Ok, here's the scenario:
Up until a few weeks ago, none of us noticed anything wrong with the corporate website. People were using it without complaint. Then, a client complained that a specific page on the site was timing out for him, and only when he committed a POST action on a form filled with data.
I checked it out, and it timed out for me, too. But, it only timed out in Google Chrome and IE, not in Firefox. Additionally, the same page, on the same server, but served from a different domain name (one not under the protection of SSL, either) does not time out under any browser. To clarify: https://www.mysite.com/changes.php times out on POST, but the same with http works fine.
That distinction (SSL vs. Non-SSL) seems to be important, as nothing else has changed. Our certificate is valid, and Firefox detects no errors thrown by the page. I've looked at the Request and Response headers from the page, and they all follow the correct formats.
Then, after wandering through the site, I noticed a few other things. Both IE and Chrome will frequently time out on any page that is PHP-based. They never time out on static images or html files. I've looked at the site from a variety of different servers, my home and work workstations, and my netbook. Because of that, I've discounted a viral infection, as I highly doubt a virus is going to hit every one of the machines to which I have access in exactly the same manner.
My setup is: Server: Win2k3, II6, PHP 5.2.9-1. Clients: IE7, IE8, Chrome (regular and dev channel): Frequent timeouts on PHP pages. Firefox 2, Firefox 3: No timeouts. Firebug shows no errors or even lengthy periods serving the pages.
I've spent 2 days searching for any tech knowledge that I can find, and my search parameters are all too general. Everyone has problems loading SSL pages in IE and Chrome for a wide variety of reasons.
The infrequent nature of the timeouts and the fact that there are no errors being reported anywhere is starting to drive me insane.
Does anyone have any insight on a problem like this?