Timeouts within mainland China

Our Discourse site appears to be timing out from within mainland China after about 30 seconds. The browser gives up and reports that the connection has timed out. Has you seen this issue before and is there any way to resolve this issue?

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We see frequent complains about this, both for self-hosted and sites we host.

This is almost definitely the work of China’s Great Firewall:

I (speaking personally) would suggest that your users use a VPN to bypass the firewall.


Thanks Michael, this was our suspicion as well. Are their any typical suggestions for getting around this that wouldn’t be considered offensive to the PRC?

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There’s some suggestions for this already on meta, I would recommend searching and going through the results.

For example:

Unfortunately I suspect any recommendation other than “behave well and hope you don’t get quietly blocked” would be offensive to the PRC.


The GFW uses a few different methods of blocking, but the most common is by blacklisting IP addresses. If your content is not something specifically disapproved by the censors, then you may be on an address or in a netblock that was blocked previously. Changing your IP or hosting may help.

If you don’t have HTTPS enabled, then do so, as that will bypass the naive keyword blocking that sometimes happens. Also, do you use a CDN for assets? Many are heavily throttled or outright denied. Enabling Google Analytics is another possible cause.


Is your domain be blocked? If yes, change your domain, no other options.
Is your IP be blocked? Contact your provider to change IP or deploy your site behind the CDN which not be blocked by the GFW. Some provider most IP is blocked, so you need to change to a new provider.

Google Analytics isn’t blocked.

We attempted to create a new domain name and then CNAME over to the site but that didn’t seem to have any affect.