How to efficiently add an initial loading screen to Vanilla Forums?

TLDR: How can I visually show the user that the Vanilla Forums is initially loading (takes 10 secs), but with minimal extra loading time.

Unfortunately due to Vanilla Forums/slow PHP, it takes ~10 seconds to initially connect to Vanilla Forums, afterwards it’s only a few seconds (to e.g. click on a post).

Many of my users have complained that they thought the forums were not working since it takes a very long time to initially load. So how could I efficiently add a loading screen/page while the forums is loading?

I was thinking of redirecting the first forum visit in 30 mins, to a loading page and then to Vanilla Forums (so they see the loading page while forums load)

However, this method would be inefficient as it will add in ~2 seconds of just, well, loading a loading screen. Is there any more efficient way? Perhaps through .htaccess? Thanks.

Otherwise I would probably just have to redirect to a loading page beforehand, and I’d just cache the page to try minimize loading. Any suggestions appreciated, thanks.

If you have used Cloudflare then you are in luck.
Cloudflare has an app in it’s app store called “Pace”. Pace is a good looking loading screen and it’s customizable also.

Go to → Apps → Pace
Then install it.

Thanks. Unfortunately I’m using a free subdomain, which Cloudflare cannot be activated on. I will definitely check this out if I ever get a proper domain name.

Also, does Pace allow for a dark theme/loading screen, as my whole site, including forums, is using a dark pallet and a 10 second screen of white would be very unappealing.

Any other ideas?

EDIT Perhaps I will finally buy a domain to do this, if there is no other good solution.

You can use free made scripts and integrate it with your site if you are comfortable with programming.

I am comfortable with programming, just I don’t want to touch the forums code.
I know I can display popup when the forums is clicked on my navigation bar, but what about if the user directly follows the forum link without pressing my navigation bar?

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