Download speed outside U.S


#1

Hi,

I am a happy Dreamhost customer and I live in Europe. I noticed that my websites are pretty slow when viewed in a browser here in Europe (Germany to be precise). Is there anything that can be done to speed things up here? Thanks for any input…

Cheers!

Hamburg Web Designer
Logo Design Hamburg


#2

It takes me around 1 sec to load your home page in Singapore. I think it is pretty fast.

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#3

BTW, this is primarily a customer-to-customer forum.

That said, I remember a couple of people from Europe mentioning that download speeds from the Europe were… underwhelming.

I’ve been thinking about this issue for a while. These same folks don’t seem to have a problem with some sites, only DH. I suspect this means that they don’t have problems with certain major portals and web enterprises. These are the same enterprises that have sophisticated edge networks that direct traffic to local servers and push content to servers closer to the end user.

I am also suspicious about traffic shaping over the transatlantic links. That is, that priority is being given to certain traffic over other traffic based either on content or on source. Can you can buy transatlantic backhaul for your traffic to make sure you get priority routing? I dunno.

Anyway, what sort of speeds are you seeing?

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#4

Haha, thanks! Glad to hear that!

I uploaded that same site to a German host though, and it’s definitely a tad faster here (in Germany)…

Hamburg Web Designer
Logo Design Hamburg


#5

Hi Lensman,

Thanks for your input. The unit we are talking about here is milliseconds. However, there IS a difference, I am sure. And when it comes to download times, every split second matters to my customers.

Have a look at this. I uploaded my brother’s personal homepage to a German host and to Dreamhost (in the U.S.).

Please let me know which one you think is faster.

Website hosted in Germany
Website hosted in the U.S.

Hamburg Web Designer
Logo Design Hamburg


#6

More often than not it’s because of heavy load conditions or failing routers at the ISP’s international switches and has nothing to do with the infrastructure in the States. I’m in Australia and when sites are slow the first thing I do is a traceroute. 99% of the time I’ll find it’s an overloaded switch at Sydney or Melbourne, sometimes (very, very seldomly) at LAX.


#7

No problem for me in sunny Manchester, England.

I’ve never had speed issues, and get a similar response from DH servers as from a typical UK host.

There’s certainly nothing user-affecting - maybe a 30ms difference, which really isn’t anything worth bickering about… it’s not even enough to cause you real issues in an online gaming scenario, never mind a bit of text and a few images on a website.

Cheers,
Karl

web design, development & seo by DigitalVibe


#8

Both of them (Germany and US) are fast to me. It take less than 1 sec for me to load the page.

I think the connection between SG and US is fast :stuck_out_tongue:

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#9

Marko,

I see no performance gain in England, having said that i’m about 20 miles away from a transatlantic link…

Bear in mind that the rule of thumb is that customers are generally prepared to wait 8 seconds for a page to load, so i would disagree that milliseconds are crucial.

Maybe you’re getting a much slower speed from Germany, but from here it’s perfectly fine.

All things considered, it’s only a 70k page, so it shouldn’t take long to load in any country on any server.

I hope you can get it sorted!

Cheers,
Karl

web design, development & seo by DigitalVibe


#10

I’m in Hong Kong and ithe US one loaded marginallly faster - not much though.

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#11

Customers MAY be prepared to wait 8 seconds, but they will NOT rate a site as spiffy and fast if you actually do take 8 seconds.

Naturally a site hosted in the US will be a bit slower than one hosted in Germany (The roundtrip-time increases by about 120-130 milliseconds); this CAN be noitcable, but usually is not. However, if your site is using PHP on Dreamhost, by default, a PHP CGI process is started whereas some other hosts use mod_php. This makes the response-time server-side slow. Even in mod_php-land you can increase the speed by using code compilate caches and optimizers (eAccelerator, etc). Make sure you are doing an apples-to-apples comparison.

(on Dreamhost you can set up PHP to run as a FastCGI process, which can tremendously speed up average response times).

If you are looking to transfer bigger files, the server is not the only thing to be concerned about – you may have to increase receiving TCP buffer sizes (since the bandwidth-delay product will kick you in the butt on transatlantic links), otherwise you won’t be getting more than 350-600kbyte/s on a single TCP connection, maximum.

Finally … If you care about instant responses to your customers, either host your site close to them network-wise, or employ mirroring and replication in your primary markets. There are also companies specializing in this kind of acceleration service (Akamai, LL, etc.) who will do a lot of the work for you.


#12

Quite right. I’m just making the comparison of lets say 30ms vs 100ms… it’s barely enough time to sneeze, and when compared to visitors being prepared (and in some cases expecting) to wait multiple seconds for it to load (maybe not as many as 8), a few milliseconds to me doesn’t seem a major issue.

Cheers,
Karl

web design, development & seo by DigitalVibe


#13

With many elements on the site, it easily adds up.

The less time wasted on the RTT, the more time dynamic content has to be generated to still be perceived fast :slight_smile: Of course in the age of dozens of SQL calls for the simplest of pages, coders really don’t seme to care :slight_smile:


#14

I was probably misled by the thread title of “download speeds”. If we’re discussing perceived responsiveness of the OPs website, I have it at 2.3s in Firebug. This isn’t bad but I could see how it could slow down under higher server load. I’d recommend one of two things:

  1. Go for Dreamhost PS. I did in order to get reliable response times for my simple sites without being affected by server load from other users.
  2. Obsess about firebug output and yslow analysis. Compare your site to others to find out what makes your site slower.

It’s unlikely that we’re going to be able to affect RTT between DH and everywhere in the world, what we can affect is how that RTT evidences itself in the perceived responsiveness of our websites.

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#15

Hi

I just tested it and i did force refresh on both sites and US site loaded faster (i live in SE uk)


#16

Funny thing. It’s definitely vice versa here in Germany. (Greetz to S.E. England by the way, I used to live in Brigthon for a few years). Cheers.

Hamburg Web Designer
Logo Design Hamburg


#17

Hi Lensman,

I just looked at this Firebug thing. Looks promising, but I can also recommend “TextMate” very much.
I’m not sure if I can afford the Private Server right now. Do you think this will make my pages load any faster??
Thanks for your help…

Hamburg Web Designer
Logo Design Hamburg


#18

Do you mean the editor for OSX? I’m on Windows and am just sooooo jealous!

It depends. By buying PS, you’re buying dedicated memory and CPU, but the actual hardware is the same. This means that in the best case under a normal shared account, you have the same performance you would under PS. The difference is that by paying for enough dedicated resources, you can reliably get the best case all the time.

What are [color=#CC0000]50DISK50[/color], [color=#CC0000]3DOM50[/color], and [color=#CC0000]1IP1DOM50[/color]?
They’re Dreamhost coupons!


#19

Before you do anything, set up PHP in FastCGI mode (if you are using PHP pages in this case). This can make a WORLD of difference in and of itself.
Don’t forget to install eAccellerator.


#20

Hi & thanks for your help. But according to the DH Wiki setting up FastCGI for PHP is not easy, is it? How long does it take to set up?
I’m gonna take a look at this eAccellerator thing now… Cheers!

Hamburg Web Designer
Logo Design Hamburg