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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Mar 2010
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    Server Response Times

    I have one hosting account that seems fast, but occasionally throws slow connections.

    I'm seeing spikes with response times exceeding 2000 milliseconds.

    Comparatively, I'm testing a different hosts where spikes rarely exceed 200 milliseconds, and rarely that.

    All other things being equal—both are high-end shared hosts—how big of a concern should spikes such as that be. I do notice poor site performance at times.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Oct 2010
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    Does the poor performance correlate with the spikes? If so, your could argue that the key is noticeable to a human visitor and so worth asking the host about. (With so many metrics these days, it's easy to forget to ask whether what we're measuring is something an actual person would notice).

    That said, it can be hard to have enough data to be sure there's an issue. For instance, sometimes a slower response time is entirely down to poor conditions on the route between the monitoring server and the web server. A different host wouldn't travel over the same carriers so wouldn't hit the same problem.

    I think I'd ask the host to look into it, giving them exact timeframes when things were slow. They may not find anything, and that may not reflect badly on them if they can't, but equally they may.
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  3. #3
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    Mar 2010
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    This followups up on a series for 4 to 5 minute sessions of lost connectivity. Once or twice was no big deal, but it was happening several times each week. When I asked, I was told there were no problems. I did provide the times and such.

    I felt as if I got a bit of a brush off. Again it's not big deal, but since I'm testing between two comparable services this might be the decider.

  4. #4
    Contact them immediately when you notice high response time. Also provide the tracert report from your local system. It may possible that the server is overloaded hence the response time is high or there may be little network issue.

    High response time is not good and it also affects SEO for your website.
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  5. #5
    There really should never be any spikes larger than 100ms.. if there are, they have problems within their infrastructure (usually overload/capacity issues)

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Apr 2006
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    I would also say to contact the host and explain to them the problems you are seeing and see what they tell you. They should be able to see where that issue is coming from.

  7. #7
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    Mar 2010
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    That was my thinking. The response was pretty much, "Move along, nothing to see here."

    Again, it's not a huge issue but I'm expecting one site to grow after the first of the year, so if I do choose to switch hosts now is the time.

    This particular hosts focuses on much larger accounts than mine, so I'm thinking the shared accounts may be falling by the wayside a bit.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Aug 2009
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    Quote Originally Posted by marisc View Post
    I would also say to contact the host and explain to them the problems you are seeing and see what they tell you. They should be able to see where that issue is coming from.
    Definitely. And at least provide your host a traceroute showing the issue.

    Without seeing a traceroute or some type of proof of the latency, there is really not much a host can or will do.
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  9. #9
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    Mar 2010
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    Thank you. Great suggestions. I'll followup with them.

  10. #10
    What service are you using to test the server response time?

    I would suggest you to use pingdom.com with a free account (not tools.pingdom.com) and see what the average response time is over a period of say one month or so. Pingdom will check the site every 5 minutes using different servers located around the world. You can then log in to your account and check the response times for each location. That way you have better chances to identify what the problem is. You should expect a higher response time for servers located in a different country than your host's.

  11. #11
    Are you shared server or a dedicated server?

  12. #12
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    Mar 2010
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    Actually, I switched my one free monitor over to an account on this house about a week ago. I'm also using Uptime Robot—more free monitors than Pingdom—and I hadn't gone back to check.

    Pingdom is showing average daily response times of between 450ms and 600ms.

    That seems a bit slow to me.

  13. #13
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    Mar 2010
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    This is a shared server, a $25 per month account. So, not bargain hosting, at least for shared.

    Makes me wonder if I might get similar performance for less money.

  14. #14
    Join Date
    Dec 2012
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    New York
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    Yes sure, you do get better performance for a little lesser amount to be paid.
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  15. #15
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    Aug 2012
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    450 to 600ms is not that slow. the question is what kind of DOM rendering is going on server side.

    With Nginx and Varnish you might be able to shave the response time on a really well coded piece of PHP down to 250ms-300ms, at the cost of compatibility (unacceptable for shared hosting). But even with an extremely optimized server architecture on a dedicated server and a 1Gbit connection, a heavy PHP page is going to take minimum 400ms in response time.

    For shared hosting those response times are not bad at all. Now something like an HTML page, you'd expect an 80-100ms response time. New Relic can be a useful tool in figuring out where your load time bottlenecks are.
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  16. #16
    Quote Originally Posted by nobles View Post
    I have one hosting account that seems fast, but occasionally throws slow connections.

    I'm seeing spikes with response times exceeding 2000 milliseconds.
    Do you mean time to complete loading a web page?
    A server can have normal ping response but web page loading very slow due to server overload or disk IO issue.
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  17. #17
    Join Date
    Mar 2010
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    Thank you. That's just the perspective I needed.

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