What is TTFB? How to improve WordPress TTFB

Site loading speed is an important issue, also known as TTFB. If this rate improves, your site will perform more optimally and users will wait for your site to complete.

When it comes to overall site speed, we often focus on performance and layout and structure optimizations to improve page load speed. However, sometimes it’s good to look at it from the server side, where your website is initially loaded. The initial running speed of the WordPress site should be as low as a standard value and be able to show the site to the user at the same moment of entering the address by calling the cache.

More than 80% of users will abandon your website after the initial loading speed is slow. Of course, when you want to keep more users, it is necessary to control this issue and look for the issue to improve the initial running speed of the site.

It’s true that speeding up your WordPress site can help your website in several ways.

Your users will be satisfied with your website and the overall environment of your activity, your search engines will be happier and the result will be satisfactory for you. Unfortunately, WordPress doesn’t always make it easy to deliver incredibly fast pages to your visitors. Here’s the good news: There are many ways to increase the performance of your WordPress website, and you can implement some of them right away. It just requires some continuous activity on your part. In this post, we’ll discuss why it pays to have a fast WordPress site.

Why should you speed up WordPress?

 

As a developer and SEO expert when I review new websites, nothing makes me hit the “back” button like a slow web page, and I’m pretty sure I’m not alone here, and many of you will agree with me. Site performance greatly affects user experience and largely shapes how visitors judge the quality of an online business.

With the speed and difficulty in page loading, there is little room for error. According to Google, your website should load in two seconds or less. Others and visitors start to lose interest. Page performance is also a ranking factor used by search engines, including Google.

The faster your site is, the more likely you are to achieve a favorable spot at the top of the SERPs. WordPress themes and plugins all consume valuable server resources, even if you’re not actively using them on your site. Too many things running on your web server at the same time drains its resources, slows down your pages, and overloads fast processors.

What is TTFB?

 

Time to first byte is actually a method of measuring the speed of websites. As the name suggests, the time required to receive the first byte from the server or the speed of receiving data when requesting a web page is not essential. In simple language, it can be said that this term is an abbreviation of the word time required to receive the first byte from the server. The measurement will be how long it takes the browser to receive the data in the first place.

A common misconception is that this is calculated after DNS lookup times, however, the original TTFB calculation in a network always includes network latency. This involves a 3-step process, and delays can occur anywhere in between and add to your total TTFB. The world of the web is wider than you think. Optimizing sites makes users value your site more.

TTFB vs. Load Time

TTFB is sometimes confused with the load time of a website. However, they are not the same. Load time refers to the total time of the request, including upload, TTFB, download, parsing, etc. Of course, the loading time issue is completely different from the initial speed category in the same word. The total loading time includes downloading all this information, and in this case, your site is loaded from zero to one hundred, from header to footer.

What is a good TTFB?

Google recommends a maximum TTFB of 200ms. Even 200-400ms is not a problem. Anything over 500ms is considered slow. This clearly affects overall website speed and user experience.

The better this rate is, the better your site will perform in the first place and at the initial load time. In this case, users will tolerate your site and wait for the entire site to load. So it can be said that having a good initial site loading speed is a logic that will be an answer to all the questions about whether it is important or not.

Does TTFB matter?

It’s important to understand that TTFB (Time to First Byte) is not the same as website speed. it is very important. There is a lot of debate around the web about whether or not TTFB is important. Some world-renowned servers and web hosting providers say it’s pointless (Cloudflare, LittleBizzy), and others say it’s important (Ilya Grigorik, Web Performance Engineer at Google).

Both sides raise valid points about why or why it doesn’t matter, as well as questions about how it’s actually calculated. But in fact, you should focus your attention on the experience of many websites, developers and SEO experts. The speed of the initial execution of the WordPress site is more important than you think.

Moz even did an in-depth study on the correlation between search rankings and time to first byte. However, it is hard to know if this is the reason or if sites with lower TTFB are also generally faster, which in turn could be influenced by Google’s page speed ranking factor.

Measuring the site’s initial execution speed

 

There are many methods by which you can check the speed of the initial execution of the site. Be careful that in this case the techniques will eventually provide you with the same information.

Measure TTFB with Google Chrome Developer Tools.

You can measure TTFB in Google Chrome by running DevTools. Remember though, if you’re testing from a computer that TTFB is affected by network latency and your internet connection; So it’s probably more effective to use a third-party tool (as seen below) that tests from a data center.

  • Go to the More Tools menu > Select Developer Tools from the Chrome menu.
  • Right-click the page element and select Inspect
  • Use the keyboard shortcuts Ctrl+Shift+I (Windows) or Cmd+Opt+I (Mac).
  • You can launch the network window and see how your site is performing.

This is the most common and common method used to do this, and it is completely principled. You can easily control the speed of the initial execution of the site.

 

How to TTFB improve the initial launch speed of a WordPress site in WordPress?

Now the question arises, how to improve the initial loading speed of a website? Is there a way to do this or will it all depend on the strength of your server, the important thing to know is that there are many ways to do this. First of all, it’s best to check your site’s coding structure and make sure everything is fine and dandy on that side of the story. The speed of the initial implementation of the site will be improved if almost all the defects and prerequisites mentioned below are fixed.

Optimize the speed of the initial execution of the site using the following methods.

Use Cloudflare DNS

DNS plays a vital role in page speed and TTFB. Your browser will find your server and connect to it. The faster your browser connects to the server, the faster TTFB is! The speed of initial execution of your site is greatly improved with CDNs.

Here’s how Cloudflare DNS response times compare to popular services:

Service Providers Response speed (in milliseconds)
Cloudflare 12 ms
GoDaddy 48 ms
Route 53 (AWS) 49 ms
Google Cloud 59 ms

Use a cache plugin

For each new request to a page, WordPress must execute PHP and MySQL queries. But 90% of the time you don’t need it. You can generate HTML files and serve them directly. It is very fast compared to generating it from PHP. In this case, the site’s initial execution speed will be optimized by 20%.

There are several plugins that help you enable caching in WordPress.

Use a VPS server or high-performance managed hosting

Unlike shared hosting, VPS servers and managed hosting providers do not share resources with other sites. This means a faster website for you. Currently ,  Host collection allows you to buy virtual server and VPS . In this way, the loading speed of your site will increase many times and you can use the maximum power of the server and network IP.

Use PHP v8.0 (or the latest version)

If caching or a static website is not a good solution (especially for e-commerce, forums) then increasing processing speed is the only way. It’s not just about increasing CPU and RAM. You can improve the PHP version of your site to run better and increase the initial running speed of your WordPress site. In this case, the density of processes will be less and the cores in the server can execute commands better. The speed of the site’s initial execution will also require updating the database.

Use TLS 1.3

TLS is the successor to SSL. It is a protocol for providing end-to-end encryption (HTTPS). TLS 1.3 is the latest version. Version 1.3 reduces the number of round trips in sending and receiving commands from the server and makes significant improvements to TTFB. This common practice only requires a few changes to the server, but you can reduce it to 250ms just by upgrading to TLS 1.3.

The speed of the initial execution of the site will indirectly improve the safety of your site.

Choose your server location wisely

Choose your server location wisely

If your users are in remote countries and your server is in the US, 200-300 milliseconds of network latency will be added. Choose your server location wisely. Choose a server that is very close to your contact’s location. Today, buying an Iranian server can make sense for you in many ways. Of course, this is if you do not make international exchanges and you are sure that everything is going to be implemented inside Iran. This issue is especially important for e-commerce sites that want to improve the speed of the initial execution of the site.

The speed of the initial execution of the site can be up to 50% dependent on the location of your server and hosting. Of course, we will talk about this in detail later.

 

Use OpenLiteSpeed ​​or LiteSpeed ​​Server

Using a powerful server can greatly help your site in the initial load. If you have a WordPress website, you understand this better. Block all web servers and go to Litespeed. It has great power and if you know how to manage it, everything will run properly and you can improve the initial running speed of the WordPress site according to the other steps taught to you in this article.

LiteSpeed ​​is a web server similar to Nginx and Apache that offers much better performance, especially in terms of TTFB. OpenLiteSpeed ​​is the open source version of LiteSpeed.

Cache HTML pages on CDN

Using a principled method to optimize HTML pages that take a lot of volume is an issue that you should pay attention to. The home page of your site is largely dependent on the code used in its CSS and HTML. Solve this issue as soon as possible. This can have a huge impact on your SEO.

The HTML page is the first piece your browser asks you when it visits your website. Due to several factors, Cloudflare does not cache HTML/JSON by default. However, you can write custom rules to cache HTML pages on their CDN servers. This reduces TTFB by a factor of 10 or even more. The initial speed of your site will be greatly improved at this stage.

Use Cloudflare Argo

Today, there are many CDNs in the world that manage data processing operations and network commands. You can easily use them and improve your site in terms of speed.

Argo detects congestion in real-time and directs web traffic along the fastest and most reliable network paths.

Cloudflare’s initial site execution speed can make your site much better at initial load, especially in online stores and WooCommerce.

Cloudflare powers 10% of the internet! They know which is the fastest way to deliver. With Cloudflare Argo you can increase TTFB speed by up to 35%.

Use a fast host

The first way to reduce TTFB is to make sure you are using a fast host. In today’s digital age, speed is everything. Evidence has shown that even the slightest delay in a website’s loading time can result in lost traffic. 2 seconds is generally considered to be the optimal loading time. Almost a third of potential visitors give up after 3 seconds, while 90% do so after 5 seconds.

The problem these days is not only the speed of the site, Google is also sensitive to the issue of the initial implementation of your site. In terms of search engine rankings, fast and reliable web hosting is essential to the success of any SEO campaign. Google’s algorithms are all designed to provide an optimal user experience to its users, so fast websites are rewarded with improved Google rankings.

This applies just as much to mobile loading speed as it does to desktop loading speed.

In fact, 50% of mobile users will abandon a website if it takes longer than 3 seconds. Additionally, with approximately 60% of online searches being conducted via mobile devices, Google is moving towards mobile-first indexing, which prioritizes those sites that are best optimized for mobile devices.

 

What should I expect from a web hosting service?

While web hosting allocates server space to your online content, you should be aware that the initial speed of your site depends largely on your hosting. Some of the services you can expect include:

Unlimited disk space and bandwidth

Unlimited disk space and bandwidth ensures that your website is available for visitors when they need it. Limited usage can be sufficient when your site is first starting out, but as traffic increases, your website will require more resources and flooding your website can result in bandwidth overload notifications and lost traffic.

Email accounts

Many web hosting services provide email capabilities that allow you to create multiple email addresses that use your domain name – for example: yourname@yourwebsite.com. This will help your website communications look more professional. Of course, this issue has nothing to do with the speed of the initial implementation of the site.

FTP access

FTP (File Transfer Protocol) is a standard network protocol that allows a client (you) to transfer files to a server (your web hosting provider). This means you can upload files directly from your personal or work computer to your web host’s server for inclusion on your website. The speed of the site’s initial execution will not improve in this way, but it will reduce the server pressure.

final conclusion

You can optimize or tweak many other things to reduce TTFB, such as database cache, disk IO, swap usage, RAM, PHP settings, MySQL settings, network settings, TLS overhead, etc. The speed of the initial implementation of the site requires a multi-step movement that must be done correctly.

The first entry of a user to your site is the best entry. TTFB is more important than the overall load time of your website. Note that there are many methods that can increase the speed of your site. But on the other hand, the speed of the initial execution of the WordPress site is the most important and main issue that you should remember.

Do not forget that users pay special attention to the initial load of your site. If the speed is not good, they will run away from your site. In this article, we talked about the common methods used by web developers around the world in this field and tried to provide you with at least a few lines how to implement it in principle.

The speed of the initial implementation of the site is something that you should monitor yourself as an SEO expert or web designer and programmer. I hope the above steps help you to reduce TTFB