When checking website speed, you may have seen the Server Response Time indicator. This is one of the metrics that can affect the loading time of your website.
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And as we know, To pass Google’s Core Web Vitals update, your website’s speed should be maximum. Because Core Web Vitals are Google’s ranking factors.
Reducing the server response time (Time To First Byte) is necessary, otherwise, the website will take a very long time to load and of course, Google doesn’t like it.
While Google says a good website must have a server response of 200 milliseconds or about 0.2 seconds. But what are the impacts when the website has a server response time of more than 0.2 seconds, and how to overcome it?
Before that, let’s look at What is Server Response Time?
What is Server Response Time?
Time response or commonly known as Time to First Byte (TTFB) is server response time measuring how long it takes to load the HTML it takes to start rendering pages from your server, after deducting the network latency between Google and your server.
There may be a difference from one response time to the next, but the difference shouldn’t be that big. Highly variable server response times can indicate an underlying performance issue.
Don’t make your website visitors wait a long time for your website page to load, friend. Slow server response time is one of the possible causes for long page loads.
TTFB involves a 3 step process that can occur anywhere between the browser and the server, which can increase the total time of the TTFB:
1. Request to Server
When a visitor visits your website, the first thing that happens is that an HTTP request is sent from the visitor’s browser to the server. In this process, several factors can cause delays. The first of course is the internet connection from the visitor, then the slow DNS, the geographical location of the server that is far from the visitor’s location, or it could be because of the firewall.
2. Server Processing
After the request is sent from the visitor’s browser, the server will now process the request and will make a response. In this process several things can hamper the time such as a slow database calling process, too many 3rd party scripts, not caching for first response, having bad WordPress code, and inefficient server resources like disk or memory.
3. Respond to Client
After the request is processed by the server, now the server will send a response or as discussed sending the first byte. This process is greatly influenced by the internet connection, the faster of course the faster the first byte will be sent and vice versa.
Reducing Server Response Time
Many websites do not pay attention to server response times, the result is that their websites take a long time to load and lead to Google rankings. The reason google requires a 0.2 second TTFB server response time is due to the loss of some of the google markets on bing.
Investigate a calibration and after conducting an investigation, it turns out that many users are dissatisfied with Google because it ranks heavy and slow websites when opened.
Since then Google has implemented server response time as one of their UX (User Experience) factors. Google’s recommendation is 0.2 seconds, if you can do this, then your website will be easy to rank,
But based on references from google data, only 1/5 of website owners pay attention to their server response time.
How to find out your server response time is by accessing page speed you can see your server response time there. click reduce initial server response time (TTFB) and read further information.
How to Reduce Server Response Time in WordPress
According to the web.dev, there are several factors that WordPress CMS users often find their server response time above 1 second, including:
- Using shared hosting, immediately change to VPS or Dedicated server.
- The large website traffic automatically increases CPU usage so that it affects server performance.
- Excessive use of resources such as widgets, plugins, advertisements that require resources so that server performance when responding to requests becomes slow.
- Configuration – The settings in the server also affect server performance.
1. Static Cache
One of the best and most effective solutions for reducing server response time is “static cache” which can be performed by a WordPress plugin.
Now, what static is cache?
The static cache keeps a local copy of HTML, next time the user requests for that same page or URL, the browser will use that local copy instead of making a new file every time.
There are many plugins for performing static cache on your website and reducing server response time. But I recommend using Core Web Vitals & PageSpeed Booster plugin.
Best Plugins to Perform Static Cache
Here are some great features of this plugin:
- Webp images: You can serve the next-gen images
- Lazy Load: Lazy load feature implement lazy loading for images and videos.
- Remove Unused CSS: In your WordPress database, it will remove unused CSS files without breaking the website design.
- Google Fonts Optimizations: Mostly blog or website owners use Google fonts to make their websites more beautiful. But google fonts can mess with your page speed, so with this feature, you can optimize google fonts for speed.
- Cache: Enable cache on your website.
One of the best thing about this plugin is that it is free to use and have active development.
The next plugin to enable static cache on your website is WP Super Cache with more than 2 million installations.
As a static cache plugin, the WP Super Cache WordPress plugin generates static HTML files on your website or blog and significantly reduces server response time.
2. Change Hosting Service
Share hosting users are always constrained by this problem. maybe the main consideration is price, for the needs of a website that has 1000 visitors maybe using 1 GB of hosting is enough. But if you have more than 20 thousand visitors per day, it’s a good idea to upgrade to a VPS.
The choice of hosting must also adjust to the target website and pockets of course.
- Use a CDN, after you change hosting services, use a CDN. Content Delivery Network or CDN will store your website content in various parts of the world. Why use CDN? because if your visitor accesses your website from Africa, he doesn’t directly access your website, your visitor will access the content faster and of course, make your server not burdened with having to send requests to your visitor’s country.
- Use Cache, Using cache can ease the performance of your CPU and server because when your visitor comes back, he doesn’t need to load the page from the beginning again. Jedi cache usage is very necessary.
3. High Website Traffic
When your website visitors tend to be stable and have adequate hosting, such as 2000 – 3000 visitors, the server response will be good and stable, but when your visitors are booming, then the use of high power resourcing increases in server response time. This results in a server down.
For this solution, the problem of high website traffic is to increase your hosting capacity, so that all website requests can be served.
4. Limit Use of Resources
It must be no stranger to plugins, widgets, and advertisements. During the website loading process, there is a back and forth flow from the web browser to the server before all web pages are displayed. This back and forth flow is for loading the plugins, widgets, and ads that you have, the more paths you go through, the longer the server will take to respond.
Plugins: plugins are additional tools that can help make it easier for you to create a website. But the use of so many plugins can also increase CPU usage resulting in high server response times. For those of you who use a lot of plugins on your WordPress website, it’s a good idea to select the plugins that you don’t use, this is meant to make CPU usage on your hosting server more stable.
Widgets: If you use excessive widgets that can also increase server response time, it’s a good idea to minimize the use of CSS on the widget bar. use the widget that you think is very necessary.
Advertising and external sources: if you prioritize the convenience of your visitors (UX) then you should reduce the use of advertising scripts and external sources on your website. Ads and external sources can make CPU usage increase because the server must first fetch the data and display it on the website. my advice, reduce the use of advertising and external sources.
Several ways to minimize page resource usage:
- Merge CSS files that have the same function
- Using lazy load-scripts.
Currently, there are 3 types of servers that are often used: Apache, Nginx, and Litespeed.
Apache: the first is apache, which is a server that is often and widely used by website users. Apart from being free, Apache also has a lot of documentation, making it very easy to use. But in terms of performance, Apache is not first in terms of speed even though it has used the best configuration, it still loses to its 2 competitors.
Nginx: developers like Nginx because with the default configuration, it can beat Apache’s performance. This is because Nginx uses fewer resources than Apache.
Litespeed: Litespeed server when compared to Apache and Nginx will be far superior if running PHP programs. in basic conditions, Litespeed can handle requests 13 per second faster 1 request from Nginx and 2 requests faster than Apache.
Another advantage of Litespeed is in the cache feature, if Apache and Nginx increase the speed 2-3 times the speed, while LiteSpeed increases the speed almost 40 times faster. this is equivalent to 440 – 550 Requests per second.
Those are some ways to reduce server response time (Time To First Byte) in WordPress.
6. Use a CDN
The use of a CDN counts as one of the best ways to improve page loading speed.
A Content Delivery Network (CDN) helps us with content distribution as fast as possible with the help of their geographically scattered network data centers.
Based on Datacenter expansion, Cloudflare is one of the best CDN. They have a global network of 206 cities across more than 100 countries.
Here are some more CDN providers if you gonna use a CDN:
Watch the below given video for learning How to setup Cloudflare free CDN in WordPress:
Result of these Implementations
After implementing these strategies how effective results you can expect? Let’s see.
After making these changes let’s take a look at the result on server response time:
How to Reduce Server Response Time in Blogger
It’s unfair that I only discuss WordPress, here I will also discuss Blogspot. Please check your website to google page speed. and you will see the response time of your server so you can continue the discussion.
The blogger server itself is quite fast, that’s why there are still many bloggers still using Blogspot. The problem that often occurs is the delay in templates, external resources, and many website knick-knacks that are not needed. To resolve the issue.
- Use a lightweight template. There are many lightweight template providers on Facebook and the internet.
- Reduce the use of external resources such as advertisements, and so on,
- Reduce widgets that you feel are less necessary.
Why is it short? because I have considered the server from Blogspot which is relatively fast.
Now you know how to reduce Time To First Byte or server response time. here you are invited not to use something excessive such as ads or widgets. if it is felt that the server is unable to also serve your website request, please upgrade to dedicated or VPS.
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