DougJ and Mistermix have assaulted me with a nonstop campaign of constant harassment about site performance issues. Frankly, I thought the site was performing relatively well and was pretty stable, with a few hitches during high-traffic periods (debates, SOTU, etc.). I don’t know how much of our issue may be that we are simply nearing the end of what WordPress can accomplish on its own, and it is software and not bandwidth. And every time DougJ claims he can not connect, I log in and have no problems. So, I’m wondering what exactly is going on.
At any rate, if you have been having problems connecting, let me know about it here and I will try to see where we go from here.
Not a site issue, but Karen Handel just resigned from the Komen Foundation.
If DougJ can’t connect to post, then it’s probably for the best anyway…
Cole, you’re so melodramatic. Love it.
Doug won the Moore award and Handel quits. Great day
@beltane: here’s the link from the AP
Probably not the sites fault but I can’t comment from my home computer. It lets me type and submit the comment but it never appears. If I try to repost it tells me “whoops you already said that” but I can never see my comments. No problem from my work PC though. Weird.
Find out if the server farm where BJ is hosted is having issues. I find that the connection issues are intermittent. Many times that means you have a single server or switch that is having a problem.
Or it could be that BJ is maxing out its bandwidth or the bandwidth of its hosting company.
No problems here that can be blamed on the Juice machines. Is DougJ posting from a PC or some iDoodad?
John, your admin may want to check server settings. People using the URL without the leading “www” are getting served old versions of the front page that omits several of the most recent posts. Using “www” at the front of the URL serves the site perfectly.
Shout out to DougJ for winning the Moore Award. Is it Balloon Juice’s first Moore Award?
Occasionally the site loads extremely slowly for me when I am at home but it could be because of my crappy internet connection.
Recently when I load the site it gives me the site as of my last visit — that is, no new posts appear. The only way around it I have found is to click the tagline at the top, which takes me to the newest posts. Clearing my cache didn’t help.
Shawn in ShowMe
Is this site using shared hosting or is it on a dedicated box?
I can’t get a fresh post unless I click the tagline. Using Chrome. Sometimes slow, sometimes pretty fast.
If BJ was maxing out on bandwidth, I don’t think it would be intermittent. I second the suggestion to check with the folks who host your server/s to see if they are having issues.
mistermix ... World Peace
Our relentless campaign (two emails to date) will continue until the yoke of slowness is raised from our backs and we can stand once more as proud Americans, glorying in our quick response time.
How be the dad and mom and Ginny and Guesly?
Are the pups observing a no bark zone?
No loading problems and it’s no longer slow once on the site.
@mistermix … World Peace: I have a flair for the dramatic.
I wonder if WP-Super-Cache might be the culprit. One fix may be to redirect all requests to balloon-juice.com to http://www.balloon-juice.com...
Could it possibly be all the ad widgets?
Balloon Juice loads much slower than other sites for me. If I’ve got several websites open on different tabs in Firefox and do a test by trying to reload them at the same time, B-J just takes significantly longer. I can actually watch the various pieces come up, like each ad, the comments, etc.
I know someone commented a bit ago about how the code could be changed so it loaded faster and it addressed this issue of each section loading separately. It’s probably in the last thread about site problems a week or two ago. Or maybe they’ll comment here.
It has also been a regular occurrence for as long as I can remember that the site will just go down and you’ll have to wait for several minutes and then try to load it again and eventually it’ll load. No idea why it happens, has been happening forever, even through various site redesigns and so forth. It just quits working. Makes me think it’s a server problem.
Slow and sporadic connection on my end. And the high traffic time problems really are irritating. That’s when you should be raking in the page views instead of pissing people off.
Nonetheless…first world problems. Not that big a deal.
@Scott P. and McConnor: If you have bookmarked the site as balloon-juice.com, that link will give you the outdated version of the front page. The reason why clicking the tagline in the header works is because it uses the full URL http://www.balloon-juice.com. Try both my links in this comment and you’ll see the difference.
Site loading mostly OK. Gets stuck on ‘contacting’ a small but non-zero proportion of the time, and I blame WP.
mistermix ... World Peace
@John Cole: I know, I’m giving you some drama back, no worries.
So that’s why there have been so few trolls lately
I have dial up and the site is only a tad slower in loading comments. Other than that. it’s fine.
Bob Kerry is not running for the Senate.
I have not noticed any site issues when I connect from work (PC) or from home (MacBook) or from my husband’s Android while on the road.
I had thought the Intertoobz were slower on my side of the planet, but it’s nice — well, not nice but, um, something — to know I’m not alone in facing this problem. I’m having the same problems Violet describes #22, including the occasional failed attempt to load, so now I know I can’t blame Celcom Broadband.
Perhaps you might ask DougJarvis Green-Ellis if it’s his big head after winning a Moore Award that is causing his problems getting into the site.
Drivel of the Day
brought to you from the Applebee’s Salad Bar by Bobo
Kittehs on ICHC have more insight than this sorry excuse of columnist, can someone tell me why he has a column in the NYT.
Never have any site issues.
Love the Moore Award. This is supposed to be apolitical, DougJ. Did you miss the fucking memo? We’ll tell you what’s political and what’s not political. Asshole.
Sometimes slow (like, hangs my whole browser). Sometimes the formatting is really messed up (like, the text of posts and comments is one line of text per paragraph, running underneath the right sidebar) but if I reload 5-10 times eventually I’ll get a readable page (which probably doesn’t help the “slow” problem). Using IE8. (I know.)
West of the Cascades
No problems in Portland via cable modem — maybe the interwebs haven’t made it at “high speed” to the hinterlands of Western New York yet.
Me too. Started having that problem the night of the Florida R debate; prior to that it was working fine.
Did something change?
Villago Delenda Est
@mistermix … World Peace:
A “non-relentless” campaign, of course, would be a single email.
A “we’re launching the invasion of the Soviet Union!” campaign would be three.
@schrodinger’s cat: Lack of money. That is what causes it.
Not many issues for me, except during heavy traffic.
Gin & Tonic
Seems like DougJ was nominated (for that “we need scalps” post) but did not (yet) win. So congratulations may be premature — although, I know, I know “it’s an honor just to be nominated”, as all the losers say.
@geg6: Wait. What’d he win it for? I don’t remember which of his many accurate assessments of the situation was in the running.
IT’S NOT THE TAGLINE. THERE IS NOTHING MAGICAL ABOUT THE TAGLINE.
Sorry to yell, but take a look at my comment here and try out the two links. The tagline works because it uses the full URL, but you can type or bookmark the full URL yourself.
Don’t overstate it. He was nominated for a Moore award. We won’t know who wins the thing until the end of the year.
It’s not one of the annual ones (yet!). It’s today’s:
Daily lurker here; I’ve had a continuing issue the past couple of weeks. The site isn’t refreshing properly. First time I check it each day, it refreshes properly. After that, it doesn’t and I have to go in to the archive page for the month to see the most recent posts.
You beat me to it.
Thanks, fixed my bookmark to include the www. and I’m good to go!
I’ve seen intermittent problems where nothing will load at all. They haven’t shown up for the past few days, but it’s going to take longer than that to convince me that they’re really gone.
@geg6: That is hilarious. Because, while I agree that it’s unfortunate that we have to deal with a crazed Republican Party, the fact is, we have to deal with a crazed Republican Party. And they’ll keep succeeding at what they’re doing until they have an opposing force to deal with. Why should anyone be afraid of openly stating what’s so blatantly obvious?
Frank the Tank
Dudes…you need to replace the string between your tin cans!
The Moar You Know
@rlrr: Still doesn’t work for me.
Yeah, and the whole idea that women’s health, Planned Parenthood, and SGK are all apolitical issues is just about the funniest/stupidest thing I’ve ever read.
Poverty is when you don’t have enough money to afford the necessities of life. For example, Bobo is [poor, because he doesn’t have enough money to buy himself a decent set of brains.
I only get weirdness in the evening (after 6pm ET), and it’s like partial loads (fails to load scripts or style pages so the site is damn near impossible to read). Since BJ is not the only site doing this, I suspect it’s due to traffic at both ends (your ISP and mine as well). I may have to block HerrDoktor’s torrent pipe from 6-9 as well, heh.
I suspect having the ISP working stiffs check traffic logs for evenings, especially the SOTU, will show what can be done on your end. I know my ISP (RCN) is oversubscribed, but the alternative is XFinity oversubscription, so we just have to live with it.
For me, Refresh does not work. The same post that’s at the top when I first open the browser stays at the top.
I actually have to click the tagline to get a full refreshed home page.
So there’s a cache issue somewhere, because none of my browsers can actually tell if something’s changed or not.
FYWP. full stop.
@Scott P.: I’ve experienced the same thing but only on my desktop. My phone always seems to have the latest post.
Performance has been an issue from time to time, but this is the internet… so it’s hard for me to tell if it’s my companies craptacular proxy server, my shitty ISP, or Balloon Juice.
One thing I am fairly sure is that I occasionally get the mobile version of Balloon Juice while on a desktop browser. It’s a tad annoying.
Runs well here. ID10t error? :)
Works fine for me. However, I wonder if you should contact John Scalzi and see about getting on WordPress’ premiere hosting service. Or, skip Scalzi and contact WP straight up.
You should have the traffic to get hosted by them
DougJ must be using a wood-burning computer.
@Angelos: Read Comrade Mary’s comments in this thread for a solution to your problem.
Judas Escargot, Your Postmodern Neighbor
Let’s all be sure to vote when the time comes, then…
BTW, wouldn’t it be nice if, instead of sneering at a BJ FPger from the safety of a website with no comments, Mssr. Bodenner would come here and explain to us how the left made Komen ‘political’?
That would be a ‘fun’ conversation.
pseudonymous in nc
W3 Total Cache has a few more tools in the box than WP Super Cache: both are less effective for high-comment-traffic sites, because they have to deal with ongoing changes to page content, but they do the trick for lurkers and people following inbound links.
There’s definitely a caching issue at the non-www domain, which is probably something that can be sorted out simply in the backend, and by tweaking the .htaccess so that all non-www requests redirect to the www. version.
(Yeah, I do this stuff a lot.)
I’m having difficulty logging in and having my posts appear on the front page.
@Captain Howdy: Possible, he is on sabbatical at an undisclosed location.
Several (3 or 4) times during the last week, none of the new posts from BJ contributors were showing up. Sometimes a whole day would pass with the early AM post being the only thing shown. This is true on unaltered MS IE 9.0 with latest updates, and Chrome 16.0.912 under Windows 7. with latest updates.
This is very frustrating. Something is wrong with the server software not updating with latest posts.
FWIW, I use Chrome and Mozilla (or different machines) and do not recall any problems in (now) years of reading Balloon Juice.
I’m having the same problems that other people mentioned. Often times the site won’t show me the most recent version (although it seems to have some updates now; this morning it was still showing the last post as the garden talk) and it doesn’t matter what browser I use. I tried all three pc browsers, at home and at work. Using my phone, however, the mobile site would upload just fine.
GREETINGS PEOPLE OF EARTH
IF YOU ARE GETTING OLD VERSIONS OF THE SITE WHEN YOU FOLLOW A BOOKMARK OR LET YOUR ADDRESS BAR AUTOCOMPLETE WHEN YOU START TYPING
IF YOU HAVE TO CLICK THE TAGLINE TO GET THE NEW VERSION
IF COMPUTER / DEVICE A IS OK AND COMPUTER / DEVICE B IS NOT OK:
YOU MAY BE A REDNE — UMMM — YOU MAY BE FOLLOWING DIFFERENT URLS.
The URL that starts with “www” — which is what is in the tagline — should show the newest version of the site: http://www.balloon-juice.com
Any URL that omits the “www” may show you an older version. Check your bookmarks, history and address bar to make sure that you are NOT using this version: balloon-juice.com
Paul in KY
Us IE8 users ‘the poor devils’ still get the text running off right side of screen about 50% of time. FYWP.
Paul in KY
@schrodinger’s cat: How about: ‘lack of a steady flow of cash necessary for personal/home expenses’. I think that is a cause.
Edit: See John already stated it in a more pithy manner.
My bookmark is the entire url and I sometimes can not connect to BJ at all. When the site is slow or does not load I can still load other sites just fine. I assume it’s heavy traffic times, IOW a server problem, too little pipeline, shared servers, along those lines.
My dsl is not particularly fast but works OK, with the exception of BJ on occasion.
I view individual pages via the RSS feed using Sage in Firefox. I occasionally get a slow connect, but no worse than for any other web site. No troubles beyond that.
@Ruckus: Yeah, not connecting at all is a pain in the ass that is independent of the URL used. I think the server hamsters need more chow.
What I was posting was for people who connect but get a version of the front page that’s a few hours old.
Understand, just sort of clarifying that many of us have problems which may be independent of url problems, which many have as well and that they frequently are independent of our ISP.
ETA Hamster Chow, my servers can’t get enough. In beef, chicken and tofu flavors.
dance around in your bones
I use Firefox 10.0
I ‘subscribe’ to Balloon Juice on my bookmarks RSS feed.
I use NoScript and Adblock Plus (sorry, but I just LOATHE ads, and I never buy anything anyway). I think that makes the site load faster.
I rarely, if ever, have problems with the site. Once in awhile when there is high traffic,it loads slowly, but I just sit and wait patiently for the most excellent comments and posts. No mashing on the refresh.
I love this site and gladly put up with the occasional slow refresh. But I’m sorry others have problems.
I pimp Balloon Juice to everyone I come across who seems like they might enjoy the place. You’re welcome.
Oh, and FYWP. Just for good measure.
I don’t like typing in the whole address and I don’t use bookmarks. I just type in “bal” and Firefox fills in the correct link for me. Or not, in this case.
A couple of times (a few times?) in the past week or so, the BJ header loads up, but the posts don’t load. I just surf somewhere else and come back later. (Safari)
@Scott P.: That’s what I use, too.
For Firefox users who are frustrated that “bal” brings up the shorter URL without the “www”: when the bad URL shows up in the dropdown list, press Shift-Delete to dump it from your auto-complete options and your history. (This also deletes unwanted search terms from search boxes.) Then type or paste in the correct full URL to your address bar, and viola! From now on, “bal” should give you the full URL in your address bar when auto-complete kicks in.
Using an iPad. No problems here that I don’t get elsewhere.
Sorry, I’m going to be the guy that doesn’t read the comments. No time today.
WordPress.com runs on WordPress and serves close to two billion pageviews a month (seriously: http://en.wordpress.com/stats/traffic/), so you’re probably not running into a limit with WordPress.
Intermittent problems can be caused by all sorts of things. The problem could be with a service provider, with a trunk connection, or at the host. The single server issue (okay, I read the first dozen comments) is a pretty good culprit, especially if you’re not on a dedicated box. If you’re on a shared box with 300 other people, their traffic and shitty code will kill you.
You have enough traffic that you shouldn’t be on $10/month shared hosting, so hopefully that’s not the problem, but you do want to make sure that the hosting you have is enough to handle your traffic.
And you want to optimize your WordPress installation using things like wp-cache. See here for a primer and links to more resources:
Oi. You’re serving a dozen scripts and another dozen stylesheets in the head of your documents.
Concatenate your scripts and stylesheets into a single file each, then compress/minify them.
Move the scripts to the end of the page so they load last.
Does your host support serving gzipped files? If so, have them help you figure out how to use them.
Turn off any plugins you’re not using and consider if there are any you can disable.
You’re using Super Cache, so that’s good, but WordPress is taking a long time to generate your pages (0.651 seconds on the one I’m looking at), so there’s definitely a lot of room to optimize.
Attempted to comment with one link to page on barackobama.com. Got this:
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Similar comment with no link accepted. Link was
For the thousandth time, John, get in touch with Raanan and Matt over at WordPress.com VIP http://vip.wordpress.com/. Given that this is a single blog, the rate for you will get will be very good. Then reliability and site performance become their problem, not yours.
Besides handling over 12 million blogs, they also handle the traffic for New York Times (KThug, 538), CNN, Fox News, Time, and the like. If they can handle ICanHazCheezburger and TechCrunch, I think they can handle Balloon Juice. :-)
(No conflict of interest since I will be leaving the company as of February 20th.)
BTW, the problem is you have plugin conflict as not all plugins are audited for performance. Also, WP, out of the box is not performant for traffic, the interaction between your plugins and whatever you are using to caching is probably causing issues. VIP audits all plugins for you.