The time-to-first byte (TTFB) shows how much time has progressed in milliseconds while collecting the first response (byte) from any webpage. In simple ways, the TTFB is a way to measure the web page’s speed.
The lower the TTFB, the quicker a web server responds. Hence, the TTFB is also called the waiting time. The time period that your browser has to spend waiting for a response from the web server.
Today, we’re gonna cover why FFTB is important, it’s connection with the search engines, and on top of everything, we’ll explain the deepest method to decrease TTFB to an insane level.
Why is TTFB important?
There are plenty of other factors besides TTFB that can affect the page’s speed. And let’s be honest, you need to do more than just worrying about terms about which you have been unfamiliar till now. What’s the importance of TTFB, why do you need to do something with it, and even more importantly, how to do that “something.”
There’s so much buzz about TTFB because currently, it’s in the front row. It’s the basis of all speed improvements that you can imagine. A high TTFB directly influences and always ensures slow loading of the website.
Moreover, the TTFB is easy to improve and actually takes less time and hassle than other speed metrics. We’ll come back to that later!
Currently, let’s understand the relation between TFB and Google.
How important is TTFB for search engines like Google?
Here’s a bit of confusion. In itself, the importance of time-to-first-byte for search engines isn’t that clear. We all know that Google itself exclaims that speed is a huge ranking factor, and the world follows it, but on the other hand, Google also says that they don’t look upon TTFB as a direct ranking factor.
If you’re just a reader of Google’s statements, then you’re missing much. You should read those statements a few times and research a bit.
In the case of TTFB also, Google says that TTFB isn’t used by itself. However, it’s still a good indicator of website speed, and that’s the point worth concentrating on.
Correlation research exclaims that TTFB has a remarkable connection with the search results. A low TTFB relates to a high position in Google, while A higher TTFB corresponds to a lower position in Google.
But what does that mean? Simply, it seems that Google uses some metric that’s remarkably dependent on TTFB, like First Meaningful Paint.
Why is the time-to-first byte critical for visitors?
Speed holds great significance on the internet; as per recent research by Google itself, the instance of a user leaving the website doubles with the loading time of over 3 seconds. You probably agree that, on the internet, nothing seems as irritating as a slow-loading website. Don’t you quickly click the website away and search for something else. When do you come across such sluggish sites?
Site speed is extra important For webshop owners. Visitors on a slow website are very less likely to click on products within that webshop and hence make far fewer purchases. Just 2 additional seconds can actually halve the conversion. A high TTFB is also called a conversion or website killer.
It’s crucial to know that TTFB isn’t the same as a website’s speed. The website’s speed is determined by several other factors, for example, the time it consumes to show a specific webpage in the browser. However, the TTFB plays a vital role in the site’s loading time.
What is a good TTFB?
Anything lower than 600ms is a good time to the first byte for any web page, according to Google lighthouse. A TTFB of over 600 ms causes a failed audit. If it ranges between 300 and 500 ms, it’s considered ‘reasonable,’ and below the 200 ms limit, Google finds it ‘good.’
Lower TTFB is better, and that makes many technical SEO experts recommend keeping it at 150 to 200 ms, and below 150 is an excellent response time.
What are the best Way to reduce server response time
1) Check Your Hosting
No matter what it is, web hosting always plays a huge role for whosoever runs a website. You may try a thousand ways to bring traffic to your website, but if your webpage doesn’t open rapidly after clicking, then truly, nothing can be more hectic.
Server response time plays a vital role in the loading of the page. No matter if everything decreases the page loading speed, but in the end, you may miss your target of dragging the TTFB inside the limit only because of the server response time.
Most importantly, it depends upon your host, and you actually can’t do anything about it except switching to higher plans where server response time is appreciable or simply switching to another host.
We highly recommend you to test the ping, latency, etc., before choosing your web hosting in order if you don’t want to face tough times in reducing TTFB in the future.
Many web hosts claim to offer great ping and latency, but there are very few who openly display it, and Accuweb Hosting is one of them. For example, you can check THIS PAGE and check ping of whichsoever among the 15 servers available.
Accuweb Hosting is currently among the best web hosts in the world when it comes to minimum server response times.
2) Choose Your Web Server Carefully
Choosing the right web server isn’t that tough, and it doesn’t need deep technical knowledge. Apache powers over 50% of all websites globally and is the most popular web server. But the question is, should you stay stuck to Apache only?
However, we’d advise you to go with the popular and dependable ones only, and not try any server about which you don’t have much knowledge.
3) Optimize Your Web Servers
Just choosing the right web server isn’t going to do for you. The further need is to optimize it. There’s nothing wrong with staying stuck with the default settings, but we can’t exclaim that it will work perfectly for all.
You need to understand your usage patterns and needs and then decide what’s optimal for you. Although optimizing a web server isn’t as hectic as it sounds, no generalized solution is available for optimizing a web server.
You can research on the internet to get additional information on how to reap the ultimate performance out of your server. Forums can be amazing at providing such deep knowledge.
4) Reduce Bloat
In order to perfectly search engines optimize your website, it’s essential to recognize how search engines, such as Google, find your website conveniently. Search engines use programs known as spiders to search through a site’s content to find search queries and keywords.
A reduction in the code to content ratio helps search engine spiders to quickly find your website. Too much unnecessary code leads to slow website loading speed, so the chances increase that a potential customer will head somewhere else to find what he wants.
By moving all CSS files and scripts so that they are external it improves the load time for your web pages and ensures that search engine spiders face no difficulty in finding you.
Another thing to consider is that excess code increases the chances of coding errors. This doesn’t affect your site’s search engine optimization directly, but it can cause trouble with the search engine spiders. In case you are the designer of your website, you should make compulsory changes to eliminate the code bloat.
If you hired any company or individual to create your company’s website, you need to talk with them about effective ways that lead to code bloat reduction and make your website highly appealing to search engine spiders.
5) Optimize Your Database
Today’s complex applications run hundreds of SQL procedures and even thousands of SQL statements during a normal workload. How to ensure that your databases can tackle the level of activity taking place within your environment?
In case you are tasked with improving and maintaining database performance, you already know that SQL indexes and queries can sometimes be incompetent and need to be optimized.
There are several different factors and considerations that can affect SQL code and database performance, and tuning and optimizing SQL statements can be very time-consuming. However, it can help you improve system productivity and performance.
Today we explain some best practices to help you in Database performance tuning.
Optimization of Indexes
Indexing can be called the spine of any relational database system. However, too much and too little of an index is wrong. Hence, we need to maintain a balance. For any database, no index directly affects the functions of a SELECT statement. On the flip side, an excess of indexes causes the queries to slow down. Both the cases are ugly.
When we discuss indexing, the fields used with their order play a vital character during the database performance tuning.
The number of unique values present in one column of the table is the main information to be examined while indexing. Thus, you should optimize the indexing to decrease this gap between the two processes.
Estimate the growth
The database stores all the data for the indexed columns during the process of indexing.
But in case of any addition or changes of rows, it affects the value of the data stockpiled in the index. As a result, the database accommodates the new rows by identifying the data. This newly reorganized data impacts the indexing and causes a negative effect on the DML queries.
The best solution to this issue is an estimated growth speed for the database. Once you know the time gaps at which there will be some additions, you can specify the same for the index. The common word used to mention an Oracle database’s estimated growth is PCTFREE (percentage Free).
Division of storage
Even in the modern-day, physical hard drives meet several challenges in performance. Sometimes, they fail to tackle the exorbitant processing speeds. With the expansion of databases, a single storage device begins to slow down. This impacts the database performance tuning process.
Hence, the database management system permits the user to split the data into multiple drives to reduce pressure on a single storage device.
The division depends on the sum of data, and it can even be run on a single table. As you divide the storage on various devices, you ensure better performance of databases and optimum output.
Foreign Key constraints
Foreign Key constraints is a commonly used term for maintaining data integrity. However, it also affects your database’s performance. So when the attention is on performance, you need to modify the database performance tuning process.
Avoiding foreign key constraints and diverting focus from data integrity leads to a substantial improvement in the database’s performance. While most users are stressed about integrity, it’s worth noting that you can perform the data integrity process in the application layer.
This elevates the level of performance without pressurizing the database. The presence of system tables holding the user’s metadata information about databases is the best example.