6 Ways to Reduce Server Response Time
Slow load times aren’t always caused by server bottlenecks, but your user’s experience can still be badly impacted by your server response time. It does make a difference. In some cases, your website’s performance can be threatened by the load times of your server. If you haven’t already, it is crucial for you to start investing in optimizing your response time.
How do you define server response times?
Well, to begin with, server response time, also known as SRT, stands for the amount of time it takes to elicit a response by the web browser. It is measured from the time the request is made by the web browser, using Time to First Byte (ttfb).
Page Insights by Google dictate that the server response time ideally must be well under 200ms.
Six Ways to Reduce Server Response Times
Once you have accumulated data on the performance of your browser, the next step is to ensure your server has the fastest server time response possible. Here are 6 ways to help you accomplish this goal.
1. Check Your Hosting start timings
Your final page load time is calculated by accessing the time you spend waiting for a response from your server. You want to offer your users extremely quick page loading time, so you need to ensure you have sufficient resources to take care of all the growing traffic coming your way. In case, you have limited or insufficient resources, then the increase in traffic will add to your SRTs. It results in fewer users being handled by your server during a specific period.
2. Choose Your Web Server Carefully
There are several options in the market which might seem extremely overwhelming to choose from, but investing time and effort into researching, comparing various servers, and picking the one most compatible with your needs will be advantageous later as you’ll be able to take care of changes better. For example, Apache might seem to be an attractive option with excellent services. However, upon further review you might find results using other options like OpenLiteSpeed or Nginx.
3. Optimize Your Web Servers
You need to set up the webserver after you’ve made your choice with due deliberation. While you might be satisfied in the short run with the default settings, it is better to customize it according to your needs, as different businesses have different needs. If you settle for default, you have the problem of a sub-optimal configuration being used for all of your usage patterns and needs.
Since the configuration of every web server is different from the other, there is no one size fits all solution to optimize your web server. You can research information on optimizing your server in order to provide you with the best possible performance.
4. Reduce Bloat
You will encounter bloat accumulation in case you use a content management system (CMS) like Magento or WordPress. This needs to be carefully managed. You run this risk even if CMS is not in use. Adding content like new content pages, images, etc. still accumulates bloat on your site as time goes on. To avoid this, you can axe things you don’t use or need. Combine your resources, optimize your images, and compress your files, since smaller files are a boon when it comes to reducing SRTs.
5. Optimize Your Database
You can quicken the loading time for your entire site, along with the browser page displayed currently on your screen, by making sure that your data is retrieved by your database as systematically as possible. A server usually responds slowly to your request for slow queries. Hence, you need to invest time in finding solutions to prevent potential bottlenecks.
Server optimization is a complex topic that needs it’s process to be charted according to the server you use. So you can begin with optimization by including these steps.
- Have your queries rewritten so that they return according to your needs and consider performance when they are written. For example, you can replace loops with joins.
- According to your necessity, you can use indexes wherever it is appropriate.
- Updating your schema to group objects like views, tables and appropriately stored procedures.
- On the other hand, you can also use external caches that will decrease your database load and transfer it to your front end instead.
6. Keep WordPress Lightweight
You can easily create some of the most aesthetically pleasing websites using WordPress. It has beautiful themes and various plugins that you can customize. However, your response time can be hampered by overloading your theme. So you need to be careful to avoid that from happening.
You should choose lightweight, simple templates in case you’re using WordPress templates. Also, do not use many plugins.
Employ a monitoring tool for your webpage and investigate which plugins end up hampering its speed. If you have any unused plugins, delete them, and deactivate those that waste CPU resources.
SRTs are the most vital element in achieving your goal to serve pages as rapidly as possible, even if they do not show up as the primary cause for your slowdowns. Your front end can operate ideally only when your back end is sufficiently optimized. Evaluating and understanding your hosting needs, decreasing bloat, customizing your web server and optimizing your databases, will all assist your goal of getting your SRTs under 200ms.
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