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I'm working on what is basically a one page site externally:

There's very little to it. But I'm getting reports that it's sometimes loading so slow to the point that a couple refreshes are required to get it to load on first visit. Now as this is such a small site, virtually every significant module is turned off.

I mean Update is off, Views is off, Date is off and on and on. In addition to that the few graphics are optimized. There's no external content integrated that could be causing it to hang that I can think of. CSS and JS are being aggregated. Caching is off, but it is a one page site, so on initial visit I wouldn't think caching would provide any advantage.

What are some of the potential causes of an issue like this?

  • Have you turned caching on to confirm that's not the issue? – Clive Jun 20 '15 at 15:41
  • Well... I have had trouble reproducing it on my machine and connection. But it's been reported twice. I always clear my own cache before loading the site to try, but I haven't caught it yet. So if I did, I wouldn't easily know the result... this is a problem in general for this. – Tezcatlipoca Jun 20 '15 at 15:57
  • Though my understanding of caching is that on initial visit (which is what I am worried about) it should have no effect at all. To be cached the data must have been loaded once. – Tezcatlipoca Jun 20 '15 at 16:00
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    do you have Cron set to run? I have found this can cause this sort of behaviour in certain set ups – Geoff Jun 20 '15 at 17:14
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    Cron runs during the first access of the page after a certain amount of time has passed (3 hours for you now) - so it delays the user's access to the page while it runs - if that particular cron is running a lot of items, or the server is lagged at that particular time, it could take considerable time for cron to finish, making it seem random. If you increase the time, the number of items generally increases, but it depends on the site - you can test by turning cron off completely for a few weeks, just remember to manually run it once a day or so for maintenance, but your users wont run it – Geoff Jun 20 '15 at 21:51
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If users experience very long response time for initial visit, but then next visits are fast - then it definitely could be related to the cron (as suggested by Geoff).

Here is a quote from official cron documentation:

It [internal cron] works by checking at the end of each Drupal request to see when cron last ran and, if it has been too long, processing the cron tasks as part of that request. The two down-sides are (1) cron tasks will only run when Drupal is processing requests; and (2) the 'weight' (processing and memory) of running the cron tasks will be added to some arbitrary unknown page request, which may slow down those requests, and has the potential to exceed memory limits on a complex site.

To prevent this, configure external cron job that will trigger Drupal cron jobs more often that 3 hours (my suggestion is to run external cron every hour).

In addition you can configure internal cron to run less often by configuring it here /admin/config/system/cron.

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