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Need to remedy some problems slowing up my forum

#1
My new forum seems to always be slow. I have spoken to my host (TMDHosting - shared at this point, still a new forum) and they have run tests on the server, enabled Gzip Compression and Leverage Browser Caching. They also had me run a tracert to make sure their were no connectivity problems. Today they ran a test the results of which are here: https://tools.pingdom.com/#!/ba7kGH/hobbygreenhousegrowers.org

The test gave the site and overall performance grade of C... mostly A's and B's, but it also got:
F in Combine external JavaScript
F in Remove query strings from static resources
C in Serve static content from a cookieless domain

I have no idea where to start in fixing these problems. Can anyone offer advice or steer me in the direction of someone/someplace that can help me with this?

Thanks
 

WSWD

Well-known member
#2
First off, your host is running the test from Melbourne Australia for some unknown reason. Your website is located in Singlehop's Chicago datacenter. Run the test again from New York or San Jose and you'll see the score greatly improves. https://tools.pingdom.com/#!/B8y3h/http://hobbygreenhousegrowers.org https://tools.pingdom.com/#!/di1fM9/http://hobbygreenhousegrowers.org

Neither of those items listed are going to make a huge difference in how fast your forum loads, to be honest. Your forum loads in under 1.5 seconds as it is (which is plenty fast). Will it maybe take it down to 1.4s or such just to make it look pretty on one of those speedtest sites? Perhaps. But your users are not going to notice any difference at all.

Your forum is not loading slowly for me at all. Where are you located? Are you in the US or somewhere else?

[Edit] Just saw that you're in Pennsylvania. Is it always slow for you? Just certain times? What are the circumstances exactly?
 
#4
@WSWD and @AndyB Most times my forum loads pretty fast as you both have experienced, however that is not always the case. It will go through periods lasting from several minutes to an hour or more where it is very sluggish taking 5 to 10 seconds for each page load. It will also go through periods of 5 to 10 seconds where it will not load at all, instead I get a white screen or a data base error message. The other day I could get nothing but a white screen for over 5 minutes. At these times, I know it is not my ISP because I will immediately try to load my other websites and they load just as promptly and fast as always (they are hosted elsewhere). That's why I think it is a problem with TMDHosting, however, they keep telling me the server is testing fine, my connectivity is fine, and they point to the the website saying it needs to be optimized as per those test results.
 

Jeremy P

Well-known member
#5
The problems listed in those test results will have nothing to do with 5-10 second loading times, error messages, or white screens. At worst they would only slow your page loads by mostly negligible amounts. It sounds like the server you're hosted on is having occasional hiccups.
 
#6
I agree, @Jeremy P. I once had a site that was hosted by a different provider that had similar problems. Despite the host's insistence that the server was fine, the problem kept happening and I kept insisting it was their server. It wasn't until they went over the server logs for a period of time that they found there was one account on that server that periodically was eating up (illegally) server capacity to the detriment of all the other accounts. I never had a problem after that with that hosting company. I would like to request that TMD change the server I am on, but I wouldn't know how to "test" to see if they changed me. My overall experience has been that most hosts suck with shared hosting, but I am not ready to go with dedicated at this time since my forum is new, small and I don't know what the future will bring with it. The only host I have ever had that I was really impressed with is the hosting for BigCommerce. I have 2 ecommerce sites with them, and never have a problem.
 

WSWD

Well-known member
#8
@MoonShadows That is completely different than a just a slowdown. If you are getting a database error, it is almost 100% a problem with your host, and they need to fix it. Could be when server backups are running, or like you said, could be another account using a ton of resources during that time. That said, most (good) hosts are going to use something like CloudLinux these days, and no site should ever be able to monopolize the resources. But no idea what they use over there. Have never heard of them.

You definitely don't need a dedicated server for your forum. It's tiny. The problem with shared hosting is that it's a lot more difficult for for hosts to make money on a shared hosting server, so they need to cram as many accounts on it as they can. Where they might need 20 VPS to break even on the server, it might take 200 shared hosting accounts, due to the price difference. I have seen upwards of 10,000 hosting accounts on some shared hosting servers! :eek::eek::eek::eek::eek::eek:

I would definitely keep pressing TMD. Ask them to look at the logs, etc. If you were to move servers, simply check if the hostname changed (should show up in cPanel). You can also ping your website. You are currently hosted on: benedict.tmd.cloud (184.154.73.81) If you change servers, that hostname will change, as will the IP address. If it does not, you have not been moved to a different server.
 
#9
@WSWD Thanks for all that good input. One problem is that by the time I get a ticket in and they respond, the incidence has resolved itself. (BTW...TMD is the fastest ticket responder I ever experienced, and with anything I have needed, other than this, they have been excellent.) Starting today, I am going to keep my own log with times and nature of problem. After a few days, I will send that to them and ask them to check it against their server logs.
 
#10
Over the past few I have kept a log of whenever my forum slowed down or would not connect along with any error messages. I sent this log to my hosting company and asked them to check the logs for this server. Their reply was they did find a "glitch", but have now fixed it. When asked if they could assure me this "glitch" would not reoccur, they offered to switch my forum to another server. I jumped on it. That was 2 days ago. Since then, I have had no slow downs, have been able to connect with no problems, and the pages are coming up very fast for me. Hopefully, this has solved the problem, and I'm glad I was persistent.