Thanks to technomunk and remiss, I’ve figured out one of the major problems that has been pwning the speed of the site.
To try to get more funds to get another server to handle the increase in traffic (which has now been driven away a bit by the slow page-loads), I started experimenting with other ad services. I tried TextLinkAds, AdBrite and ContextWeb. The layering of these ad networks was what appeared to be destroying page-loads.
It worked like this:
- TextLinkAds would check their server for any new ads through a fopen() type request (so they loaded another page).
- Since no TextLinkAds have been sold, the ContextWeb code would then be called.
- After a few page-loads ContextWeb no longer seemed to be able to find ads for us (maybe because their spider gave up on our slow pages?) and it would default to call the AdBrite code
- AdBrite would make sure that it could compete with the eCPM of Google AdSense (eCPM means estimated cost per thousand page loads… ‘m’ stands for mili in latin). Since AdBrite could not get high enough bids, it would then default to the AdSense.
So all of this was happening just to end up calling AdSense anyway. Lame! Guess we’re stuck with AdSense for the moment.
The first page-load is still really slow. UPDATE: Fixed!
The SOAP is still slower than I would like, but that’s another issue (that I’m working on… it’s straightforward, but will take some time to write/test). UPDATE: Also fixed now!