ONE Ultimate Plugin To Reduce Server Response Time (TTFB) For Your WordPress Site

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Your WordPress site has a low Google Pagespeed Score!

That’s not good…

A slow site doesn’t just frustrate your visitors, it causes loss of conversion and sales too.

Don’t you want to improve your WordPress site’s loading speed the easy way?

Read on to learn how you can easily go from low speed score in red to high speed score in green.

You can skip through all the boring stuff and jump straight to the ultimate easy solution to instantly improve your speed!

What is Server Response Time (TTFB)?

Let’s go through some boring definition first in case you are wondering what is this TTFB.

Time To First Byte (TTFB) measures the responsiveness of your web server (i.e how long it takes for your server to respond and send the first byte of data to your visitors’ browser).

Usually measured in milliseconds (ms), a faster and more responsive web server will have a smaller TTFB number compared to a slower web server.

Importance of Fast Server Response Time

As mentioned, a slow site annoys your visitors and causes loss of conversion and sales.

Apart from this, if your site gets a lot of traffic from search engines like Google, your ranking will be affected by the slow speed, hindering your search engine ranking performance.

Google indicated that site speed is one of the signals it uses to rank pages and your site’s speed will become even more important when Google rolls out its page experience signals in May 2021.

Better be ready now to ensure your website’s search traffic will not be affected when that happens.

What Causes a Slow TTFB?

According to this Google developer, a slow TTFB usually caused by 2 primary issues:-

  • Bad network conditions between your visitor’s and your web server, or
  • A slow and unresponsive web server

What Is A Good TTFB?

A good TTFB is below 200ms according to the same Google developer. That’s like the blink of an eye!

However, finding such a web server is often difficult without costing a bomb. I usually recommend a more realistic TTFB between 200 to 400 milliseconds for a WordPress site.

Here’s a benchmark to help you check if your WordPress server is up to the recommended standard.

0-200ms Google Recommended (best if you can achieve this)
200-400ms Average (the minimum requirement)
400-600ms Slow (consider hosting switch)
800-800ms Very Slow (definitely switch hosting)
800-1000ms Unacceptable (no brainer…SWITCH!)
1000ms+ Garbage (well, this belongs to the dustbin)

Now that you know what to benchmark with, let’s measure your site’s TTFB.

Measure Your TTFB

You can use this KeyCDN tool to measure the TTFB of your web server from multiple locations.

Step 1: Go to https://tools.keycdn.com/performance and enter your website URL to start testing

Step 2: Check the TTFB of your web server from different locations. TTFB with the smallest number usually indicates the location of your server

In the example above, the server is located in Amsterdam with a TTFB of just 56ms. If a visitor comes from Amsterdam, the site will loads a lot faster for this visitor.

Test For Overall Site Speed

If you want to test the overall site’s speed instead of just the TTFB, you can use 2 different tools below.

GTMetrix

GTMetrix is a free website speed testing tool that allows you to test the overall speed of your website.

Just input your website URL and click the test button to start testing the overall speed of your website.

Google Page Speed Insights

Google Page Speed Insights is Google’s tool to help website owner test their site speed for both mobile and desktop devices.

Just put in your website URL and click the analyze button to start analyzing the speed of your site.

How To Reduce Server Response Time and increase the overall site speed?

I have been testing with lots of different options and going through tutorials after tutorials. However, the result isn’t that desirable.

Until I found a new WordPress plugin that boasts to solve the speed issue in a quick and easy way.

And I am glad I gave it a try 🙂

Nitropack WordPress Plugin: The Ultimate Speed Optimization Plugin

Nitropack is an all-in-one performance optimization service that turned my low-speed score site close to a perfect score.

The best part…it’s easy to set up and FREE!

Here’s how you can speed up your WordPress site with Nitropack

  1. Head over to Nitropack & clicked on the ‘Get Started’ button to sign up for a FREE account
  2. Select the FREE plan to start using Nitropack for free. The free plan comes with some limitations and their branding on your site. But it’s good enough to start testing and see what it can do for your website

  3. Fill in your site’s details and continue all the steps until you successfully place your order (no payment or credit card info is required)

  4. Next, go to your WordPress admin, install & activate Nitropack’s WordPress plugin
  5. Go to Settings -> Nitropack and connect the plugin to your Nitropack account

  6. Once connected, you will see this dashboard with a lot of details

There, you’re done. No difficult technical set up. It’s quick and easy.

You can test with the different optimization modes to see which one works best for your site.

Switch to Ludicrous mode and check your site using a different browser or device to ensure the site is working as before.

If it’s working fine, keep this mode as this is the best mode.

If the site becomes weird, switch to Strong mode instead.

It may take some time for your site to get cached by Nitropack, so test your site again using Google Page Speed Insights a few times until you see a different score.

Don’t like this quick and easy way and prefer the more technically challenging stuff? Then read on.

How to Reduce TTFB and Speed Up WordPress Site

About 36% of websites on the internet are powered by WordPress according to W3Techs.

This is why some of the tips below are specific to WordPress sites.

1. Switch to a Fast Web Hosting

In order to improve the TTFB & overall speed of your site, you’ll have to switch to faster web hosting.

Tips: Avoid EIG-Owned Web Hosting

Many web hostings are owned by the same company called EIG. According to Wikipedia, EIG owned 87 different brands such as Hostgator, BlueHost, and iPage to name a few.

EIG-owned web hosting is notorious for its slow servers and bad customer support. It was thoroughly discussed in social media, Reddit, and review sites.

List of Best TTFB Hosting (Non-EIG)

  • FastComet (shared hosting from USD 9.95/month
  • A2Hosting (shared hosting from USD 7.99/month)
  • WPEngine (premium hosting from USD 25/month)

I’ve personally used FastComet and A2Hosting. FastComet server is fast with great support.

A2Hosting is good and support is not too bad too.

I’ve not used WPEngine personally but I have heard great things about them from social media and review sites.

2. Keep Your Server As Close to Your Users As Possible

This is a no brainer. If a visitor from the US visiting your website is also located in the US, your website will load faster due to the closer proximity.

Most web hosting allows you to select a server location of your choice. Choose the location where most of your visitors are coming from.

3. Use a Content Delivery Network (CDN)

CDN is a network of servers across the globe. It stores a copy of your website’s files in its network and serves it to your visitors from the closest server (i.e a visitor from Singapore will load these files from its Singapore server instead of loading all the way from your US server).

You can use a free CDN called Cloudflare.  I’ve been using Cloudflare for all my sites and have seen a boost in my site’s loading speed as well as reduced TTFB.

4. Use a WordPress Caching Plugin

A WordPress site executes a lot of scripts, database operations, etc to load your website. This can slows down the TTFB and overall loading speed of your website.

caching plugin generates a static version of your website and saves it on your server. When a visitor visits your website, your caching plugin serves up the lighter static version instead of processing the usual heavier load.

One of the best caching plugins I’ve used so far is Nitropack. I consistently get very fast loading speed and a high Google PageSpeed score just by using this plugin.

NitroPack with High Google PageSpeed Score

You may also try a paid plugin called WP Rocket which has been good as well with a lot more technical setup. This is great for those that are more tech-savvy and wants more control over the different technical set up.

5. Use a WordPress Minify Plugin

A minify plugin reduces the overall file size of your website. The smaller file size will lead to files being downloaded faster and improve loading speed in the process.

The Nitropack plugin has this feature included automatically so you can get the benefits without any extra works.

However, if for whatever reason you are not using Nitropack, you can try another plugin called Autoptimize + Cache Enabler. Quite easy to set up and use although not as good and easy as Nitropack.

6. Optimize Database with WP-Optimize

A database is another crucial part of your website where all your data is stored in the database. In order for your website to load, it needs to read all the information stored in the database.

As your website starts to get bigger, your database will start to get slower due to the amount of data it stores. Thus, you will need to optimize the database periodically.

WP-Optimize is a WordPress plugin that does just that. Just install the plugin and start optimizing your database.

However, if your website is not very big, the optimization may not help much. This is why this tip is not at the top of the list.

7. Keep WordPress Lightweight

This last tip is really about removing unnecessary plugins and themes from your website.

Many WordPress sites are guilty of this, installing tons of plugins that aren’t useful or no longer needed. Which eventually slows down their website.

Go through the list of installed plugins and themes, deactivate and delete any that you think are not needed anymore.

Final Thoughts On Speeding Up Your WordPress Site

The quick and easy way to instantly boost the speed of your WordPress site is to just activate Nitropack. It’s done in just a few steps and it’s FREE! A no-brainer I must say.

Otherwise, you can try to reduce your server response times and loading time using the additional tips I shared.

Most of these tips are easy to implement. Give them a try and let me know in the comment if you encounter any issues trying to implement any of these tips.


Disclosure: Some of the links in my post are affiliate links. If you make a purchase through one of these links, I’ll earn a small commission to keep me going, without any additional cost to you 🙂

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