Joomla vs. Non-Joomla site <yikes>

Hey there,

So we are cutting over an old outdated website to Joomla. Demo site is up and running but the performance results and my testers are complaining of very poor response time. I am seeing the same thing from both the site front and back ends.

Both the current production site, and the new Joomla-based site are physically resident on the same server using the same hosting site – they are actually in the same directory with different DNS pointers so the server performance will be the same between the two sites.

On the Joomla site I have enabled the following caching/performance:

RocketTheme template: Gantry Cache On, Gantry GZipper On
JotCache: Browser caching yes (5 mins), Compress Cached content yes
RokGZipper: Enabled

Here are two different tests. First is a side by side comparison between the old site and the new site. Old site takes approximately 3 seconds to load completely – new site takes 15 seconds :frowning:

Here is the detailed breakdown of the new site – 10 tests run.

Same breakdown for the old site – 10 test runs.

I’m getting some poor grades for Text and Image compression, however the amount of data available to be compressed is quite small.

Obviously there is a size difference between the two front pages. Old site is quite small at 263kb, with the new site at 1237kb due to the addition of some images. I don’t consider the new site particularly large or complicated in terms of the data it’s serving up.

Any thoughts here? Is this a host problem given that even the back end of the site is extremely slow to respond?

It is a combination of host and application problem (the two depend on each other a lot). The exact same application running on SSD’s and dedicated hardware could be made to run significantly faster or a different application on the same host could also run a lot faster (like your old site). Joomla is not known for being particularly fast and does a lot of database interactions.

The thing you should be really scared about is the first run of the new site: which looks like it returned an error:

It looks like it took so long to serve that the full content didn’t serve and an error was passed back to the user. Subsequent loads were faster (but still painful 1-5 seconds for the back end) probably because the first load caused a bunch of things to get cached in the database.

You can enable server-side page caching in Joomla (control panel->global configuration->system->cache settings) but that won’t help with the first visit problem, it will just hide the issue for a lot of users.

Don’t focus too much on the grades or images yet, you need to fix the back-end (first byte performance) before you even look at doing anything on the front-end.