Time to First Byte (TTFB) is a complicated parameter. These days search engines are giving it importance in determining ranking (and thereby authority). Previously we have discussed TTFB through 2-3 articles published on this website which include What is Time to First Byte (TTFB), How to Reduce TTFB in WordPress and so on.
Generally, if you optimize your dedicated or cloud server following our guides, even with
mod_php, you can load your website’s homepage in under 3.5 seconds (on webpage test) when tested closer to the data centre. These server-side optimizations include
- Tips to Optimize Dedicated Server for WordPress Site
- Optimizing TLS including configuring OCSP Stapling
But only the above things can not improve the Time to First Byte (TTFB). Time to First Byte (TTFB) is a parameter which is related to the usage of an optimized CDN and a georedundant DNS too. So, the result is either finding some costly solutions or getting into the hand of Cloudflare. Here is a list of the most common causes which lead to a higher Time to First Byte (TTFB) time:
- Inefficient code
- Bad database design resulting in slow queries
- Misconfigured Apache2, PHP, MySQL, etc.
- Problem with the web host or physical machine
- Problem with DNS
Decrease Time to First Byte (TTFB): DNS and Web Host
TTFB is the sum of these:
- Redirect time (not always applicable)
- DNS lookup
- Connection and TLS negotiation
- Service worker startup time (not always applicable)
Some problem-free web hosts we have used in the last 13 years are Rackspace, HP Cloud, VPSDime, Linode and so on.
Unfortunately, over-optimization leads to unidentified errors and opens up security risks. The total system of the internet unfortunately is leading individual bloggers to an over-complicated world.
You can easily identify the problems with the server or configuration using web-based page speed testing tools such as Pingdom, GTMetrix, Webpagetest and so on. But it is not easy to identify the issues with DNS.
If the DNS host is the reason behind the high TTFB, then you’ll get a lower TTFB closer to your server’s data centre and a very high TTFB from distant locations such as Bangalore.
To identify the bottleneck of SSL and DNS, you need to use tools such as:
Most sites should have a Time To First Byte of 800 milliseconds or lesser. This is a test result of a client’s site tested on
A DNS server does more work than we perceive. A bad DNS server will tend to make the WordPress text editor frequently face a loss of connection (which can also happen with misconfiguration of object cache). You can check the list of faster DNS providers from
Of course, you have to check each provider’s pricing, features etc.