A data center (14) receives a request (22) for content from a browser (12) on a client (11). The data center determines whether the requested content is available at the data center. The content is available when the content is both present at the data center and current. The content may be expired and marked as non-available in response to an expiration command (24). When the requested content is available at the data center, the data center returns the requested content to the data center. When the requested content is locally unavailable at the data center, the requested content is retrieved from an origin server (18). The retrieval of the content from the origin server may be delayed based on the processing load at the origin server. When retrieval of the content is delayed, the request is prioritized and placed in a queue for handling by the origin server based on the priority of the request. Also, when retrieval of the content is delayed, a status page may be communicated to the browser to inform a user of the delay and provide alternate content (139) and status information related to the request determined as a function of the request or the current state of the origin server.