Visitor Can Only View a Certain Number of Pages Before Website "Times Out"

Hey all,

I run online communities and one of the most active members of one of them, who is also a staff member, is having some trouble and I thought I might ask here. I am not sure if this is a web hosting issue specifically, but I thought that might be the most appropriate forum.

According to her, she is able to visit one or two pages (maybe five or six in some cases) before the next page she tries to go to “has taken too long to respond” and “times out.” She then says that if she clears her browser history and cookies, restarts the browser, it usually works again but the cycle repeats.

Just to knock some details out of the way:

  • I have a VPS with LiquidWeb.
  • She is the only person who has reported having this problem.
  • I cannot replicate the problem and have no trouble at all visiting the website.
  • She is using Firefox. Apparently Chrome crashes for her (in general, not just on my website).

I really have no idea what it could be, though I suspect it is an issue that isn’t common and may be unique to her. Does anyone have any thoughts?

I appreciate your time.



If she is the only one having this problem, it clearly isn’t your VPS.
Has she checked her internet broadband connection? Tell her to clear the cache in her browser.

Years ago I had this problem with my web host for a few weeks before it went away. One out of every so many page requests (I think it was 9 - 12 or something like that if my memory is right) would result in a page not found error. It was a problem with something in the data center. Bad router or switch or something I think. There are lots of places where something can go wrong between the user’s computer and the destination server.

It is strange that only one person is experiencing this problem. Have her run some traceroutes to see if she can find out where the request dies. It could be a problem with her ISP somewhere along the line. Since she is the only one having the problem, her ISP’s network would be the first place to start looking.

Thanks for the helpful replies. I appreciate it!

shanshan, she is seemingly only experiencing it on my site. Each time she has the issue, she clears her history and cookies (though she might not be clearing her cache…) and then it works for a few pages again.

cheesedude, what type of thing would she be looking for with a traceroute? I’m not experienced with them.

I appreciate your time.


A traceroute reports the path that a request takes from a computer to its final destination.

Assuming the use of windows, one can run a traceroute by opening a command prompt and typing:


Or as the case may be.

The command prompt can be found on Windows by going into the Start menu and typing “cmd” in the search box or going to the All Programs -> Accessories folder.

What the person should be looking for is for the final entry on the traceroute output to be the destination web server. If the traceroute fails to make it, then there is a problem along the line. Subsequent requests may take different routes to the destination server, so multiple tests should be performed. This is an excellent article that I think will explain things better than I can:

Also, since the person is having consistent problems, maybe they could try accessing the site using a proxy just to see if the problems continue or not. A proxy like If they have problems accessing directly and no problems accessing via proxy, then that can help isolate it to their ISP’s network–or not. It depends on where the problem lies.

Thanks cheesedude! I appreciate it. :slight_smile:


Could this be keepalive?? It just sounds too consistent for it to be packet loss problems (that’s what traceroute is used for diagnosing).