Discourse slower than other forum software?


(Kamal Patel) #1

Continuing the discussion from Discourse is slow. Really Slow:

While Discourse isn’t that slow for me, it is slower than the other forums I’ve used (60% to 90% slower). Here are the specific loading times for a small topic without pictures:

Discourse: 2.1 seconds

Vanilla: 1.3 seconds

NodeBB: 1.2 seconds

Question2Answer: 1.3 seconds

Askbot: 1.2 seconds

StackOverflow: 1.2 seconds

I’m using a 2013 Samsung Series 9 with Windows 8, and have tried it on a few other laptops with similar results. 1.2-1.3 seconds was the norm for other forums, so Discourse stuck out a bit.

Also, I’ve read all the Discourse speed threads and much appreciate not only the work that has been done by Sam and others to make Discourse faster, but also the promise that it will be even faster as bottlenecks improve. The speed is fine for me given the feature set, but this is a slice-in-time comparison for one average user testing multiple forums (all with the same New York location Pingdom test, and somewhat similar topic sizes).


(Jeff Atwood) #2

One key difference, Discourse is a JavaScript app. Meaning that when you click a link, no web page is retrieved from the server – the JavaScript calls our API, gets JSON back, then literally redraws the screen.

So the first request will be more expensive, because you are pulling down the entire JavaScript app (uncached in the above test) on that first request. However, every subsequent request will be much faster, because the app is now loaded and further requests only transfer the minimal JSON data needed to paint the next screen via JavaScript.

It is still an important metric, as many anons will see the site this way, but first empty cache first page load time is not the complete story here.