Why & How To Reduce Server Response Time In WordPress?

I would like to appreciate your interest in knowing the ways of reducing the server response time of your WordPress website. I’ll help you with some useful tips on this blog post.

I hope you aware that the Google is suggesting you have the server response time less than 200ms so that your site will be loading fast.

Do you know the valid reasons for having a fast loading website?

Let’s come to the point now!

How to make my WordPress site load faster – it’s a million dollar question!

Because the page load speed of the WP site gets reduced when the third-party resources are added. Moreover, there are several other reasons for the slow site performance.

Thus, the users like you want to make their website load under seconds and get high rank in Google search results.

I have seen a few of them switching over to the fast loading WordPress theme but missing to work on the basic WordPress speed optimization.

Getting a lightning fast template is good, but they should understand that the server response time is one of the significant factors for how the search engines rank your website.

Therefore, I took a nice opportunity to talk about the importance of reducing the server response time and how to do it!

If you already know, what is server response time and benefits of improving it, then you may skip the essential details and jump into the factors that can minimize the WordPress server response time.

Let me start with the basics!

What Is Server Response Time?

Server Response Time (SRT) is the amount of time taken by the web server to respond to the browser request. In other words, it is the total time consumed by the server to load the HTML files so that the visitors can access the page.

The SRT can also be called Time to First Byte (TTFB). I.e., the network latency between the user and server.

ttfb-wpglossy

The average TTFB values are 

  • 100 milliseconds is excellent
  • 200-500 milliseconds is ideal
  • 500 – 1 second is ok
  • More than 1 is worst (You Must Work On It)

If the server takes more time to load the HTML documents, then the response time will be high, and it would be a significant roadblock for your website

ROADBLOCK?

Yes! You should know the importance of having the minimum server response time of a site!

Why Should The Server Response Time Be Low?

1. To Impress Your Readers

The lower the server response time, the faster your site can load. You can impress the first time visitors with a fast loading website, and hence they will come back for sure. Keep it in mind the server response time has a major impact on the user experience and bounce rate.

2. To Get High Search Engine Rankings

I know that the purpose of reading this post is to please the search engines with a quick loading site. Google also hates the tortoise speed website and may skip indexing the pages that take more time to load. Don’t forget that the WordPress speed optimization is a part of on-page SEO to rank top in search engine results.

3. To Make High Conversions

There is no doubt that you can make massive conversions with a super fast loading website. If you are an affiliate marketer who relies on the sales income, then you should fix the low server response time otherwise your reputation would get spoiled and readers get frustrated as well. At last, they never show interest to buy the products/services that you recommend.

Improving the response time of the server satisfies the search engines & your site visitors, and thus your web performance will be tweaked.

Now, let’s see some helpful strategies to lessen the server response time.

How To Reduce Server Response Time?

reduce-server-response-time

 Before getting into the details, you should know the factors that affect the response time of the server.

  • Unreliable Web Hosting
  • Traffic Hike At Times
  • Poor Cache & Server Configuration
  • Old PHP Version
  • Bloated Pages

Not only these, but there are also others things that can influence the server response time. So, how to improve it? 

Let’s discuss the helpful tips in detail! 

1. Get A Steadfast Hosting

When the visitor makes the request, the files and resources are downloaded by the server and should give the instant response to the request.

If there is a delay in responding the user request, it will affect the overall performance of the site loading speed. So, it is essential to get the sophisticated server from the reliable hosting service.

I would suggest you purchase managed WordPress cloud hosting because, in cloud server hosting, the resources get split into the several servers to handle the traffic hike and avoid the bandwidth problems.

Moreover, you don’t need to work anything with the technicalities as everything will be managed by the hosting company itself.

I highly recommend the cloud hosting service, Cloudways for the following features that support to fix the server response time issues.

  • All the servers are pre-installed with PHP7
  • Server software is the combination of NGINX, Varnish, and Memcached
  • Scale up the server resources in 1 click
  • Worldwide data centers to choose the closest location of your target audience

Avoid using the shared hosting as they don’t allocate the dedicated resources to your site.

Also, the less CPUs and RAM in a server, the fewer requests it can respond. Therefore, the shared hosting cannot offer a good server response time for your website.

Just think, how could a single shared server handle too many requests? The requests will be queued and make your site slow.

Go with the free trial of the Cloudways, do the migration task by yourself and test the TTFB of your site.

2. Optimize WordPress Database

Cleaning up your WordPress database is one of the helpful strategies to get a better server response time.

Yes!

The MYSQL database of WordPress stores all the data in the table format. If your site is new, then you don’t need to worry about optimizing the database.

However, if your site has been live for long years, then the WordPress database might have huge information. The massive data stored in the database, the more time the server will take to get the relevant data for the user.

You should understand that the post revisions are stored in a database and increase the server load. So, how to make the WordPress database clean and get improvements in the server response time?

I have written a detailed post about optimizing the WordPress database, please check it!

Also, I would suggest you optimize the Database Queries because the slow queries are the leading causes for the server to respond slow.

How to find and fix the slow database queries in WordPress?

Read this complete guide by CSS-Tricks.

3. Use Content Delivery Network (CDN)

The CDN is nothing but the content distribution network that uses several servers in multiple geographical locations to provide the high uptime and performance.

In simple words, the content delivery network reduces the distance between the visitor and website server.

If your targeted audience does not belong to a specific country and spread globally, how could you choose the nearest data center in your hosting service?

Here is where the CDN comes into the action!

  • As the servers are globally distributed, the CDN allows the visitors connect to the closest data center instead of connecting them to the origin server. The lesser the distance, the faster the server response.
  • In CDNs, the load balancing is efficient. Moreover, the SSD hard drives let the data reach your audience faster.
  • CDN protects the data through file mirroring. It can also compress the data files for the quick data transfer.

CloudFlare is the trusted CDN company that offer a FREE plan for the start-ups, blogs, and personal websites. It gives shared SSL certificate as well.

If you have decided to go with Cloudways hosting for the better server response time, you can get the premium CloudwaysCDN service ($1 for 25GB and then 0.04$ per GB) instead of configuring the CloudFlare for your site.

They have collaborated with StackPath (previously call MaxCDN) and offering the CDN service. CloudwaysCDN caches the static content of the web pages and serves them from the nearest geographical server. 

The installation is simple, but the performance is heavy. I would say that it is an ideal add-on that tweaks your site speed and global reach. Just get it and target the wider audience with a better performance.

4. Limit The Scripts

Optimizing the homepage scripts in order to leverage the server response time is another way to ensure that the pages have been loaded quickly without any lag.

The internal and external scripts of your WordPress website can reduce the loading speeds of the whole site.

The web page script includes CSS files, JavaScript files, and various third-party plugins like live chat, widgets, Facebook like buttons, and YouTube embed players will also contain specific scripts that can make your website slow.

Excluding these scripts embedded to your webpage can improve your page load speed and hence increase the number of visits to your blog.

The ways to reduce server response time caused by scripts include:

  • Keep the CSS And JS External: It is better to keep the ambiguous CSS and JS files as external hence it could be easier to cache them and making the website to load faster.
  • Combine CSS Files: The heavy CSS files can be combined to keep external and make fewer resource calls per page. Put the CSS files at the top of webpage document to make the render easier.
  • Put The JS files At The Bottom: Combine the javascript files and insert them before the tag thus to load the scripts in the background. It will reduce the HTTP/S in WordPress. 
  • Making Inline CSS And Javascript Files: If the CSS and JS files are tiny, then it need not be included in an external document. It can be put along with the HTML file as Inline to reduce the time lag.
  • Use Keep-Alive Technique: The Keep-Alive method can retain the same TCP connection for HTTP signal for all new requests. So, make sure that you have enabled it. Don’t think that this tactic is enabled by default. The shared hosting providers might disable the Keep-Alive feature for server performance. If it is disabled, just add the below code in your .htaccess file!
          <IfModule mod_headers.c>
          Header set Connection keep-alive
          </IfModule>
  • Minify The JS And CSS Files: The javascript and CSS files can be made minified or reduce the size by eliminating the unnecessary comments, whitespaces, tab spaces, and other unwanted characters to decrease the overall file size. Lower the file size will make the server to load the webpage quicker.

5. Optimize the Images

Images make the blogs beautiful and informative, but these digital graphics can make your sites load even slower. You should compress and optimize the images to remove unessential file information.

The problem can be easily recovered by optimizing the image size using the plugins for the WordPress users such as WPSmush and EWWW image optimizer which are the leading ones.

It scans the whole website of yours and reduces the large unoptimized images to quickly loadable size. The plugins even ensure any significant loss in size of the image file doesn’t diminish the image quality.

You may also lazy load your images to improve the page load time. It is a JavaScript technique that makes the pictures come into the users’ view after they start scrolling the page. 

Lazy Load or BJ Lazy Load are helpful plugins to lazy load the images and reduce server response time in WordPress. 

6. Use Lightweight WordPress Theme

Choosing the right theme for your WordPress website is another major game changer that affects the server response time. Avoid installing FREE or NULLED theme as it will decrease the overall performance of WordPress website. 

It is always better to use lightweight themes since they load much faster and try considering other features such as responsive, HTML 5, which in turn help to reduce the server response time.

Try the established popular themes with efficient customer support so that you can be reliable of its performance.

I would recommend you my favorite WordPress theme, GeneratePress, which is fast, powerful and easy to use.

The theme has lowest server response time, available in both free and premium versions. GeneratePress WordPress theme provides frequent updates and the customer supports includes documentation and support forum.

How To Check Server Response Time?

Measuring the server response time is an essential task so that you can fix the issues that cause your site load slow.

Apart from the usual tools GTMetrics, Pingdom or Google PageSpeed Insights, you may use the following sources to perform the server response time test.

Webpagetest

Uptrends

Yellolab.tools

Conclusion

Search engines penalize the slow loading sites and yes, the server response time is one of the factors that affect the loading speed of the site.

Making your WordPress site fast not only pleases the search engines but also offers the best user experience for your readers.

Most of the WordPress speed related troubles can be solved by updating your WordPress Core, theme, plugins and widgets installed in your server space.

Also, consider buying the high-quality managed hosting service like Cloudways and implement the other tactics to improve the response time of your site server. 

So, have you learned why and how to reduce the server response time of the WordPress site? Do you have any other better idea to solve this speed issue? Connect with me through the comment section, we can discuss! 

20 thoughts on “Why & How To Reduce Server Response Time In WordPress?

  1. Nice post. I know something about it. But there is something new to know about blog post designing. Can you tell me, how much the optimize image size, which i can use for fast process?

  2. Very well written article and I am highly impressed by your writing style. I read so many articles about how to decrease the load time of a website but they are meaningless. I liked your article and it is very much beneficial for my blog. Thanks for sharing this amazing information with us.

  3. Hey Nirmala,

    It great to be reading your post again. It’s always the best efforts you have put into your content, that’s why it will help many out there looking to learn.

    By the way, Thanks for the great read Nirmala.

    ~ Donna

  4. Hi,
    Great Article. Image optimization and scripts minimizing would be a great deciding factor when we think about response time. Indeed, choosing a suitable hosting service and themes are highly crucial. I haven’t paid much attention to optimizing WordPress DB. Thanks for the link to your another article.

  5. Hello madam Nirmala,
    The name has obviously been here for long and so whatever you have to offer needs to be taken really serious.
    In as much as I have been blogging for quite some time now, things like this really scares me.

    Anything which has to do with php or whatever seems to send chills down my spine. But obviously needs to work on my site speed.

  6. Your post was really very amazing and helpful to me.
    It looks like you have done a good research work on this topic.
    Thanks for sharing with us and keep up the good work.

  7. Thank you For sharing the Great article Nirmala and this article is very helpful for me. we follow this technique in my activities to improve.keep it up my friend

  8. Good article. Also website owners can use special cache plugins for WordPress.

    WordPress cache plugins can help with image optimization and scripts minimizing. Also cache plugins can create cached version of website

  9. Great write-up. I have been working on reducing server response time on several of my websites due to Google’s requirement for fast server response time. Since this is now going to be a ranking Factor it is going to be even more critical to anybody wanting to rank higher in search engine results. Most of the host that I have tried which include most of the major brands have very inconsistent server response times. Sometimes they will be under the 200 milliseconds but many times they may be over a full second before the server response. It would be interesting to know if there are any standard hosts out there that are consistently close to or under the 200 millisecond response time looking for.

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