Friday, July 22, 2005

Blog performance issues

Y'all might hav noticed, I've been having some issues with long load times, and very high CPU utilization for the past few days.

On my Athlon XP 3200+ with 2 gigs of ram, on a 10mb net link, the page load was taking over 30 seconds, and CPU utilization was at 100% at least half that time. On my old P3-800 laptop with 256megs of RAM (my default testing platform for the low end. I dont have anything slower running windows at the moment) the page would barely load at all.

The funny thing is, this is only in the last few days, and I havent made any changes, so I figure the problem is coming from one of the external links of Java scripts that I'm loading.

Well, I've been doing some testing; removing various items from the page etc... and the only thing adding any significant lag was the Alliance of Free Blogs Blogroll. Unfortunately removing it only made a small (but significant) improvement.

It seemed like the problem was in the sidebar, because it was taking FOREVER to load, while the main frame was loading immediately. To test this, I took everything out of the sidebar but the basic blogger content; unfortunately load times and CPU utilization only improved slightly.

So what I've done, is I've trimmed everything out of my sidebar that doesn't need to be there.
Then I set the "show posts" setting to 3 days. So if it's older than three days, it will be on the archive page (as well as the posts own permalink page of course).

That helped a lot.

I also set the archive attribute to monthly, so THAT page now takes a while to load, but the weekly archive listing was getting pretty long, and I have permalinks for every post, so I figure its a reasonable tradeoff. The July page takes the longest to load by far, though it has no more content than March or April, so I'm guessing a significant portion of the delay is some of the linked images loading.

Overall I seem to have cut load times by about 2/3, and cpu utilization significantly, but it's still spiking at 100%, and the load time is still fairly high.

The only other thing I can do, is move the site to my own hosted server, and use all local images. That should cut load times significantly, but I dont think I can afford the bandwidth increase, plus I don't want to screw up all the stuff that is already linking here.

Honestly, I should just set up a new blogging engine on my shared hosting service, but again, bandwidth and screwing up existing links and rankings etc... etc...

Basically, if it gets any worse I'll start looking into other options. I've had a couple MuNuvians persuading me to come over there, and that may be the solution as well... but it seems like everybody has a lot of issues with their moves, and they spend the next month fixing things...

Anyway, folks please report any performance problems to me so know where we are at, and I'll keep y'all posted.