Yes, the chat is gone temporarily. It is little used, but puts the server under heavy load weather it is used or not. You may notice that the site is running a bit smoother without it.
No worries, it will be back soon, I am looking into other options. :3
It's not really page-loading, it's more like graphical hitches. Like it can fully load the page, but it'll freeze for a moment, then draw to the screen. Then I'll start scrolling and it'll freeze every few milliseconds until it catches up. Occasionally it'll do it while typing in the reply box, or when scrolling again, but it's not as bad as when the page first loads.
Time to create page: 0.563 seconds
Time to create page: 0.331 seconds
Time to create page: 0.340 seconds
Time to create page: 0.415 seconds
Time to create page: 0.329 seconds
It comes up pretty quickly when it comes up, but it takes a bit of thinking before loading at all.
This is how long it took to load topic page, clicked on from the "Recent Topics" page:
Time to create page: 0.308 seconds
To load this reply page:
Time to create page: 0.245 seconds
To load The Northern Arizona Welcome Thread, going from "Recent Topics" and opening in a new tab:
Time to create page: 0.556 seconds
I open threads in a new tab, because going back and forth from the Recent Topics, to a thread, back to Recent Topics, to a new thread, takes too long. I just open several threads in new tabs, then can close each as finished, and open the next few threads in more new tabs. This is on a desktop, of course. I tend to stay away from the site when on my tablet, since that process is a bit awkward on it.