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

Improve TTFB SiteGround

If you are using SiteGround hosting, then few of them might experience high TTFB in recent times.

There are a lot of factors involved with high TTFB and there are simpler steps to improve with respect to any SiteGround plans.

Here is our site hosted on SiteGround Growbig 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.

This article talks about optimizing SiteGround for better TTFB in the next ten minutes which also improves the LCP in WordPress.

The optimal way to improve TTFB in SiteGround is to use CDN with full page Caching.

While adding a CDN itself is enough to improve server response time in WordPress but full page caching lets your site TTFB to load in less than 50ms.

There are some risks involved in full page caching which we can discuss later. Here is my site hosted on Liquid Web and using Cloudflare full page caching.

Improving TTFB with CDN Only

To get started, you need to pick the fastest CDN and here is the graph comparing the fast CDN in 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 sites usage for $10 per month. Apart from it, Cloudflare is great to get started.

While Cloudflare free option is good, it's not the fastest. So, you need to opt for Cloudflare Pro plan of $20 per month which is available for around $12 per month at SiteGround.

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.

Choose all the domain variations and process validations with DNS challenge. It's nothing but, you need to add StackPath DNS records in your SiteGround account.

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.

Improving TTFB with CDN Full Page Caching

As the name indicates, its full page caching. That means, everything on a page is cached and stored in CDN POP locations. Some of the common issues are, the dynamic content like WordPress top bar 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 also, use “Hide WordPress Toolbar” to disable from WordPress backend.

Below is the site hosted on SiteGround and using StackPath full page caching. The results are impressive when compared to Cloudflare 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.

Improve TTFB SiteGround

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