Site Speed Again

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LogansRun's picture
LogansRun
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Site Speed Again

HELP!!!!  The speed of this site is getting worse and worse!  It just took me 1 minute to go from one forum to this one but I thought it was important enough to say something that I waited!  This is just horrible!  I literally CRINGE when I come to CM.com but the info is too important IMO to miss so.......I wait and wait and wait and wait, for the pages to download. 

Can you guys do ANYTHING to get this thing rolling?  I'm not the only one that feels this way and I think you're going to lose people (you've lost me coming when I want, and I only come when I NEED to).  This really is bad in this day and age. 

Please help!!!

Thanks!

admin's picture
admin
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Re: Site Speed Again

Yes, we are aware that some are having issues, and we are working on it.  Not all are having the same experiences... for example, my connection is slower than yours, yet pages are displayed relatively quickly.  Some are better, and some are worse.  However we certainly want to improve where we can.

We have been working on this since before your previous post.  We are attempting to find the best solutions while not having people feel as though there has been a significant reduction in functionality or usability.  It is a balancing act, and I hope you can appreciate it does take time.

Thank you for your patience.

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LogansRun
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Re: Site Speed Again

I understand and I don't.  I guess I'm lost as to why this site (none others) is so slow.  What would cause THIS site to be so much slower than any other?  Not trying to get on you guys at all, just wondering "why".  It doesn't make a lot of sense to me.

Anyway, thanks for keeping it in mind and working on it.  Hope it gets better soon.

 

Best Regards!

admin's picture
admin
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Re: Site Speed Again

Without getting into all the details, there are aspects of this site which use different technology, layout, and add-ons not used on other sites.

A perfect example is this text editor I am typing in right now.  It is far more rich and provides a significant amount of options not found on other websites for basic commenting tools.  However as with everything in life, there is a trade-off.  More functionality and more richness means more code and complexity.  The tool provides an "ease of use," but does not promote fast page loads.

There are a variety of things which fall into categories such as this.  Our goal is to provide the community with the easiest and most streamlined user experience possible, but that may not be something we can feasibly do in every situation when it starts to impact overall performance.

Rest assured, we're well aware of some of the key issues, and we're working on it.

Damnthematrix's picture
Damnthematrix
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Re: Site Speed Again

Actually, I too have had problems with mis-loaded pages that need refreshing (sometimes more than once) to be viewed properly since the last upgrade.

Particularly annoying when you have a dicky satellite connection like ours where every bit of upload and download goes against the ever decreasing miserable monthly quota!

Mike

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JAG
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Re: Site Speed Again

I have had similar issues as LR. In the interest of providing some more information, I will describe them:

  • Its not uncommon for my posts to take several minutes (3-5) to "save". Occasionally, my connection to the internet is completely lost during an upload of a post, forcing me to recycle my modem and router. I have had to rewrite several posts because of this. While I don't think this problem is related to CM.com, I must say that it only has occurred while I'm on CM.com. 
  • Pages load incompletely quite often, typically a refresh fixes it, but not always. 
  • There have been frequent occasions when I could not get on CM.com, resulting in a "server is busy" error message.

As someone who has his own website, I can only imagine the difficulties involved with running one as complex as this. Please don't take any of the above as a complaint per se, but just more diagnostic info. Thanks....Jeff

(Mac Pro, Safari 4.0 browser)

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cmartenson
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Re: Site Speed Again

We're working on it!

The basic themes are:

1) Deliver less content on each page.  We're considering where content can be trimmed...things like removing a few of the sidebar blocks and limiting the number of comments that load to, say, no more than 10/page, might really help.

2) Load less Javascript/page.  This means serving up a less complicated editor... the darned thing has to load every time so making it smaller could really help.

Thank you for your patience.

Chris M.

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Damnthematrix
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Re: Site Speed Again

Actually Chris, your mentioning of javascript reminded me that possibly every second reload I do here comes up with a message saying (can't remember the EXACT wording!) that "this site has java script not responding" asking me to either continue or turn it off..... I don't understand any of this BTW, I just read the internet!!! I usually hit "continue" and that seems to make it work OK.

Just feedback that might help you guys sort it out.. I use Mozilla/5.0 (X11; U; Linux i686; en-GB; rv:1.8.1.19) Gecko/20081213 SUSE/2.0.0.19-0.1 Firefox/2.0.0.19

Mike

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becky
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Re: Site Speed Again

Most of the time, everything seems fine for me.  But, yesterday I typed up a comment and hit the "preview" button.  It literally took minutes before the preview showed up on my screen.  Always before, it's been instantaneous (as it was this time).

becky

idoctor's picture
idoctor
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Re: Site Speed Again

Very Slow IMHO....

Denny Johnson's picture
Denny Johnson
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Re: Site Speed Again

FWIW: It is by far the slowest site that I regularly frequent.

CB's picture
CB
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Re: Site Speed Again

I commonly get this error in the comment box:

 

Unsupported database type

The database type is unsupported. Please use either mysql for MySQL 3.x & 4.0.x databases, mysqli for MySQL 4.1.x+ databases, or pgsql for PostgreSQL databases. The database information is in your settings.php file.

For more help, see the Installation and upgrading handbook. If you are unsure what these terms mean you should probably contact your hosting provider.

 

Also often have the page flagged as loaded but with errors. Using IE

admin's picture
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Re: Site Speed Again
Damnthematrix wrote:

Actually Chris, your mentioning of javascript reminded me that possibly every second reload I do here comes up with a message saying (can't remember the EXACT wording!) that "this site has java script not responding" asking me to either continue or turn it off..... I don't understand any of this BTW, I just read the internet!!! I usually hit "continue" and that seems to make it work OK.

Just feedback that might help you guys sort it out.. I use Mozilla/5.0 (X11; U; Linux i686; en-GB; rv:1.8.1.19) Gecko/20081213 SUSE/2.0.0.19-0.1 Firefox/2.0.0.19

Mike

Mike,

We have seen a few people with this issue, and some of it is how much JavaScript is being downloaded to the browser, and part of it is how Firefox is handling it.  I'd highly recommend upgrading to Firefox 3 if you get a chance.  It's a better user experience and I wouldn't be surprised if your "JavaScript not responding" messages go away completely.  Version 2.0.0.19 was released last December, and Firefox has been on Version 3 since I believe March.

http://www.firefox.com

Ron

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admin
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Re: Site Speed Again
CB wrote:

I commonly get this error in the comment box: 

Also often have the page flagged as loaded but with errors. Using IE

CB,

A couple of questions... does the error message get displayed *in* the comment box?  As in you mean, in the area where the rich text editor is located?  If so, the browser is timing out trying to download the JavaScript files for the editor.

Also what version of IE are you using?  Some of the earlier versions are notorious bad at how they handle JavaScript.

Ron

CB's picture
CB
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Re: Site Speed Again

Yes, within the comment box. IE 8.0.6

LogansRun's picture
LogansRun
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Re: Site Speed Again

Thanks for looking into this CM.com!  It's disheartening and discouraging when you know that the info on this site is SOOOO important but it takes SOOOO much time to get to it.  Patience is a virtue.....ugh;-)

 

JAG's picture
JAG
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It Took Over An Hour To Log On

 Sorry to harp on this again, but it took me over an hour this morning to pull this site up, and it took 28 minutes for me to log on this afternoon. It also dropped me when I tried to post something this morning. This is getting a little tiresome, especially for a site that I pay to access. Please Help.

admin's picture
admin
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Re: Site Speed Again

Jeff, we haven't been able to log on either.  I've been working on things non-stop since this morning.  We're well aware that there are issues.  I'm sorry for your frustration, but we are doing the best we can.

JAG's picture
JAG
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Re: Site Speed Again

 Thanks for the update, I thought I was losing my mind....Jeff

admin's picture
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Re: Site Speed Again
JAG wrote:

 Thanks for the update, I thought I was losing my mind....Jeff

No, not losing your mind at all.  The site has been unavailable all afternoon.  Anyone who was able to log in probably had a problem as soon as they clicked a link.

It seems as though we ran into some issues with the approach we took with the Spanish Crash Course.  We decided to make the high resolution version available to everyone, assuming we may not receive much traffic.  Well, I guess that was a bad assumption!  We received a lot of hits in a very short amount of time, and had to switch over to the same model we use for the English versions: visitors have access to YouTube videos, and registered members are able to see the high resolution ones.

After eventually recycling the database, this seems to have restored the site.  Now back to working on the other performance enhancements we have been planning...

Ron

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JAG
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Re: Site Speed Again

 Thanks Ron,

Well I guess thats good news for site traffic, but hard on the bandwidth bill/infrastructure. Thanks again for the info.

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Re: Site Speed Again

I'm finding it very slow as well.  I see a dramatic slowdown after part of the page has loaded, perhaps some type of page counter with really poor locking semantics. I'm using Fedora  & Firefox 3.  Here are some suggestions that might help:

1) Don't load the editor at all untill you click on a button that says "new post" or reply.  Have you set up a test to see if this really makes a difference. 

2) Are you having DB issues loading all the data that is probably not that importants such as: Number of posts a person has made, if they are on-line, their icon, when they joined, etc.  Don't load anything other than maybe the icon.  Let a person click on the user name to see all the rest of the stuff.  It will limit the stuff per page and the number of queries you have to make before rendering each page.  I would bet really heavily that you may be bottlenecked at your DB.

3) How many servers are you running this on?  Are you using a cluster of some kind? Have you seperated static content from dynamic content between servers.

4) Are you generating the side bars on the fly for each request?  Consider building once every minute or so and then serve the prebuilt version with each page.

5) Consider moving to more commercial tools like JEE.  Many of the toolkits available work great for small sites, provide lots of functionality but don't scale very well, this is particularly true of DB access.  analyzing locking behavior becomes critical as your query volume increases.  

Maybe this will give you some new ideas.

-- Rob

 

LogansRun's picture
LogansRun
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Re: Site Speed Again

 I know you guys are working on this and I thank you.  I'm still confused about the issues as I don't see a huge amount of "technical" superiority on this site in comparison to others but this site has always been extremely slow and is getting worse, not better.  If the info wasn't so important I wouldn't come back to be perfectly honest.  Thanks again and hope we get to a solution soon. 

Best!

Damnthematrix's picture
Damnthematrix
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Re: Site Speed Again

I'm surprised that people are complaining about site speed, because I have a slow satellite connection, and speed is NOT the issue with me, it's correct loading....

This morning, AUS time, I could not get ANY page loaded correctly (almost gave up entirely), all the links were left justified, stacked one on top of the other on a dark grey background (making them near impossible to read!). Then I eventually found the contact link and sent a message, after which it MIRACULOUSLY refreshed perfectly! What the......?

Personally, I'd have the old yellow/orange themed site back any day over this. You who fiddle with this site might recognise or appreciate the so called improvements, but I sure don't.

Mike

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cat233
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Re: Site Speed Again

Ron and everyone else on the technical end, thank you.

This is a community, we are supposed to support each other.  Admin says they are working on this, so everyone... Relax!

Cat

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LogansRun
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Re: Site Speed Again

 Well Mike,

I'm paying $300 a year for a site as well as paying for internet speeds of 100MBPS so I would like to have it work at those levels.  If I were running dialup and it was taking 1hr+ (which it probably would at dialup speed) I wouldn't be happy either due to the other sites would be loading at 10 minutes instead of 1hr.  

The importance of this site is such that I have to come here.  If it weren't so important, I would NEVER come here because of the speed.  I don't mean to be an arse but to have a site in this day and age take MINUTES to load on a 100MBPS connection is atrocious.  But again, I'm happy that they're working on the issues....alot of sites would give the middle finger.

Thank you again and I hope we see an improvement soon.

LR

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Re: Site Speed Again

 

Hi Ron,

I’m afraid you’ll find this post distracting, yet I sense if visitors don’t tell - you cannot know what they think about the webpage

No, not losing your mind at all.  The site has been unavailable all afternoon.  Anyone who was able to log in probably had a problem as soon as they clicked a link.

The site should have been unavailable, however it transmitted loads of internal mumbo jumbo through the net also. Well, at least I did not have the impression I was supposed to get the delivered ‘information’ nor I was able to interpret it. It’s not a big deal at all, through it made me wonder if those who deliver the bits are in full control over their matter. I just grew curious since the site speed trouble made me click the ‘View source’ menu which reveals javascript bloat at every cm page. It seems to me that most of this stuff has to do with google analytics, google syndication and addthis. Worst of all, each page loads a flash activex which apparently does some obscure extra bits and pieces mumbling. The thing is probably an extra performance squander. And it is unfaithful or at least intransparent to the user. I have no idea what the thing compiles together and whether it creates gratuitous exposure for those of us who eg. visit the same site from home and from work carelessly. Thus, I think it is important that people registered or subscribed to your site get the feeling you know what you’re doing and you’re in full control of all data.

Please, don’t get me wrong. I don’t want to make an assault upon you spending tons of work in order to keep the site going and spread the message. I do appreciate the hard work.

LogansRun's picture
LogansRun
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Re: Site Speed Again

Admin,

Site is MUCH faster today!  Thank you!  Hope it keeps up this way.

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Re: Site Speed Again
Baywork wrote:

The site should have been unavailable, however it transmitted loads of internal mumbo jumbo through the net also. Well, at least I did not have the impression I was supposed to get the delivered ‘information’ nor I was able to interpret it.  It’s not a big deal at all, through it made me wonder if those who deliver the bits are in full control over their matter.

I'm not sure I entirely understand... do you mean you received error messages on the page?  A string of "MySQL does not connect" type statements?  Of course, we'd rather not have this be displayed to the end user, but there is nothing confidential or of any value presented in these messages.  They do not pose a security risk to the site.

Baywork wrote:

I just grew curious since the site speed trouble made me click the ‘View source’ menu which reveals javascript bloat at every cm page. It seems to me that most of this stuff has to do with google analytics, google syndication and addthis. Worst of all, each page loads a flash activex which apparently does some obscure extra bits and pieces mumbling. The thing is probably an extra performance squander.

Well yes, we're very well aware of the JavaScript loaded on each page.  As we have mentioned earlier in this thread, our objective is to implement a variety of things to help narrow this down a bit more.  However some amount of JavaScript will always be in place.

Baywork wrote:

And it is unfaithful or at least intransparent to the user. I have no idea what the thing compiles together and whether it creates gratuitous exposure for those of us who eg. visit the same site from home and from work carelessly. Thus, I think it is important that people registered or subscribed to your site get the feeling you know what you’re doing and you’re in full control of all data.

Baywork, I think it would be best to review the Terms of Use and the Privacy Policy to which you agreed when you registered on the site.  We spell out in great detail our policies, and I think we are highly transparent in letting people know the type of data we collect for the purposes of better understanding our user community.  I hope you find this information helpful, and I do appreciate you taking the time to write.

Ron

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Baywork
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Re: Site Speed Again

Ron,

thanks for the quick response. I do not want to make you defend yourself. I’m not competent in web security risks anyways. But I admittedly wanted to know why the site loads a hidden flash activex.

FWIW, I just did search the web about this ‘button1.6.swf’ I stumbled upon during the site speed trouble. It turns out that they call it a ‘flash-cookie’ implementation which seems to be deliberate sidesteps from the official browser cookie handling. It seems to collect and share user information persistently for clearspring.com across various sites, which I wasn’t aware of. I also read statements that people find the flash-cookie approach unethical and dangerous. Well, I can't make it out, I just find myself bewildered. I still don’t know from your response if you do know, and the mentioned Terms of Use and the Privacy Policy pages give no hint either.

A string of "MySQL does not connect" type statements? 

No, just an endless list of plain text lines with sql statements, function call errors, source code lines aso.

All the best

admin's picture
admin
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Re: Site Speed Again
Baywork wrote:

Ron,

thanks for the quick response. I do not want to make you defend yourself. I’m not competent in web security risks anyways. But I admittedly wanted to know why the site loads a hidden flash activex.

FWIW, I just did search the web about this ‘button1.6.swf’ I stumbled upon during the site speed trouble. It turns out that they call it a ‘flash-cookie’ implementation which seems to be deliberate sidesteps from the official browser cookie handling. It seems to collect and share user information persistently for clearspring.com across various sites, which I wasn’t aware of. I also read statements that people find the flash-cookie approach unethical and dangerous. Well, I can't make it out, I just find myself bewildered. I still don’t know from your response if you do know, and the mentioned Terms of Use and the Privacy Policy pages give no hint either.

I certainly know what it is.  The "button1.6.swf" is reference to a file added via JavaScript and used by AddThis.  AddThis is a Clearspring company, and is the "Share" widget you see on just about every page of the site.  As long as you don't register with AddThis, they do not collect any personally identifiable information, only aggregate data.  I would highly recommend for you to read the AddThis Privacy Policy.  They are a third party, and not formally connected to this website.  If you don't want to share information, don't sign up for the AddThis service.

 

Baywork wrote:

A string of "MySQL does not connect" type statements? 

No, just an endless list of plain text lines with sql statements, function call errors, source code lines aso.

All the best

Yes, those plain text lines with sql statements and errors are "does not connect" messages.  The sql statements are benign.  You said "source code lines also"... actually this is not true.  I have yet to see any type of source code displayed to the end user in an error message.  It may *look* like source code, but only error messages are displayed in such a situation.

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