Figuring out Crons

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# 1  
Old 10-12-2007
Question Figuring out Crons


I've built a news site using SimplePie to pull in a set of feeds and display them on a page. The caching is working but the problem is that the first initial load is slow. After that, you can hit refresh and it loads very quickly. I'd like to eliminate that first slow load by creating a cronjob, which is what I've heard many other people do. I'm very new to crons and programming in general so hopefully someone can help me understand this.

I found one example of a guy using the following cron to automatically visit his page and he syncronized the cache duration, thus eliminating any slow starts:

0,15,30,45 * * * * wget -q --spider

The problem I found was that my host doesn't support wget (or lynx, or ssh) so I've been trying to write a cron that will achieve the same results but using either curl or php. Here is what I have so far:

*/15 * * * * curl --silent --compressed

*/15 * * * * php /home/username/public_html/index.php

Again, I found these examples from reading other resources so I'm not entirely sure what they're doing or if they're correct for my situation. I've also set the cache duration to match at 15 minutes. When I run either the curl or php cron above, in my e-mail I receive the entire html source for the specified index.php. I'm assuming this means they're working correctly, but still my news page has that initial slow load. I'm open to any thoughts or ideas. Thanks in advance.
# 2  
Old 10-12-2007
If you run the php command like that you will bypass the webserver so it may not be cached, it depends what type of chache you are using.

You probably have the "ab" apache benckmarking tool, you can pass a URL to it and it will load the page through the webserver.
# 3  
Old 10-12-2007
Thanks for the fast response, Reborg.

I'm not sure what type of cache I'm using. Is there a quick way to find out? It's whatever is default when using SimplePie, because I haven't changed it.

Could you please describe how I might use the "ab" apache benckmarking tool? I have not heard of it before and would not know where to begin. If you could provide an example of how I would use that to pass the url through, I would really appreciate it. Again, thank you for the reply.
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