I’d like to know ask what strategies are recommended for improving TTFB. The ones I know about are:
- good hosting
- minimal overhead (reduce plugins / database clutter)
- page caching dynamic content
Of these, only the last one is something that can be done through Cloudflare. But are there any other Cloudflare settings or add-on services that can help with TTFB?
I know Cloudlfare has pushed back against the idea that TTFB matters. And they’ve made a convincing case not to worry about it (in 2012).
But in the past few days, Google has added TTFB as an experimental metric in their main PageSpeed Insights reports panel. It’s not currently a ranking factor (at least, not as far as we know) but its promotion points to the strong possibility that it could become a ranking factor, probably sooner rather than later. Google doesn’t tend to just add these things on a whim.
And yes, I’m well aware of all the other things that are more or similarly important (good content, optimized images, links, and so on). But I’ve also seen first-hand the dip and then bounce back with poor then good Core Web Vitals, I’ve seen the real practical difference that meeting Google’s CWV expectations makes.
All other Core Web Vitals metrics for my site are good, and I’ve worked hard to make them that way. TTFB is now my weakest, and if there are Cloudflare settings or features that I can make better use of, it makes sense to use them.