Time to First Byte (TTFB)
Time to First Byte (TTFB) is a web performance metric that measures the time it takes from when a user makes an HTTP request to the moment the browser receives the first byte of data from the server.
TTFB is a critical indicator of the responsiveness of a web server and network, as it reflects the server's processing time, network latency, and the time required to generate a response.
A faster TTFB contributes to a better user experience, as it signifies that the server is responding quickly to user requests. Google recommends that your server responds to navigation requests quickly enough so that the 75th percentile of users experience an FCP within the good threshold. As a rough guide, most sites should strive to have TTFB of 0.8 seconds or less.
Improving Time to First Byte can be achieved through various optimization techniques including:
- Optimize server processing time: Evaluate your server's performance and identify any bottlenecks or resource constraints. This can include optimizing database queries, reducing server-side rendering complexity, and upgrading server hardware or software.
- Use a Content Delivery Network (CDN): Implementing a CDN can significantly reduce network latency by serving content from the edge server closest to the user, thereby minimizing the distance between the user and the server.
- Implement caching strategies: Employ server-side caching techniques, such as object caching or full-page caching, to reduce the amount of processing required to generate a response. Leverage browser caching for static resources to reduce the number of requests made to the server.
- Enable HTTP/2 or HTTP/3: Upgrading to the latest HTTP protocols can improve TTFB by allowing for multiplexing, server push, and other performance-enhancing features.
- Optimize server configurations: Fine-tune server configurations, such as enabling gzip compression and adjusting keep-alive settings, to optimize the server's ability to handle requests efficiently.
- Implement a load balancer: For high-traffic websites, use a load balancer to distribute incoming requests among multiple servers, preventing any single server from becoming a bottleneck and improving TTFB.
- Monitor and analyze server logs: Regularly review server logs to identify performance issues, such as slow database queries or resource-intensive processes, and address them promptly.
These are just a couple of suggestions on optimizing your TTFB results. Get into performance-first mindset with our comprehensive frontend performance checklist.
Continuously monitor and analyze your website's performance to identify areas for improvement and maintain a high-performing site.