27-11-2021

What Is Time To First Byte, And How To Improve It?

Website speed is an important factor when it comes to user experience and conversion rates. Websites that load slowly often frustrate visitors, who might leave the website altogether.

There are different ways to improve your website speed. One way is to optimize images and get rid of any unnecessary content from your website. Another way might be to reduce the number of page loads on your site, which may not only improve the user experience but also increase search engine visibility for competitive keywords.

What Is Time To First Byte?

TTFB is a measurement of how long it takes for the webserver to receive and process a request and then send back an answer. For example, say that a user requests for a web page hosted on the server with IP address 1.2.3.4, and the server executes the request in 3 ms (milliseconds). The TTFB is 3 ms because it took three milliseconds for the server to execute your request and send back an answer. 

There are several factors that affect TTFB, including network speed, server location, and how much traffic the server is getting. The more visitors are on your site, the longer it will take for your browser to get the first byte of information from the server.

What Is Considered A Good Time To First Byte?

The TTFB includes time for DNS resolution, TCP handshake, SSL negotiation, and the application protocol negotiation. All these different things have to happen before you can get that first byte of data.

A good time to first byte is when the server responds within 200-300 milliseconds.

How to test TTFB?

There are many ways to test your website's TTFB: you could use network monitoring tools such as Pingdom or WebPageTest. You can also use browser-based tools such as WPT, WebPagetest, and more. These tools will measure your website's TTFB and let you know whether there are any issues with loading time or rendering on your pages. Webpagetest is a web performance measurement tool that allows you to test the speed of a website. When running a test, WebPagetest automatically runs all tests against your site and provides precise measurements so you can find out how quickly your website responds.

 

Checking your TTFB in WebpageTest.org

 

What Causes Slower TTFB?

There are a variety of reasons why a TTFB can be slower.

Some of them are listed below:

  • A slow server, for example, could have a significant impact on the TTFB.
  • Outdated software packages could also have an effect.
  • In some cases, it could be the action of a spammer or hacker that has slowed down the process of loading content from your server.
  • The same principles apply to bandwidth issues - slow speeds will cause TTFB delays.

It is important to always monitor your website's response time and make sure that it is as short as possible at all times!

Why improve TTFB?

People often confuse TTFB with page load time. TTFB refers to the time it takes for the browser to request the first byte of data from a server and receive it. It’s measured in milliseconds (ms) and is an especially important metric if your site loads more than one asset, such as JS or CSS files because they can interfere with each other’s loading times.

Improving TTFB is important because if it takes too long, users will get frustrated and leave your site. Google ranks pages with low TTFBs higher in its search engine results pages (SERPs) than sites with high TTFBs.


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