Time to First Byte (TTFB) is a metric used to measure the responsiveness of a web server. It is the time taken for the server to send the first byte of data to the client. While a lower TTFB is generally desirable, it’s not always the best indicator of overall website performance. In this blog post, we will explore the relationship between TTFB and PHP output buffering, and discuss how optimizing for a low TTFB can sometimes be misleading.
TTFB and PHP Output Buffering
TTFB can be influenced by various factors, such as network latency, server processing time, and PHP output buffering. PHP output buffering is a technique where the server buffers the output of a script before sending it to the client. This can help improve performance by allowing the server to send larger chunks of data at once, rather than sending small bits of data as they become available. Additionally, output buffering can be beneficial when running a site built with plugins from various developers, such as is common with WordPress. In these situations, different plugins may send headers at different times, and without output buffering, this can cause errors as the server is only allowed to return response headers once.
However, focusing on a low TTFB can lead to a false sense of optimization. For example, you can artificially deflate TTFB by sending a single byte of data immediately before doing any significant processing and flushing the output buffer. This will result in a lower TTFB, but the overall load time for the user remains the same. In other words, a low TTFB doesn’t always equate to a better user experience.
We are thrilled to announce the latest updates to our Object Cache cPanel Plugin that will help you manage Memcached and Redis more efficiently. We made management of these services even more straightforward and user-friendly.
Here’s a quick rundown of the new features:
Status Indicator: The status of the plugin is now indicated with a colored circle – green for running, yellow for starting or stopping, and red for stopped. This change will help you quickly identify the status of the plugin at a glance, without the need to check logs or other indicators.
Refresh Status Button: We have updated the “Refresh Status” link to a blue button. This change makes it more apparent that this button refreshes the status of the plugin and enables you to check for updates quickly.
Enable/Disable Button: The Enable/Disable links have been converted to buttons that are green for Enable and red for Disable. This change makes it more intuitive to turn on or off the plugin, and it also makes it easier to identify the current status. We debated between green to start, or green to show it’s already running on the buttons – let us know your thoughts!
Improved Text Display: We have made the text boxes for the socket display in a monospace font and bold. This change makes it easier to read.
Live Start/Stop Timer: We added a live timer until the next start/stop process for Memcached and Redis. The timer provides real-time information on when the services will start or stop next. This is especially useful when you need to make sure that the services are up and running before you begin working.
These updates are now live and available for use. We believe that these improvements will help our users manage Memcached and Redis more efficiently, saving them time and effort. If you have any feedback or suggestions, we’d love to hear from you!
Quite often our clients and potential clients ask us a question that on its face seems simple: How many visitors can my account handle? This question is not as simple as it seems.
As with any deceptively simple question there is more to it than a simple number. We wish we could simply give a number as a response but to do so would be disingenuous and deceptive from our perspective. We know that there is far more to the question and the answer than a simple number.
If all sites were created equal and all sites used the same amount of resources per visit, transmitted the same amount of data, performed the same SQL queries, etc – the answer would be simple. In the real world every website is different. We have some clients that are handling more than 100,000 visitors per month on our cheapest and least-powerful plans and then we have other clients on our most powerful and most expensive plans that are struggling with only a few thousand.
We don’t want to make what seems like a promise – that you can hit a particular number of monthly visitors – when it’s not something we can guarantee as we do not control your content or applications.
Over the last few years I have seen more accounts compromised due to outdated default themes like “Twenty Twelve”, “Twenty Thirteen”, “Twenty Fourteen”, etc. When a user installs a new copy of WordPress more often than not they proceed to install a new theme that they prefer over the default offerings. The big issue is the result of two missing steps that all webmasters should perform.
First and foremost is keeping everything up-to-date which can prevent the vast majority of account compromises we have seen over the years. We keep the servers themselves secure from intrusion and we even work to protect your usernames, passwords, email accounts, etc. but there is a limit to how much we can shelter you. If, for example, you have an outdated theme or plugin installed even if you aren’t using it – it can be used against you and your site.