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I have a website that is occasionally slow loading. I'm not referring to the download speed. But sometimes Firefox's status will sit at "Waiting for xxx.com" for 15-20 seconds. After the wait period, it loads quite fast. Is this because of DNS? My DNS host is afraid.org (free account).

Thanks for helping a newbie out.

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4 Answers

This is not a DNS issue. If it was stuck at Looking up xxx.com that would likely be a DNS problem.

If it was Connecting to xxx.com it means your server wasn't responding at all, but with Waiting for there's definitely a problem somewhere, perhaps an Apache misconfiguration.

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It's on a Windows 2008 machine. –  Chris Feb 9 '10 at 23:42
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Install something like Fiddler or YSlow, and watch it as you try to load the sites you have problems with.

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..Or firebug. Nice extension, btw –  sntg Feb 9 '10 at 23:26
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up vote 0 down vote accepted

The issue was with the the Application pool worker process. Since my website was very new and I was the only one visiting it, occasionally the worker process would shut down if it wasn't active after 20 minutes. So it took some time to start up again when I would visit it.

In IIS, right click the specific application pool and select properties. Under performance, you can change the idle timeout.

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Within most browsers you can enable a "status bar" at the bottom. This is an option under the "view" menu at the top. Once done it will tell you the current status of a page you are requesting. If it is in fact being delayed by a DNS lookup then you will see something like "Looking up: domain.com" for an extended period.

You can also perform some lookups via the command prompt to get an idea of how fast they are being performed.

start -> run -> cmd -> nslookup domain.com

Mac/*nix:

terminal -> dig domain.com

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