Cloud Sites Time To First Byte Improvements

As your web-hosting team, Cloud Sites is constantly investments in improving our infrastructure along with our ability to quickly serve websites, handle high traffic events, and improve scalability.

Recently, Cloud Sites upgraded our load balancer farms, improving Time to First Byte (TTFB) performance. Time to First Byte is the time between when a site is requested and the first byte of data when the page is received by the browser. In Cloud Sites, utilizing internal testing tools running thousands of requests over an extended time range on recent upgrades resulted in yielding an average 65% reduction in Time to First Byte. Meaning, the pre-upgrade average of 377 milliseconds (ms) was reduced to an average 134 milliseconds.
TTFB95% of website site requests pre- upgrade and post-upgrade.     Utilizing internal testing tools running thousands of requests over an extended time period. Hostnames have been redacted for security purposes.

However, Time to First Byte is only part of the story. Many web experts argue that while a good measure of initial response to a browser’s request, TTFB does little to measure the delivery speed of your content for those that consume your site. You may have a fast TTFB time, but a site that takes tens of seconds to load content throughout a website creates frustrated viewers, driving away your potential audience proving the benefits of having a web-hosting partner as opposed to a provider when trying to improve your site’s load time.

The most common source of slow load times is usually content-related. WordPress customers, for example, sometimes call asking how to improve the load time for their site. Cloud Sites Technicians often find lack of image optimization, caching modules, and poor htaccess file configuration to be the culprits of slow page load times. Additionally, some themes and plugins, as well as certain combinations are known to cause slow load times as well. With hands on expertise, our Technicians address many of these issues and greatly improve load times in most cases for our customers.

If you’re curious about your site’s performance, there are many websites that offer tools to measure TTFB and content load times, such as GTMetrix and WebPageTest, just to name a few of our favorites. If you don’t have the results you want from your site, give us a call. Talk to a human about why your site maybe slow and what can be done to improve load time and your customer’s experience.

One thing that distinguishes Rackspace and Cloud Sites is the partnerships we have with our customers and the Fanatical® service we provide. When our customers experience slow sites, we’re standing by to answer their phone calls or respond to their chat, analyze the site with them, and provide the technical assistance to improve performance. For more information on what Cloud Sites by Rackspace can do for you, visit us at cloudsitesblog.liquidweb.com.