ergophobe - 4:24 pm on Feb 11, 2010 (gmt 0)
adrian, have you benchmarked your app at all?
The times you're getting for runing the PHP script strike me as pretty high. 3 seconds is an awfully long time if it's the only request on the server.
You can use xDebug/CahceGrind and find out where bottlenecks are.
I did this on one site and found out that a mere 6 calls to the PHP function GetImageSize() was causing a huge slowdown on my front page. I was only using it to be able to get the image sizes for the HTML height and width attributes, so I just axed that and cut page generation by over half.
All that just to say I was aabsolutely shocked to find out how resource intensive this function was. I would never have guessed it.
Also, if my pages were regularly taking 3 seconds to run the script, I would seriously consider static caching.
Most CMS have some caching plugin, but I've also rolled my own very easily by looking for a cached version, if not found or beyond a certain age, using PHP output buffering to grab the whole page and caching it.