I have an Apache server running Debian.

I am having this very strange situation where loading a page takes about 2 to 3 times longer to load over http than https.

The primary use of the website is Magento, but I am seeing similar results with other things that we have loaded on the website.

I don't have the first clue where to even look on our server or what the problem could be.

Does anyone have any insight as to what could be going on, or where to look?

  • Is the server loaded or idle? Is there anyone else accessing the server other than you? – Khaled Nov 4 '10 at 15:16
  • Are you hosting the site or is it being hosted by an external party? – Francois Wolmarans Nov 4 '10 at 15:16
  • It's an 8 core server, with 8GB Ram and the server load is between 1 and 2 when I see the issue. When I am not seeing the issue the load on the server usually sits between 3 and 4. The server is being hosted at Neospire (I have their highest level support but they are not going as fast as I need so I'm hoping I can help push them in the right direction - and learn at the same time) – Josh Pennington Nov 4 '10 at 15:18
  • Also, it is a public server. – Josh Pennington Nov 4 '10 at 15:19
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    If you try to load http from the server itself, is that still slow? If it is not and at the same time http lags from the outside world, then your ISP might be throttling your http traffic. – Janne Pikkarainen Nov 4 '10 at 15:54

To test whether it is on you ISP side, try disabling https and change your apache server to listen on port 443 instead of port 80 for web traffic. If the problem disappears http (port 80) traffic is being shaped somewhere along the line. Remember to change the URL to http://server.com:443,

  • Our site is an eCommerce website and turning off SSL is not easily available. Do you think using an alternate port would work just as well? – Josh Pennington Nov 4 '10 at 21:24
  • Any port should do as long as it is not 80 – Francois Wolmarans Nov 5 '10 at 10:26

Could the HTTP VirtualHost have "HostnameLookups On"?

Are the stanzas identical with the exception of SSL directives?


  • I looked in the hosts files that I have and I do not see "HostnameLookups On" anywhere in there. I don't see HostnameLookups in there at all if that matters. The configuration for 80 and 443 appear to be the same except for the SSLEngine On and the files for the certificate. – Josh Pennington Nov 4 '10 at 15:48

It turned out that the problem was there were far too many Apache connections than the server was configured to handle.

We had sent out an email and the servers connections were being dedicated to transferring images.

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