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site loading slow (apache 2.4, php 5.4, joomla 2.5)
03-28-2012, 04:24 AM
Post: #1
site loading slow (apache 2.4, php 5.4, joomla 2.5)
Hi,

My site was never loading that quickly because I hosted it at home.
However since a month I moved my website to a dedicated server with a 100 Mb duplex connection.

I also updated Apache to version 2.4.1 (from apachelounge) and updated php(5.4) and mysql 5.5.22.

I also updated my website to joomla 2.5 and also updated my plugins.
The plug ins I use: The default joomla one's + Seobooster, SEOSimple,System - SEF(joomla's default one)
, jFinalizer, JotCache , System - Cache(joomla's default one)
I use them in the above order and used them when I was hosting my site at home(but older versions).

I'm using windows server 2008 R2 64 bit sp1 and I also run some game servers on this box.

I did a lot of webpagetests and tried to optimize the loading performance of my website but it still isn't that great.

http://www.webpagetest.org/result/120327_N6_3R6BS/

As you can see the content download times take long, and I don't know why.

This problems happens when all my other software is turned off and the cpu usage is 0-10% and it also happen when the game servers are active and the cpu usage is 60-90%

Also the time to first byte is sometimes getting bad rattings, in this case it was fine.

Example of an older test with a bad time to first byte: http://www.webpagetest.org/result/120327_YF_3R4TX/

This is a chart of the google webmaster tools site performance lab.
[Image: chart.png]

As you can see the performance got worse ever since I got a dedicated server... and because it isn't a performance issue with the hardware or network I think its a software issue with apache, php or joomla.

I already tried some tweaks like reducing the file sizes by enabling compression and by using smaller resolution images which helped a little bit.
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03-29-2012, 03:48 AM
Post: #2
RE: site loading slow (apache 2.4, php 5.4, joomla 2.5)
I think you have a combination of problems:

1 - The slow first byte time is certainly a pain point. Does that happen frequently? If so then you are probably having memory contention on the server with the gaming servers (or other database requests) pushing the queries out of cache.

2 - The 170KB of compressed javascript in your head is not helping things, nor is the 120KB animated GIF for the "no cheating". If you look at the bandwidth line at the bottom of the waterfall you can see that it is basically pegged once the browser starts downloading things so the only way to make it go faster is to send less content (or move it out of the way).

Is the hosting physically near where the server was when it was in your house (and is that near your user base)? If your users are all in Asia for example and you moved to hosting in Europe that could also explain the difference quite easily.

If you add Google Analytics to the site you can track the server response time for your users to see if that is the problem (and to see if analytics gives you similar times).
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03-29-2012, 04:31 AM (This post was last modified: 03-29-2012 04:32 AM by gijs007.)
Post: #3
RE: site loading slow (apache 2.4, php 5.4, joomla 2.5)
(03-29-2012 03:48 AM)pmeenan Wrote:  I think you have a combination of problems:

1 - The slow first byte time is certainly a pain point. Does that happen frequently? If so then you are probably having memory contention on the server with the gaming servers (or other database requests) pushing the queries out of cache.

2 - The 170KB of compressed javascript in your head is not helping things, nor is the 120KB animated GIF for the "no cheating". If you look at the bandwidth line at the bottom of the waterfall you can see that it is basically pegged once the browser starts downloading things so the only way to make it go faster is to send less content (or move it out of the way).

Is the hosting physically near where the server was when it was in your house (and is that near your user base)? If your users are all in Asia for example and you moved to hosting in Europe that could also explain the difference quite easily.

If you add Google Analytics to the site you can track the server response time for your users to see if that is the problem (and to see if analytics gives you similar times).
1.
The ram usage is about 80-90%
but 50% of is unpaged kernel and 10% is windows cache.

I'm planning on doing a hardware upgrade soon.

2. Those files where on my home server, when I didn't have any problems.

The servers location didn't change that much, its still within The Netherlands.

Note: I just bought a new template and did the test again: http://www.webpagetest.org/result/120328_KA_3RM27/
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03-29-2012, 04:45 AM
Post: #4
RE: site loading slow (apache 2.4, php 5.4, joomla 2.5)
I'm primarily wondering if the tests are representative of what your end users are seeing (mostly because of the 10 second time in the site speed report) which is why I recommended also installing analytics.

It is possible that the main page is relatively fresh in the various caches on the server (database memory cache, windows filesystem cache, etc) when the test was run but less-so when users browse the page normally. That could cause some large fluctuations in the first byte time and would mean that the focus for optimization would need to be on the back-end or the server (and would match with moving the site to different hosting).

If that's not the case and most of the time is being spent on the front end (like the test results are showing) then you largely need to figure out if there is anything you can do to move the javascript out of the way and see if there is a better option than the animated gif for the no cheating logo.
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03-29-2012, 05:21 AM (This post was last modified: 03-29-2012 05:27 AM by gijs007.)
Post: #5
RE: site loading slow (apache 2.4, php 5.4, joomla 2.5)
Well the side loads slow if there is no local browser cache, but if there is then it loads within 2 seconds.

Google analytic indicated that the average load time is 6,15 sec
and the server response time is 0,72 sec.

The above results are from the last week, over the last month average:
11,68 sec
2,93 sec

Older results from my old server also give higher results in some months (but that server had network issues occasionally)

So I assume this is a back end issue?
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03-29-2012, 05:24 AM
Post: #6
RE: site loading slow (apache 2.4, php 5.4, joomla 2.5)
Not necessarily. We generally refer to "back end" as just the base HTML generation and the database queries that go into spitting it out. This is usually manifested as a time to first byte problem.

What we refer to as "front end" is all of the stuff the browser pulls in to assemble the page. This is the javascript, images, etc.
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03-29-2012, 05:34 AM (This post was last modified: 03-30-2012 01:50 AM by gijs007.)
Post: #7
RE: site loading slow (apache 2.4, php 5.4, joomla 2.5)
I see,

Well I host 2 other websites xhalo.tk and servers.xgclan.com
They both use joomla and use the same database, apache server, etc
It also happens in the administrator panel, so It must be a back end problem.

Here is the last test, after fine tuning everything in joomla:

http://www.webpagetest.org/result/120329_0S_3S0XQ/

Now I need to fix the back end, you have any idea's where to look at?
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03-31-2012, 01:48 AM
Post: #8
RE: site loading slow (apache 2.4, php 5.4, joomla 2.5)
I would normally suggest looking at using New Relic but they don't support php on Windows. You can try turning on slow query reporting for your mysql to see if you can track down a specific query that needs to be optimized but I don't think it is going to be that easy. Without some pretty significant software changes you may need to throw different hardware at it to make it faster (more Ram, SSD's, something along those lines).
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08-08-2012, 02:21 AM
Post: #9
RE: site loading slow (apache 2.4, php 5.4, joomla 2.5)
(03-29-2012 05:34 AM)gijs007 Wrote:  I see,

Well I host 2 other websites xhalo.tk and servers.xgclan.com
They both use joomla and use the same database, apache server, etc
It also happens in the administrator panel, so It must be a back end problem.

Here is the last test, after fine tuning everything in joomla:

http://www.webpagetest.org/result/120329_0S_3S0XQ/

Now I need to fix the back end, you have any idea's where to look at?

dit you find any solution

thanks
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