How To Reduce Your TTFB and Boost WordPress Page Speed

How To Reduce Your TTFB and Boost WordPress Page Speed

In this age of instant gratification, nobody likes to wait. This includes search engines and website visitors. Reducing the TTFB (time to first byte) of your WordPress site is essential to keep it ranking well and ensuring visitors don’t click away. Find out why in this article.

In today’s article, I’ll be going into detail on why TTFB is important, as well as the differences between TTFB and loading time.

I’ll also show you how to diagnose why your speed isn’t up to snuff, and improve TTFB with the help (wink, wink) of our hosting and Hummingbird plugin.

By the end, you’ll have a good idea of what you can do to ensure your viewers (or Google) aren’t impatiently tapping their fingers waiting for your website to load.

So WTH(eck) is TTFB?

Though it sounds like a text acronym, such as TTYL, TY, or TBD — it’s much more than that.

Please do not confuse TTFB with a text.

TTFB is a metric that determines when a user’s browser receives the first byte of data from your server.

A web page cannot render for any user until their browser receives that data. In a nutshell, if it’s too slow, your user may click away – thus affecting the UX, and the SEO of your site.

It’s also a way to troubleshoot a slow website by measuring how fast your website starts loading in a certain location, or with a variety of settings.

TTFB is composed of three main parts:

  1. The time needed to send an HTTP request
  2. Connection time
  3. The time needed to get the first byte of a web page
How TTFB works.How TTFB basically works. (Image source: https://varvy.com/pagespeed/ttfb.html)

The calculation of TTFB in networking also includes network latency in measuring the length of time it takes for loading.

Many people use this reading as a way to test server speed. This works, but it’s only part of the big picture.

With a CMS (content management system) like WordPress, the server must do all CMS computations necessary to produce content.

The PHP service has to load your MySQL database, retrieve content, do a calculation for the appropriate HTML output, and finally return it to the site’s visitor. Whew!

So, if you have a lagging CMS, those steps can take time and you might get back some pretty awful TTFB results. And that doesn’t always mean

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This article was written by Nathanael Fakes and originally published on WPMU DEV Blog.

Disclosure: Some of the links in this post are "affiliate links." This means if you click on the link and purchase the product, We may receive an affiliate commission.

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