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  1. #1
    A Wade is offline Public Member
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    Question Time to First Byte - Intermittent/Poor

    Hi I'm not really sure if this is the right place to ask this, however...

    We're using Vidahost at the suggestion of some on GPWA, and we are currently scoring badly on WebPageTest for the TimeToFirstByte metric. I've read somewhere that this metric is not important but we are scoring intermittently very badly in excess of 30 seconds.

    I have jpegtran'd progressive/optimized all images and have improved image loading time but still the TTFB is very slow.

    One thing I do notice though, is that if I run WebpageTest the first time, TTFB will be very high, when I test it again it will be substantially lower, almost as though the server has been "woken up" by the first test to the point it can pass the second.

    Still if I test the page again a few hours later it reverts to very slow.

    I've sent a message to Vidahost about this and got back what looks like a Pre-fabricated response telling me to optimize images and enable caching (Which I've already done), has anyone else had a similar experience with TTFB and how did you solve it?

    Many thanks,
    A Wade.
    Kind regards,

    Casinos Unleashed.com

  2. #2
    DanHorvat's Avatar
    DanHorvat is offline Private Member
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    Look through this year's GPWA Times and you'll find an article about the subject, written by yours truly.

    Good things come to those who ask. In that light:

    Your site seems to be nicely optimized for speed, and your problems are probably caused by the giant 5.9 Mb image http://casinosunleashed.com/wp-conte...g-homepage.gif
    Do something about that. The visible image is 322x232 and the original is 599x422. Also, why the GIF slideshow? Just make it a 322x232 JPG and you're done.

    Same goes for the ladbrokes.jpg image, resize the original to the size you're actually using on the screen. In this case your loading time won't be affected too much but it's good practice to keep the original & display size the same. Do that for all images on the site. Don't let the browser resize them.

    I got a result of 7.83 seconds loading time for your site from Dallas and 3.47 seconds from Amsterdam. The main problem is the 5.9 Mb image that took 3.80 seconds to receive (transatlantic trip to Dallas), and the mighty Vidahost is responsible for 2.16 / 2.42 seconds of waiting time, which is horrible since we're talking about a simple site.

    Sort out the image size problem and get a better server. In the UK you got two good performance options, IceBlueHost and Rochen. (aff links)
    If you'll go with a shared plan I'd choose Rochen, and if you want a virtual or dedicated server IceBlueHost is the way to go.

    I don't know how are you caching your site. But in any case you can use CloudFlare to speed things up a bit.

    One other thing to note - use the speed test on individual pages, not only the home page.

    P.S. webpagetest.org is checking the loading speed from Virginia USA perspective so the results in seconds are worse than they are for your customer on this side of the ocean.
    Last edited by DanHorvat; 28 November 2014 at 2:48 pm.

  3. #3
    FictionNet is offline Closed by Request
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    On the back of Dan's good advice, this will enable you resize images, free and online without any apps.
    http://www.resize2mail.com/advanced.php

    A couple of image optimisers to reduce colors/file size.
    http://tools.dynamicdrive.com/imageoptimizer/
    http://www.online-image-editor.com/

    If you're resizing an animated GIF, I've found this one retains most quality.
    http://ezgif.com/resize

  4. #4
    A Wade is offline Public Member
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    Thank you both for the great advice, FictionNet I will definitely take a look at those image optimisers.

    Dan, Vidahost support suggested I use a couple of different testers also:

    http://tools.pingdom.com/fpt/#!/d6p2...sunleashed.com
    http://gtmetrix.com/reports/casinosu...d.com/2k2MnDS6

    They came back to be about the KeepAlive, which I've been unable to enable:

    Hi,

    I'm afraid that keep-alive can't be enabled on our cloud systems, due to the way the system is designed enabling that module would have a net-loss to site speed; the cloud platform is built to be faster without it

    Kind Regards,
    Ran another test this morning and sure enough First Byte is a few seconds which as you rightly say is no good for such a simple site. I'll give them the chance to come back with a solution but failing that I will move to one of the hosters that you suggest.

    I use W3Total Cache for caching which seems to tick the boxes, there is an option to use a CDN which I haven't yet set up.
    Yes I will also run the tests against some of the other pages and see what they come back with.

    Thanks again,
    A Wade
    Kind regards,

    Casinos Unleashed.com

  5. #5
    DanHorvat's Avatar
    DanHorvat is offline Private Member
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    Take that 3.47 seconds Amsterdam test. Hover mouse over the first big yellow bar. You'll see "Wait 2.42 seconds" - that's the time it took for your server to process the request to load the page. Compare that to the waiting time of 0.194s at one of my Joomla sites or a waiting time of 0.056ms at one of my HTML sites.

    Two things affect that. The resource demands of the website and the processing power of the server.

    You could use that same server to load a simple HTML website quickly, but since your site is database heavy (Wordpress), you can't load it quickly on a poor shared plan. The only shared plan I know of that can host Wordpress sites and load them quickly is Rochen. You'll see low "Time to first byte" there.

    Contact the customer support at the two hosts I mentioned, tell them what the problem is, and see what they say.

  6. #6
    baldidiot is online now Private Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by DanHorvat View Post
    You could use that same server to load a simple HTML website quickly, but since your site is database heavy (Wordpress), you can't load it quickly on a poor shared plan. The only shared plan I know of that can host Wordpress sites and load them quickly is Rochen. You'll see low "Time to first byte" there.
    Yeah I would try sticking up a simple html page and seeing what happens. If you still get the lag contact support and ask them to move you to a different system - whilst it's cloud based they still have different clusters, so it may be the one you're on is getting hammered with traffic.
    onlinegamblingwebsites.com - Formally known as goodbonusguide.
    baldidiot.net - Baldys affiliate blog. Will get updated one day. Maybe.

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