK (he said - with heavy cynicism). I bet you would get the similar disappointing results for other regions outside south east England.
I suspect this site is pulling in a lot of subpages. That hurts when latency is high ( like, ahem, “parts” of the UK ). It is normal to have 150ms latency from the UK to the US.
The “cheap” solution is to optimize site load times by pulling together lots of small files into fewer bigger files. But you may be right that there are too many generated pages, too much server side processing. If you’re having trouble with databases, give me a call - I know a few things
Or, as you’ve done, by improving caching by using a service that employs a global CDN. If that doesn’t work, the problem will be end-to-end site design having dynamic, blocking components.
My site load times were never 4s — I was before in the 1 s range, generally.
I think HO’s attempt to improve speed sort of worked. The site seemed to load quickly. However, it left me with a completely blank screen all afternoon - as though there was nothing on the site. It was only when I emailed HO that I found out about the switch. I gather we’re now back to the old, slow system. And I can see what’s here again.
There really has to be something in the set-up for HO and FTC that slows it down this much, when no other site (even those I know originate on the US west coast) are so slow.
A few things slow down the site in my observations because of the way the forum developers design the software:
The forum developer doesn’t have a function where they enable https for only the login screen. Its either all or nothing. I don’t have an issue with all https per se except that Safari and iOS doesn’t cache static resources over https. So loading on the iphone/ mac is likely slower on the first attempt. To me, though, having https, i.e. more security logging in, is better than having a faster site.
My images aren’t completely optimized- but that’s like 0.2 second savings compare to the big stuff above.
This fully matches my intuition. Parallelism is a tough thing - you need all the bits to work - if it’s about SSL parallelism you want to enable HTTP2 ( SPDY++ ), but you also need the forum software itself to be right, and you need caching for just the right things… but you know all this.
My perspective … A commercial site with ads is using that revenue to hire people like us to maintain and optimize ( but then they need to optimize for ads as well ). HO shouldn’t be compared to a commercial site in a sense. The goal is to make HO usable, not as fast as weibo or twitter. HO / Discuss is a pretty swank system to have thrown it up “for free” and in a hurry.