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What the TTFB?!

November 12, 2021
May 1, 2023

What the TTFB?!

Matt Mitchell

With all the updated technology, our patience with the internet is wearing thin. According to several studies, our tolerance levels for loading a webpage is less than 3 seconds and this is where Time To First Byte comes into play.

What is TTFB?

Time To First Byte, or TTFB, is a measure of how quickly a web server responds to a request. In other words, TTFB is tech jargon for the total time taken by the remote server to send in the first byte of data after a user requests the data or a page.

What is the Effect of Website Speed on Website Search Ranking?

Google search uses several things to determine search ranking, including TTFB. These factors are mostly linked to content on the web page, the actual URL, its headers and titles, the authenticity of your website itself, and a number of other things. There are “bad” and “good” TTFB numbers. A website with higher TTFB can frustrate individuals visiting your site. If your web server takes too long to transfer the first byte of a page request, two things can happen:

Individuals visiting your website may abandon your site and visit a competitors
Your website’s rank on Google may decline because this server takes TTFB into consideration

According to several studies, if your TTFB is more than a few hundred milliseconds, this could be an issue. This could be your server not being able to handle requests fast enough. Another common problem with poor TTFB is your disk IO. If your Disk IO is slow, then the system may take longer to open up certain files and send them. Faster disks may help the situation, but you may want to consider more RAM space.

How do you Improve TTFB?

Optimizing your time to first byte can improve search results. Not having enough CPU or RAM can ultimately be the cause of your server’s slow responses. In fact, these are two of the biggest causes of high TTFB numbers and ensuring you have plenty of CPU or RAM space will keep individuals on your website and away from a competitor’s. Having additional space will also raise the rate of continued trafficking. In other words, clients or customers will more than likely visit your site more than once.

Having low TTFB numbers is positive for both the individual visiting your site and you. Again, our patience with technology is wearing thin and optimizing space to keep Time To First Byte numbers low will provide and maintain traffic on your site. At Red Shark Digital our customized web development services can help you optimize your website to prevent slow TTFB times. Contact us today to get started!

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