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WebPagetest Forums - large gap between start render and DOM loaded

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Hi, the website I have been working on has a slow response time and I was hoping someone could help explain the performance test results so that I can fix it.

Here are the results for my test:
http://www.webpagetest.org/result/141001...1/details/

There is a really big gap between the start render event and DOM loaded. I'm not really sure what that means... I've looked at a few other waterfalls and my results look like nothing else I've seen. Is the gap due to js maybe?

I tried removing the flexslider, and that did improve the speed by like 4 secs so I'm thinking the js for the flexslider is slowing things down? I need to use the flexslider in the final design though, so I'm not sure what I can do to increase the page speed while still using the flex slider.
Try downloading / running as much JavaScript as possible after document complete. See if you can defer downloading Twitter and Facebook JavaScript especially.
It's not shown on the waterfall but testing it in the chrome network tab now the php file is taking 6s+ to load. This would explain the gap.

So there is a good chance there's something not quite right with the php file/backend/server.

You could test this further by saving the php file as an html file on the server with the same scripts and see how long it takes to load.
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