CE4 Client Response slow initial load

Hi guys,

Apologies for advance for the question on such an old product, but it still works and aside from this I’ve had no issues with it for years.

I have noticed the first time a gallery is opened it takes a full minute to load, with no indication from the page that anything is happening. Some of my less tech-savvy clients panic and reload the page and cause it to fail… so just wondering if this is expected behaviour and if there are any options available.


Has your host updated php lately? A newer version might negatively affect CE4.
Are the images in the gallery larger than you usually use?
Can you post a link to a gallery so Ben and Matt have something to look at?

Hi Rod, thanks for your quick reply.

PHP: I have switched to a new hosting provider recently and had issues getting CE4 to work, they downgraded me to PHP 5.6 and it’s now working as before. Just to be clear, I have had this behaviour for years so I don’t think it’s related to the hosting change.

Image size: 1024x768

Gallery: I have just uploaded a fresh one for you to view, I haven’t accessed it yet:


Email: dan@dtphotography.co.nz
Password: test1234

Does the number of images in the gallery affect loading times? Some of my shoots are quite large (around 1000-2000 images) I tend to break the galleries up into 300-400 images per gallery

I don’t really remember what the limit was, but yes, I believe gallery size affects load time.

It loaded pretty fast for me

Huh, that’s strange. How fast is fast?

I did create a new client for you to log in, could that have something to do with it?

Well less than a minute. Seemed pretty quick.

I don’t know, but I doubt it.

I’m currently uploading a new 400 image gallery and will assign it to an existing client to rule these out. I’ll post another link once the upload is finished.

Can I send you the new login details privately?


Further to this, the gallery loaded quickly for Rod even with a slowish internet connection. I just tried to load it myself with fast fibre and it sat there doing nothing for ~65 seconds and then showed this screen for about 10 seconds and then loaded.

If anyone else has any ideas please let me know.

That screen, looks like you’re going through some sort of DNS proxy or something. That’s not CE4. Could be Cloudflare, or something similar that’s acting as a gatekeeper to your website. And if that’s displaying 65 seconds into the wait, then for that 65 seconds, you haven’t even reached the image gallery yet.

Thanks Matthew, so is that a problem with my website server or my network here at the studio?

Sadly, I don’t have insight into where that page is coming from. It’s not Backlight, though, and appears to be occurring before Backlight is invoked to load. I’d talk to your host support for sure. If you’re setup with Cloudflare, or something similar, that would be worth a look as well.

Since your albums loaded fast for me, I’m now wondering if the problem could be with your ISP or maybe with the browser you’re using.

How fast do the albums load on your phone? (assuming the internet service provider is different on your phone than your studio).

Have you tried different browsers?

I’ve cleared out all the old cookies for my gallery subdomain on this browser, everything seems to be loading really quickly now.