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How to Reduce Time to First Byte (TTFB) and Server Response Times on WordPress

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How to Reduce Time to First Byte (TTFB) and Server Response Times on WordPress

Table of Contents

  • What is Time to First Byte (TTFB)?
  • Why is TTFB Important?
  • What is a Good Time to First Byte (TTFB)?
  • What Causes a Slow TTFB?
  • How to Measure Time To First Byte: 4 Options
  • 9 Ways to Reduce Time to First Byte on WordPress
  • Improve your Time to First Byte Right Away

If you have ever run a PageSpeed Insights test, you likely came across the following recommendation: “Reduce initial server response time”. The initial server response time affects the overall loading time and performance metrics such as the Largest Contentful Paint, one of the Core Web Vitals metrics. Therefore, it will also affect your PageSpeed score.

Reducing the initial server response time means that you should lower your site’s time to first byte (TTFB). TTFB refers to the amount of time it takes a browser to create a connection to the server and start downloading a web page’s contents. So, the more you can improve your TTFB, the better your performance will get.

Let’s understand what TTFB is and what causes a slow TTFB. You’ll find out how to reduce it and address the PSI recommendation. You’ll optimize your WordPress site speed and improve your LCP grade.

What is Time to First Byte (TTFB)?

Google defines Time to First Byte as a period of “waiting”:

“Time spent waiting for the initial response, also known as the Time To First Byte. This time captures the latency of a round trip to the server in addition to the time spent waiting for the server to deliver the response.”

To put it simply, TTFB is the amount of time from the moment you navigate to a web page to the moment it starts rendering – that is, the moment you’ll start seeing some content displayed on your screen.

TTFB is made up of three separate components:

1. The time it takes to send the HTTP request

TTFB starts with the HTTP request. The time it takes for a server to receive the request depends on the time it takes to perform a DNS lookup, the speed of the user’s network, the distance to the server, and any interruptions in the connection.

2. The time it takes to process the request

Once the server receives the request, it has to process it and generate a response. This involves starting processes, making database calls, running scripts, and communicating with other network systems.

3. The time it takes for the server to send back the first byte of the response to the browser

Finally, the server needs to send the response to the user. This step is dependent on both the network speed of the server and the user. If the user has a slow wifi connection, it’s going to affect the TTFB. 

Basically, the longer it takes to send a request to the server, process it, and send it back to the user’s browser, the longer it takes to display your page to the user.

Why is TTFB Important?

TTFB is a factor that contributes to your overall page speed, so it’s an important metric to keep an eye on and optimize – also to improve your Core Web Vitals grades.

It’s also worth pointing out that you shouldn’t confuse TTFB with page speed. It’s simply a metric that gives you an idea of your site’s responsiveness.

See also  Jetpack Boost – A Web Vitals WordPress Plugin

TTFB is a metric that’s (mostly) within your control that you can tweak to speed up your site. So why not reduce it to make your site faster and get a better PageSpeed score?

What’s more, when you reduce TTFB:

  • Users spend less time waiting for your site to start loading, improving the user experience – don’t forget that LCP is related to the Page Experience Update, the latest SEO ranking factor.
  • Users are less likely to bounce while waiting for content to appear on the page, meaning higher engagement and retention.

What is a Good Time to First Byte (TTFB)?

Google recommends a TTFB under200 ms. Lighthouse audit fails when the browser waits more than 600ms for the server to respond to the main document request.

If your TTFB is more than a few hundred milliseconds, there might be some bottlenecks on your server that you need to investigate.

Google recommends that sites should process user actions/inputs within 50ms to ensure a visible response within 100ms. For actions that take longer than 50ms to complete, always provide feedback, i.e., display a loading indicator or change the color for the active state.

🚀 Want to know more about the Lighthouse audit? Read our article on how to improve your Lighthouse performance score!

What Causes a Slow TTFB?

When it comes to WordPress sites, several different factors can affect Time to First Byte:

There isn’t much you can do to solve high web traffic or network issues. But there are ways you can address server configuration, dynamic content, and DNS response times, which we’ll explore below.

How to Measure Time To First Byte: 4 Options

The first step to uncovering why your TTFB is time is high is to measure it. There are several ways you can measure TTFB, but keep in mind that each of the tools below will output different TTFB, so I recommend using the tool you’re more familiar and comfortable with.

1. Measuring TTFB with GTmetrix

You can easily measure TTFB with GTMetrix, which refers to this metric as “waiting” time.

To see your results, scan your site and open the waterfall. When you hover over the first result in the list, you’ll see your loading metrics, including wait time (aka TTFB).

GTmettrix - TTFB
GTmettrix – TTFB

2. Measuring TTFB with WebPageTest

You can also measure your TTFB with WebPageTest. When you scan your site, you’ll get your TTFB in seconds.

WebPage Test – TTFB

3. Measuring TTFB with Pingdom

Pingdom also measures TTFB, referring to it as “wait” time. To use this tool, simply scan your site and scroll down the results to the “File Requests” section, where you’ll see wait times for your site and individual requests.

Pingdom – TTFB

4. Measuring TTFB with KeyCDN’s Web Performance Tool

Another fantastic tool for measuring TTFB is KeyCDN’s online Web Performance Test. It lets you quickly measure your TTFB from 14 different test locations. As you can see in the results below, the TTFB for the WordPress.org site is lower in the United States and higher in Europe, Asia, and Australia—proof that distance and latency play a big role in TTFB.

KeyCDN – TTFB

9 Ways to Reduce Time to First Byte on WordPress

Let’s look at how you can reduce the TTFB and the server response times for your WordPress site. Hint: choosing the best WordPress caching plugin will come in handy!

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1. Use a Fast Web Host

Using a fast web host that has a carefully thought-out architecture will go a long way to reducing your TTFB. Managed WordPress hosts configure their servers specifically for WordPress sites, so you can be confident your dynamic content is in good hands.

You must consider where your host’s servers are located. Choose a host that is located physically closer to where your users are. For example, if most of your users are located in Europe, it would make sense to host your site in Europe, not in the United States. (Although you can get around this with a CDN, which we’ll look at below.)

While you can’t control your site’s amount of traffic, you can manage your site’s scalability. So if you’re expecting high traffic to your site, ensure your host can scale your site quickly to improve its TTFB.

2. Use Caching

One of the easiest ways to decrease TTFB is to set up caching on your WordPress site. Caching helps decrease TTFB by helping reduce the server processing time.

Check with your web host to see what they offer as far as object caching does. Often, all you need to do is ask your host to enable it.

You can also enable WP Rocket to cache pages on your site, so your pages are delivered faster to returning site visitors. You’ll get the job done with no effort from your side. Once you enable WP Rocket, the plugin will do the job for you.

Get WP Rocket now, and test the improvement right away!

3. Use GZIP Compression

By applying GZIP compression, you’ll reduce the size of HTML, CSS, and JS files – all resources will download faster, and you’ll reduce the TTFB. 

Check out your hosting provider: some hosts enable GZIP compression by default.

WP Rocket also applies GZIP compression on sites running on Apache – you only have the enable it!

As a free alternative, you can use a plugin such as Enable Gzip Compression.

4. Optimize Your Database

A database containing too much unnecessary data – such as posts revisions, trashed and spam comments, and temporary files created by plugins – will affect your server response time. You should optimize your database’s size and run regular cleanups.

WP Rocket gives you an easy way to optimize your database, reduce bloat, and schedule automatic cleanups. 

You’ll find a dedicated tab including all the features, such as Post, Comments, and Automatic cleanup (daily, weekly, or monthly frequency):

The database tab – WP Rocket

As an alternative, you can choose a straightforward database plugin such as WP-DBManager, or an all-in-one plugin like WP-Optimize, that cleans the database, compresses images and caches the site.

5. Use a CDN

Using a good quality CDN like RocketCDN can help deliver your static content, like images and scripts, faster to users via a network of servers worldwide. This means that if your server is geographically located in Europe, for example, and your users are mostly in the United States, they will receive your site’s content from a server location that’s closer to them.

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This reduces the network latency between your site’s server and your visitors.

For more on CDNs and choose the find one, check out How to Choose a CDN: Discover the Best CDNs for WordPress.

6. Keep WordPress, Plugins, and Themes Updated

The WordPress core team and plugin and theme authors often add performance optimizations to their updates. Sometimes, this means they have optimized the queries that their code runs to the database or made updates that affect the PHP code’s efficiency.

It’s a best practice only to keep the plugins and themes you need and delete the rest. So regularly review your plugins and themes, and remove any that you’re no longer using.

The quality of your plugins can also impact your TTFB, so look out for plugins that are affecting your site’s performance. Broken Link Checker, for example, is designed to run in the background, checking for broken links every so often. The result is a slow WordPress admin and increased TTFB.

7. Reduce Queries

Often, the number of queries your site runs to get information from the database can affect TTFB. To help identify any query bottlenecks, try installing a diagnostic plugin like Query Monitor or consider a more heavy-duty tool like New Relic. The latter will help you dig into database queries that are the most time-consuming or have the slowest query time so you can find which plugins, themes, or settings are affecting your site’s page speed.

8. Use a Premium DNS Service

Typical hosting packages don’t offer premium DNS (although some managed WordPress hosts do). Investing in a premium DNS provider will ensure DNS queries are answered with low latency by using a global network of DNS servers, in turn helping to reduce your TTFB.

If you want to take this a step further, consider enabling DNS prefetching on your site. This technique lets you tell the browser to perform DNS lookups on a page in the background while the user is browsing. For more on this, check out Preload, Prefetch, Preconnect: How to Speed Up Your Site With Browser Resource Hints.

9. Don’t Forget the Latest Version of PHP

Using a 7+ PHP version will also improve your time to first byte. To give you a straightforward reason, PHP 7+ can handle almost 50% more requests per second. So, if you are still on PHP 5.6, it’s time for an upgrade!

Improve your Time to First Byte Right Away

You could implement loads of other advanced techniques on your site to improve your TTFB, such as Disk IO, TLS overhead, reducing autoloaded data, and more. But the methods we’ve covered in this article are relatively simple to implement and will give you the biggest boost for your site’s performance. In short, you need the best caching plugin for WordPress.

WP Rocket is the easiest way to improve your TTFB and achieve outstanding speed improvements while stopping to use different plugins to boost performance. And you don’t even have to touch the code!

Author:
Raelene Morey is the Co-Founder of Words By Birds, a digital writing agency that helps busy WordPress with writing articles, content strategies, lead magnets and other word-related things. A former journalist and editor, Raelene has been developing WordPress sites for over 10 years.

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Removing Malware from Your WordPress Website

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What is the best way to get rid of malware from your WordPress website? Trust me you are not the only one in search of an answer to this question. Because of the prominence of WordPress, site owners all around the world are concerned about malware attacks. Consider that for a moment. When a platform becomes so popular that it is the indisputable CMS industry leader, you can bet that hackers are looking at it as well.

How to Know If Your Site is Malware Infected?

Before anything else, let’s have a look at how to identify if your site is infected in the first place.

Some of the obvious indicators of a malware infestation are as follows:

●       Your website’s traffic has suddenly changed.

●       Your website has been suspended by your web server or Google, preventing visitors from accessing it.

●       Customers are unable to access your website or their accounts.

●       “Your site is hacked” message appears.

●       Pop-up adverts that are not approved display on your website.

●       You or your customers begin to receive a large number of spam emails.

These are just a few signs that your WordPress site may have been compromised with malware. It can harm your business’s reputation, SEO rankings, traffic, and bottom line. For SEO rankings, you should consider hiring a good SEO Agency Sydney and it will be a cherry on the cake if you also outsource WordPress development services to a professional.

Removing Malwares From A WordPress Site

It’s time to get rid of the virus from your WordPress site now that you’ve found it. This must be done in a way that the malware is completely removed from your site.

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There are two methods for removing WordPress malware –

1. Remove malware manually

Manual cleanup is a time-consuming and technical method that requires two steps:

●       Getting rid of infected WordPress files and folders

●       Cleaning the tables in the compromised WordPress database

Manual cleanups can backfire badly and damage your website due to their intricacy. Manual scanning and cleaning may not be successful against every sort of malware threat, especially as hackers devise new ways to compromise websites. Since it’s tricky, it’s advisable to hire a WordPress Developer Brisbane who will know it all about this complicated technical process.

 2. Use a malware plugin

All you have to do is download a security plugin on your site and they’ll take care of the rest.

Malware attempts and attacks do not occur infrequently, they will happen again. Hackers will try to infiltrate your website once more. You must ensure that your website is secure in the future. And what’s the ideal approach to do this? Outsource services to a professional wordpress developer Brisbane like WP Creative, who will make all the tedious tasks easier for you.

Author: Amelia Thompson is an experienced content writer who has written various useful articles on SEO Agency Sydney, WordPress Developer Brisbane and many more. To read all such articles you can visit: https://wpcreative.weebly.com/seo-services-sydney.html

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WordPress 5.9 to Introduce Language Switcher on Login Screen

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More than half of all WordPress sites (50.5%) are using translations for non-English speaking locales. It’s only natural that these users would want the ability to register, log in, and reset their passwords in their own languages. A new language switcher on the login screen has finally made its way into core, four years after the ticket was opened.

WordPress 5.9 will introduce a new dropdown on the login screen that will display all the languages that are currently installed. (New languages can be added under the Settings > General screen in the admin.)

In a dev note for the new features, WordPress Core Committer Jb Audras demonstrated how developers can filter the default arguments for the languages dropdown. This might be useful for sites that have dozens of languages installed where administrators only wish to display a handful in the dropdown.

WordPress 5.9 beta 3 was released last week. In addition to the new language switcher, the latest beta also includes the following:

  • Editor: Add FSE infrastructure from Gutenberg plugin into Core (#54335).
  • Formatting: Allow PDFs to embedded as objects (#54261)
  • REST API: Add navigation areas REST API endpoint from Gutenberg plugin (#54393)
  • Themes: A fix for the Live Preview button bug (#54578)

RC1 is expected January 4, 2022, which will bring a code freeze for both Gutenberg and core and a hard string freeze. Contributors are also aiming to have the field guide with dev notes published at this time.

If you have time to contribute during the upcoming holiday weeks, the 5.9 release team welcomes more testing for bugs. Anne McCarthy has published a detailed guide to testing the full-site editing features that are anticipated in 5.9. Testers should check against the list of known issues before reporting bugs on Trac or in the Alpha/Beta forums.

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WordPress SEO: More Success in Google Marketing

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WordPress is the most popular content management system, but many websites do not take full advantage of its SEO capabilities.

Why CMS was originally designed as a pure blogging software urdPress It has thrived to become number one in the world over the years, not just because of its simple and largely coding-free handling. WordPress is also ideal for many of the typical SEO tasks that need to be done to get a good ranking on Google & Co.

So if you rely on a CMS with an attractive graphical user interface, you are killing two birds with one stone: with WordPress, not only can a new website be created in a visually appealing way, but the content can also be relatively easily optimized for a good standing in search engines. This does not even require in-depth programming knowledge.

Of course it also causes WordPress No wonder: The top three positions in Google and other search engine results cannot be reached overnight. But there are ways to boost luck a bit. With the following 3 SEO tools, you can set your WordPress site to achieve sustainable SERP success (SERP = Search Engine Ranking Position). Ideally, this can be done at the planning stage of a new web project.

Anyone who plans the best possible technical and basic foundation for a new WordPress installation right from the start will also later be on top in the search results. As everywhere, the same is true in the digital world: a good foundation pays off. Even if the €1 super bargaining web space offers may sound tempting – if you’re in full swing here, you’ll at least run into trouble when the load gets too high. And it often happens faster than you might imagine when building a great new WordPress website.

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The reason: Most WordPress sites buy a wide range of functionality through the use of various plug-ins, so-called plugins. This is practical because you can save planning and programming efforts with add-ons. But add-ons are sensitive to pressure on the growing number Site performance ratings.

If your web project is also located with several third-party websites in a small shared web space on a crowded cheap server, this quickly becomes noticeable with long loading times, choppy transitions, and poor Google rankings. Last but not least, Google rates websites based on load times: they largely want to spare searchers a bad user experience on poor websites.

So your work does not depend on an ultra-cheap display of web space, but on a display of appropriate dimensions Offer WordPress Hosting Ideally with the following features which are essential for good web performance:

  • Fast PHP version, better PHP 7.3 or higher,
  • Server-side caching, for example with OPcacheAnd
  • Server-side compression with eg gZIP or shrink And
  • the talk HTTP/2.

If there is one point missing from this list of minimum requirements, you should look for a different basis for your new WordPress project right away. The features listed together ensure a comprehensive basic performance configuration of the web server.

Do you know the greatest performance that can be found on almost all WordPress sites? It’s the pictures. This is where even experienced web designers, web developers, and content managers find a really practical WordPress function to be a killer when it comes to performance: Autofocus! This ensures that graphic and image elements that are too large also fit into the template being used as if by magic. But this only happens visually – the actual file size remains unchanged. This costs valuable computing power – with every page view.

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The good news: What used to be very difficult to deal with is now implemented with specially designed accessories such as EWWW Photo Enhancer. Once installed and configured, the powerful plugin automatically ensures that even large image and graphics files no longer turn into a dreaded PageSpeed ​​killer on your WordPress site.

Also called logical lazy loading, which is an optimization technique by which content is loaded only when it comes to your website’s visitors – not, as is usually the case, when the page is initially loaded. This delays downloading and serving content that is not currently needed. Technology becomes especially interesting when a website has many embedded videos and high-resolution images. It’s easy to find lazy loading using keyword research in the WordPress plugin library. Anyone who uses it will quickly find that the dreaded Google SpeedTest just got a whole lot better.

with Performance – Optimierungs – Plugins how automatic optimization or W3 Total Cache Source code components such as CSS, HTML, and JavaScript can also be highly compressed. They usually also offer the option to activate additional browser caching options. A little tip: anyone who has already paid attention to the most important performance features when choosing a server can forget this point. In this case, optimal caching is already provided from the start, leaving nothing undesirable – and usually greatly bypassing any CMS-indexed option.

Powerful, perfect also pre-installed Netzwerk Content Delivery (CDN) It is another important CMS-level improvement key. Because whenever the distance between your server location and where the user wants to access your WordPress website is too large, valuable milliseconds are wasted in response times. Due to its network structure, a CDN significantly reduces these response times, thus contributing to a fast user experience, which is ultimately reflected in search engine optimization (SEO) results.

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Even if the above technical settings at the server and WordPress level form the basis for successful WordPress SEO, it often ends up being the last optimization step: the best possible content for site visitors (and thus also for search engines).

Fortunately, there are a number of useful plugins for this task that make life easier for webmasters. The plugin is one of the most popular software for WordPress SEO in recent years Yoast Seo Created, which can be found and installed using keyword search in the included plug-in library.

When creating new articles, it is useful to hit the front in terms of content, keyword technique, and text length. Importance descriptive information Such as title, description and so-called open graph data can be stored quickly and easily using the handy plugin. (hv)

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