Name: Time to First Byte
Referred to as: TTFB
Category: On-page SEO
Correct Use: n/a
Time to First Byte (TTFB) is the amount of time it takes to receive the first byte of information required to render a website.
This metric is useful to understand the latency and response times of the infrastructure used to access your site. This is part of the page speed equation which is important for rankings and user experience.
Therefore, it will precisely measure the amount of time consumption between the creation of the connection to the server and the download of the contents from the web page.
It often happens that your web page contains all the relevant data that a user is searching for. Still, the traffic is not as per expectation. So, what’s the hindrance that the users are facing? Unfortunately, it can be the time to load the page.
Let’s be honest. You have to get the website in front of the customers just like the pizza delivery house. People love the idea of clicking on the link and getting the entire website opened in front of their eyes within a blink of a second.
And if you are lacking in this part, you are surely missing out on a lot of traffic. Optimization of the page will be essential. You need to find out what are the reasons that are amounting to the delays in loading. And then, you need to figure out the solution to the problems.
But for performing the above functions, you need the calculations and figures. And that’s where TTFB is going to help.
Google launched the concept of Web Vitals in 2020. The Coe Web Vitals are not just about quick-loading websites. These are about the sites that can deliver. And it all comes down to the UX. Therefore, you need to minimize the loading time to help people get what they need in a few seconds.
TTFB has three separate components. The job of the SEO optimizer is to work on all these three aspects to improve the figure.
1. The time necessary for sending the HTTP request
TTFB starts the moment an end user generates an HTTP request. The time span for the server to receive the request will depend on factors like
- Performing a DNS lookup
- Distance to the server
- Speed of the user’s network
- Possible interruptions in the connection.
Do research on them and find out how to minimize the hindrances.
And the above discussion brings you to another vital part of the discussion. What to avoid if you want to make the TTFB numbers suitable?
- Don’t increase queries
Do you know that the more queries a site will run to fetch the information from the database, the more will be the TTIB figure? You need to detect the query bottlenecks. You can always use the diagnostic plug-ins to help with the analysis.
- Don’t use cheap DNS
Typical hosting packages may not offer premium DNS. But investing in a top-notch DNS provider will help to answer DNS queries with low latency. And that’s exactly what you need to reduce the TTFB.
Of course, you are wondering, how do you improve the TTFB numbers. Just remember that TTFB is a backend function. So, adjustments are necessary for the different aspects.
Tip #1: Reduce latency
Latency kills website speed. the time to response byte depends on two factors:
- Distance of the server
- Connection quality
You cannot control the user’s connection, but you can always control the response based on the nature of the user’s connection. It is also possible to reduce the load on your servers with the help of content delivery networks.
Tip #2: Quick resolution of DNS
Domain Name Service or DNS resolution will be the first task of the browser once you request any web asset. The browser will start converting a whole series of requests from a web address into an IP address.
DNS resolve will definitely take time, but it should be more than 1 millisecond.
Tip #3: Upgrade the web hosting
If the TTFB is more than 200ms, it can be an issue with the web hosting company. Discuss an upgrade than can help to minimize the TTFB.
The above points will always help you to make your page more responsive to the end users.
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