How to Reduce Time to First Byte WordPress?

Question

Time to first byte WordPress. How important is TTFB and do you include TTFB as one of the factors to determine if the hosting plan is right for you?

I have struggling to improve my TTFB, I have noticed that my two sites on the same server have different TTFB, the first one is HTTPS enabled and the second one is HTTP only. The first has 272 ms average TTFB, while the second is at 52 ms average.

Because HTTPS is mandatory, I am looking for any advice on how to improve SSL speed in TTFB or something similar.

Regarding TTFB and DNS lookup speed. I was told that DNS speed is also vital for TTFB. So I checked and saw that my nameserver are pretty slow, like 130ms. Cloudflare nameserver for instance is like 10ms. So is it ok to say that moving nameservers to Cloudflare will save 120ms TTFB?

Time to first byte WordPress

I’ve been designing websites with Divi for almost 2 years now. I use the WPMUDEV pro tools to optimize, upkeep, and monitor the sites, including Hummingbird for site speed. For the life of me, I can’t get the time to first byte time under the 1 second (which is ages, in Google terms).

I’ve tried alternative tools, like W3 total cache and WP Fastest cache (not together, obviously) to see if I could reduce that. Everything else aces ate webpagetest.org, just the TTFB is always a D or worse.

I also contacted our hosting provider and they recommend page caching as the only solution. We run a fairly beefy VPS, so it’s not a shared host. Any tips would be helpful.

Time to first byte WordPress
in progress 0
Shon Allen 2 weeks 2 Answers 0

Answers ( 2 )

  1. TTFB delay on the WordPress site is usually caused by

    So many variables that begin with the webserver, host network, and connection, DNS, the level of network the site is routed on, whether or not CDNs are parts of any level, etc.

    Divi Theme TTFB

    I got a TTFB of <50ms on a custom made site, which represents the same as the one built with Divi. I got a dedicated server of my own. DNS seems not the problem (can measure that in the program), no CDN for the moment. I use free Cloudflare and Cloudflare minification on all sites. W3TC minification often jacks the display where CF’s doesn’t.
    When you remove cache or delivering the page from a CDN, the TTFB will depend on many factors including
    – How fast the DNS service used
    – How computing-intensive is the page to generate
    – The CPU power available to execute the task
    – The protocol used to send/receive requests
    – The distance between the browser and the server
    – How fast the Internet connexion the visitor has (applies to the server too)
    So, TTFB will vary depending on the above. Generally speaking, anything above 300ms requires checking things out and finding fixes to lower the TTFB. static pages will always have a faster TTFB because they don’t need processing.
    That’s why caching helps. It’s similar to using a (temporary) static page to some extent
    A fast TTFB can be achieved without caching if:
    – the page doesn’t have any dynamic/data-heavy component, like getting a list of posts or products for example.
    – the visitor is close to the hosting service.
    WPX Hosting has the best TTFB for DIVI and any theme also
     

  2. TTFB is not all on the hosting, there are enough processes that occur before serving the first byte response. hosting is the most important, sure, but not all of it.
    A-records need to direct the signal to the right server promptly, so if you’re on a poor DNS that takes time to resolve requests – this will add time to TTFB. This looks like it can be improved from the screenshot.
    If your website uses TLS (not SSL) for HTTPS, then check if they have ALPN support on the server (and HTTP/2 for good measure). A tool that can help check both fast:
    https://tools.keycdn.com/http2-test
    Most importantly, if your website produces a lot of calls to the database to compile the HTML document for your page – it will result in a higher TTFB than 200ms which is the recommended maximum. So look into your plugins and see if there are any you can replace/remove that also reduces calls to the database. There will always be some, but the fewer you have (or the more tasks your templates resolve initially) – the quicker the HTML document will be ready to be shipped to the end-user.

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