I've been playing with Drupal fo a couple of weeks and I like the features that are available but I have some issues with the speed.
A regular php page with some sql queries takes about 0.3 seconds to run but a simple Drupal page with a basically empty database runs in 1.6 to 3 seconds. Is this what I should expect?
I've seen that Drupal is used by some large sites, so I assume that tuned properly it works well.
When I benchmarked the page it seems that the bootstrap process takes at least half the time and sometimes up to 3/4 of the time and that's mostly loading the modules. I've added some modules and will probabply add some more but they would be the ones of use for my site.
I'm on a shared hosting server so I don't expect that I can use any of the cached code options.
Is there an advantage to go with hosts that have their own Drupal setup. Do they cache the main modules for you?