What would cause different load times for the same page?

I’ve just set up a simple PHP/MySQL website on a new server and I’ve been testing the page load time using a command line tool called wuzz.

For some reason the load time consistently alternates between 80ms and 150ms.

If I reload the page quickly it usually sticks around 80ms, but if I leave it a few seconds it usually starts out again at 150ms. What would be causing this?

When I test on my local server I get consistent load times of 5ms, and I never get any delays that would account for the 70ms difference on the server, so I don’t think it’s to do with any variations in the way the code builds the page.

I feel like I’m missing something obvious. Is there any reason why my page load time would sometimes be double when I’m requesting from the server, especially after waiting for just a few seconds?

It’s like it’s making an extra round-trip to the server, but I’m not sure why.

Open up your browser’s Dev Tools and check out the Network tab.


Thanks. I’ve just checked, and it’s TTFB that’s causing the variation.

  • After a delayed refresh it’s consistently around 220ms.
  • But if I refresh the page quickly it’s down to 120ms.

What would cause TTFB fluctuate between two distinct times on the same page? Something to do with PHP or MySQL caching?

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