Website Speed Archives - ACTIVO

PHP 5.4 and APC producing Segmentation faults

PHP 5.4 and APC causing Segmentation fault with Magento

Posted by | Magento, Web Development, Website Speed | No Comments

At the moment, December 2013, there seems to be a stability issue with PHP latest versions and APC (Alternative PHP Caching) module under Magento. Once you run latest PHP 5.4 with latest APC module and let Magento run or an hour a bunch of errors show up in the apache log files. There seems to be more impact on the checkout process and several admin operations but so far it has been extremely random so we were not able to pinpoint exactly the specific use cases that trigger these errors.

The errors reported in the logs are pretty consistent and show:

The PHP community seems to be eager to try and resolve these issues and get APC to a stable status but it has been taking for far too long. In fact, it seems that Zend have started developing their own OPCache module that may be shipped with PHP beginning with version 5.5. Here is a short article describing how to use the new OPCache module.

But before we go and rush to install an unstable version of PHP and a beta version of OPCache, we confirmed that reverting to an earlier stable release of PHP and APC will work just fine and produce great performance results for Magento: stick to the latest stable PHP 5.3.x and APC version 3.1.9 and you will be safe.

I hope this saves someone some stressful moments.

5 FREE Ways to Test Your Website Latency from Around the Globe

Posted by | Website Speed | No Comments

For improved website performance both in user experience and SEO, low latency is critical. In my last post I covered Why Low Latency Matters? in this post I point out 5 FREE ways to measure latency from around the globe. True, this is easy to measure: fire-up firebug or open a command line window and ping around. But how do we know what our users from around the globe experience? Luckily there are many paid and free solutions out there that do exactly that. Here are some services which offer free latency and ping reports:

1. Alertra

Great for a single manual test. You also need to have a budget for this service. However, for a one time manual check, Alertra.com offers a global latency test for free right from their home page. No need to register or sign up for anything. Type your full URL including the http and page and receive the results in seconds.

2. SiteUptime

Great for free ongoing test. This service have a free ongoing monitoring per a single domain. The free service is only restricted to 30 or 60 check minute intervals. If you wish to check your site in smaller intervals you will need to upgrade to one of their paid services.

3. AlertSite

An enterprise solution for websites wanting to get a ton of information about the various response times and page load speeds from around the worlds. They offer a free trial on their website but are missing any sort of price sheet, so I have no idea as to what size websites they cater to.

4. Gomez

Another Enterprise solution for well funded websites. They do offer a free load time test here which they will email you back the report.

5. WebSitePulse

Seems to be more budget friendly than larger website monitoring services. Also offers free latency test per domain on manual tests.

What do you use for website performance monitoring service?