How to Improve Time to First Byte (TTFB) in SiteGround

Improve TTFB SiteGround

If you are using SiteGround, then you might experience high TTFB in recent times.

There are many factors involved with high TTFB, and there are simpler steps to improve concerning any SiteGround plans.

How to improve TTFB in SiteGround (Summary)

  • Use StackPath or Cloudflare to improve TTFB if the target audience is from a single country. (Cloudflare free doesn't work)
  • Use StackPath CDN with URL caching to improve your TTFB to a great extent by 50%
  • BOUNS: Use NitroPack.io to improve your TTFB and get a “PASS” score in Core Web Vitals.

Understanding SiteGround TTFB

Our site is hosted on SiteGround GoGeek plan, and the TTFB is greater than 400ms in US & UK locations.

Though it looks good, the TTFB score is still not the best, and you can compare the TTFB of Cloudways Linode plan below. So, there is still a lot of places to improve TTFB in SiteGround.

How to improve TTFB In SiteGround?

This article discusses optimizing SiteGround for better TTFB in the next ten minutes, thus improving the LCP in WordPress.

1. Improving TTFB with CDN

To get started, you need to pick the fastest CDN, and here is the graph comparing the fast CDN in the North American region

While Google CDN is faster, it requires your site to be hosted in Google Compute Engine, and you need a hosting like Templ, which provides Google hosting with CDN.

So, the next fast option is StackPath, which offers unlimited site usage for $10 per month. Apart from it, Cloudflare is great to get started.

While Cloudflare free is good, it's not the fastest. So, you need to opt for the Cloudflare Pro plan of $20 per month.

I use both StackPath and Cloudflare on my sites hosted with SiteGround. Both are equally good in terms of speed, but StackPath is cheaper since it allows unlimited sites for $10 per month. Choose Cloudflare is your audience is outside of the Americas, as they offer faster performance in Asia.

For Stackpath, sign up with this link and then follow the below steps. Enter your domain name and choose CDN and click “Continue.”

Now, enter your server IP address found in SiteGround account.

Once added, navigate to EdgeSSL and generate a dedicated free SSL for your site.

StackPath support is usually faster, and contact them for a quicker response in no time.

Response in 7 minutes.

For Cloudflare, check the below link in your SiteGround Control panel and fill up the details.

You can either choose the free or premium plan. Once the configuration is done, you need to change the domain nameservers to Cloudflare.

2. Improving TTFB with Full Page Caching

As the name indicates, it's full-page caching. That means everything on a page is cached and stored in CDN POP locations. Some of the common issues are that the WordPress top bar's dynamic content will be cached and shown to some visitors like few other issues discussed here.

With StackPath, along with existing CDN settings, you need to enable URL caching, and you are ready to go.

Also, hide the top bar in your WordPress site since it might be cached and displayed to site visitors. Here is the step to disable it from caching and use “Hide WordPress Toolbar” to disable it from the WordPress backend.

Below is the site hosted on SiteGround and using StackPath full page caching. The results are impressive when compared to Cloudflare's full page cache, as mentioned above.

While the server is in the Lowa United States, the Singapore TTFB is better than USA TTFB.

With Cloudflare, along with existing CDN settings, navigate to Page Rules tab and setup your site like below

Just make the page order should be the same, and changing will cause caching issues. You should also disable the top bar from being caching.

3. Improving TTFB with NitroPack

Nitropack is our latest speed optimization stack that provides better results than the above method.

Check the below site hosted on the GoGeek plan. The site is using the Astra theme with Elementor installed. Caching is powered by SG Optimizer.

Now, I signed up for NitroPack and installed the WordPress plugin. I connected Nitropack, and the after scores are impressive. You can check our Review on NitroPack and comparison of NitroPack with WP Rocket here.

Here is the comparison of SiteGround and NitroPack scores.

CompareSiteGroung GoGeek (Mobile)Nitropack Score (Mobile)
Score3293
FCP3.7s1.1s
Speed Index5.8s2.1s
Largest Contentful Paint7.7s2.8s
Time to Interactive7.5s2.4s
Total Blocking Time1220ms210ms
Cumulative Layout Shift0.0550.241
CompareSiteGroung GoGeek (Desktop)Nitropack Score (Desktop)
Score87100
FCP1.0s0.3s
Speed Index1.5s0.5s
Largest Contentful Paint2.0s0.7s
Time to Interactive1.1s0.3s
Total Blocking Time0ms0ms
Cumulative Layout Shift0.0030

What does NitroPack do?

NitroPack includes

  • Proprietary, world-class speed optimization algorithm.
  • CDN powered by Amazon Cloudfront with 200+ global POPs.
  • Advanced caching mechanism.
  • Complete Image Optimization Stack.
  • HTML, CSS, and JS minification and compression.
  • Use code “BLOGGINGIO” to get 5% OFF on premium plans

TEST NITROPACK FOR FREE

Concluding

I always look to improve this article, if you have any inputs to share, do let me know in the comments.

About Mohan Raj

Mohanraj is the founder of Bloggingio.com and doing blogging as a business for the last eight years. He has done Post Graduate in Electronics Engineering and worked as an IT consultant for Fortune 500 Company. Managing dozens of sites, he shares his experience on WordPress, SEO, and hosting at Bloggingio.com.