Extremely Slow Preview & Upload Times

I am trying to figure out what is slowing down my preview and upload times. Both are insanely slow. My site is not particularly complicated, although it does provide for a significant number of downloadable video files. RapidWeaver is essentially useless to me at present due to the impossibility for getting previews on the fly while developing. Then, once I upload, it takes ages to compile the files (even for very minor, single page edits). I am running my website package file off an external SSD for the sake of saving space on my internal SSD. Any help would be greatly appreciated. (You can see the site at seed.kiwi.nz).

Gee, that LOGO seems huge, for starters :wink:
The site looks great but you could try optimizing images, first.
That always is a start…

Everything is too big, you can make them much better!!
55x30 inches seems wasteful.

Thank you for this input. I thought it was uploading in 4K pixel size i.e. 3840x2160. I’m trying to make sure the site looks good on hi-res monitors. Is there a better way to do this?

The site doesn’t seem to have a problem running online. It is only the previewing within RapidWeaver. In addition, the uploading is only slow while it is generating the upload content within Rapidweaver. The actual upload is very quick (using a fibre connection 100Mb/s upload).

The page isn’t overly big: 2.5mb. Loads fast enough here, and even though you are pulling images from the unsplash server (naughty) those images are OK in size and weight. The header is far too big, but that won’t cause too big an issues.

If the issue is flicking between edit and preview inside Rapidweaver, I’d suggest the issue is the stacks and/or theme you are using.

What theme/framework are you using? And what stacks?


I suspect that has a lot to do with your problems.

  1. That’s not the way you load an image for HD (retina) monitors.

    Looks like you are using the Mountains theme (built-in RW 8). The recommended image size is 1080 x 720 px. Anything larger than that (with that theme) is probably a waste.

    There is a difference between Screen Density Pixels and CSS Pixesl(website measurements). CCS Pixels are DIP’s (device-independent).

    You need “special” HTML or CSS coding like srcset to address higher screen density. That theme doesn’t utilize any of that.

  2. The logo /Logo_SEED_Inverted_5906x5906.png is enormous in size for a logo. You might want to look at using an SVG.

Although those two things will slow a page load they shouldn’t be causing the preview to be slow.

What hardware are you using?

Hello Doug, thank you for responding! This exercise is helping me uncover additional areas of improvement. Thank you for that. The site is currently based on a variation of the Veerle theme. As a non-coder, plug-n-edit RapidWeaver user, what is the best stack to use for ensuring that crisp images get served up to retina / high resolution monitors? Or is there a way for me to determine which themes have this baked in? Additionally, if you have a good recommendation on this front, what quality settings would you recommend I output from Photoshop to? Unfortunately I don’t have a vector image software package.

I agree… these improvements, as necessary and as best practice as they are, shouldn’t be causing slow previews. I move between a fully upgraded MacMini 2014 at home and a fully upgraded MacMini2018 at work. These are using high speed SSDs with plenty of RAM and top processors for their model and year. I handle multi 4K video editing streams in FCPx without a problem (without engaging proxy media). So this RapidWeaver situation is a real quandary. I have wondered about whether moving the website package file onto an external SSD is a problem. However, due to the video file resources, too much space is occupied on the internal SSD to operate natively. Is there a better way to link to video files for download? Should they be uploaded to my web hosting server independently and then linked through the external resource, for instance, so that these video files are not stored inside the RapidWeaver site package file on the local machine?

Thanks again for your input. Very much appreciated.

Put the videos on Vimeo.

I really appreciate the time you’ve given up to assist me. I had been wondering about whether the stacks and / or theme might be causing problems. I have started to rebuild the site as a new project. But my fear is that this could resurface again. It takes an insane amount of time, which I don’t have, to rebuild the website. So very frustrating. Not knowing what went wrong makes me worry about a recurrence, in which case, it will no longer be feasible to continue using RapidWeaver. I’ve been using a variation of the Veerle theme, stacks 4… and a host of other fairly basic stacks. Unfortunately, things have deteriorated now such that the original project will not even call up the editing mode so that I can provide a list of additional stacks so as to answer your question. Does RapidWeaver not like to run the project package file from any destination other than the Documents folder?

Yes, I have been exploring this… and would do it without hesitation, except for the additional annual cost on top of all the web hosting costs etc. My project is a passion project with no financial return. So all costs are carried personally.

This is the site?

Looks like you are getting asome 400 status codes on the google fonts.


It still looks to me like you are using “Mountains” Rapidweaver theme:

It also looks like you are only using Stacks4stacks fontstack, adaptiveGrid, and the built-in image and text stack.

Unless there is an issue with the external SSD, it should be more than fast enough. I have a USB3 external on one of my Macs and it benchmarks about 4 times faster than another Mac that has a Apple Fusion drive. Both run RW fine.

As for images for high-density monitors(retina), you might have a look at:

It allows you to have images for the different sizes and density displays. It’s important to be able to only load what the display can handle. a 4k image is usually about 4 times larger in size so if the user can’t display it there is no point to load it.

I’m not seeing any big delays in loading the website. I’d go at it by process of elimination.

First, are you seeing the preview slowness on every page?
If you notice it’s bad on one page and not the other look at what’s different.
Second, make a copy of the project file to work with. Take a slow page, and start deleting stuff to see if you can isolate what is causing the speed issue on the preview.

Have you upgraded to RW 8.6.2? Did this happen before this version? As a test, download v8.6.1 to see if it helps.

@adrian No need for additional fees. Vimeo has a free service. That should do you fine. YouTube is free also. Yes, for more bells & whistles there are paid versions, but I doubt those are needed in your case.

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