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With the switch to the new software response times got a lot worse. it takes 5-10 s to reach the landing page and about the same time for any response within the forum. It is independent from the operating system or browser as per my trials. Can we expect an improvement once everything is dialed in?
 

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Earlier I would have agreed (and did say as much in another thread) then the site went down for a while and now seems to be a bit faster...
 

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There is too much glitter, fancy options and lots of white space on each page. Before I was able to see a lot more on each page and now I spend more time navigation. It seems like this site, and many more new ones are designed by people who will never use them, only get off on all of the fancy unused features. Reminds me of Microsoft Office. I probably only use 5% of it's capabilities and the rest clogs up the background. My time here is less and less as the site gets fancier and fancier. It takes too long to find what I need or am interested in.
 

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Site performance for the purpose of this discussion is a byproduct of load, and load balancing. The fact that the site can be fast sometimes and others not is the byproduct of the resources (CPU, Network, Memroy, Disk) available and the number of people using it at the same time. Think of it as a balance between horsepower and efficiency. The site probably isn't sized for maximum load that would cost too much, it is probably sized for statistical load (average number of users, transactional load, etc), this will make it fast when nobody is on (like now) and slower at peak times. It can also slow down if they are doing maintenance.

White space and glitter tend to be free from a performance perspective. A single line of code can fill the entire page with white (or black). Images and 'glitter' that repeat get cached on your computer (like leaving something next to you so you don't have to reach for it) so they don't slow anything down. What eats up the performance is that everyone on the site is doing something slightly different so what everyone sees is slightly different based on what forum they are reading, their membership options, etc.. The other thing that slows the site down is non-premium members as every ad that is served costs time to fetch and place. I am not blaming anyone BTW, but it is simply fact that fetching and drawing targeted advertising is expensive from a performance perspective. Think of it as a stickered up nascar car, what a premium member sees is the same car every lap, what each non-premium member sees is the same car but different stickers. The car has to slow down to change the stickers which eventually slows everything down but the premium member will always see the slightly faster car. I am a premium member but the site still slows down based on those other factors (load, etc).

It would not fix anything BTW to have everyone be a premium member. The owners of the site (by virtue of owning verticalscope) are TorStar, a newspaper company. They understand what it means to balance cost and revenue and subsidization through advertising. They want advertising but realize that giving you the paid option to opt out is how you keep some of the most valued (from their perspective) readers. But if everyone suddenly went premium they would have to find a way to rebalance costs (revenue would become fixed).
 

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With the switch to the new software response times got a lot worse. it takes 5-10 s to reach the landing page and about the same time for any response within the forum. It is independent from the operating system or browser as per my trials. Can we expect an improvement once everything is dialed in?
Yes, it seems like its back to the slowness that we had last year that eventually was fixed.

Last night it was very slow and I got the error page eventually after it timed out...........
 

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I did some poking around...

Hello site admins..

The banner image is 2880x690 and you are really only using the top portion of the image. Testing from several sources shows that while the file size is relatively small, size matters and between fetching that image and serving the image it is taking on average 6 seconds just to load the top banner. Yes, this only affects new browsing sessions (non-cached) but every non-cached session is slowing down all other sessions. The fact that the data itself is relatively small but takes a long time to serve tells me that the pipe itself is the constraint (4MB of data being served through not enough bandwidth), the other consideration for that banner image is that the client CPU has to render it. On a phone, held vertically, with a resolution on average of 720 horizontal pixels you are asking the client side browser to load the image, decode the image, and then downscale the image by 2/3rds. Yes, this happens fast but why do it at all. Its all the little optimizations like this that hold back performance and depending on how the site is constructed it could be blocking parallel site rendering.

There is a bigger problem. The Top Photos section of the site is referencing the raw source images. That is 2.2MB of data being served slowly (Blame @Bluenoser !! ;)), e.g. the high res photo of Bluenosers christmas ride is rather large. The site needs to downscale to thumbnails before trying to serve those up as serving raw data from the image folders is taking waaaayyy too much time and is too variable in performance (coincidentally serving all high res images for the purpose of serving the banner will slow down everything).

There is 4MB of data loaded for the front page and on average it is taking (right now) 7 seconds to load the main body.. thats too long. 3.5 seconds is going to the ad feeds.

You can tell that the incoming session manager is also overloaded as it is taking from half a second up to 2.2 seconds just for k1600forum.com to respond (at all). That is the result of testing from 8 different sites in NA and western europe. (both cloud and facility based).

Openx (your ad exchange platform) is killing you, absorbing up to 7 seconds of fulfillment time.

Connection view report..

139527
 

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Discussion Starter #10
earthling, I guess you are seriously into this stuff. I am amazed and thank you
 

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I have a huge favor to ask of y'all.

Please post all questions, issues, feedback, etc. in the Community Feedback thread rather than starting new threads.


The reason this is important is that we will be seeing weekly updates (approximately) that are largely fueled by community feedback. By keeping everything in one thread we can make sure that we don't miss anything. I will be closing this thread to avoid confusion, but we absolutely want to hear all feedback, both good and bad. We are just requesting that it is all in the one thread.


- Cricket
 
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