Are sub-second Time to First Byte possible?

I'm working on speeding up my site. After the SSL negotiation, the server takes nearly a second before it starts sending data. When looking through the forums, I see people talking about 4 and 5 second time to first byte being good, which is insane because 25% of users will drop off by 4 seconds[0]!

Do folks out there have TTFB in the sub-second range? I'm hoping for something in the 200ms range post-SSL.


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Cahueya replied on at Permalink Reply
Yes, I've just checked. One v.5.6 page running a 0.212s TTFB, Total of about 2 seconds, but no SSL. Another without SSL and v.5.7 about 0.800s TTFB, both not heavily tuned.

With SSL, v5.6 about 0.355s TTFB.

All the sites might be running faster if someone put more effort into optimization. But it is possible.
kaladron replied on at Permalink Reply
MrKDilkington replied on at Permalink Reply

What version of concrete5 are you using?
What type of hosting are you using?
What is your website address?

My personal experience:

To give me an idea of what users of inexpensive shared hosts will experience, I use the cheapest "Tiny" plan on A Small Orange ($2.92 a month). On this account I run a default clean install of concrete5 5.7 with the sample content and Elemental theme. This host is based in the United States (I believe the servers are in Texas).

Tests: concrete5 5.7 home page - clean install, sample content, all caching enabled

Pingdom Website Speed Test
- Dallas, Texas, USA 432ms load time
- New York City, New York, USA 682ms load time
- San Jose, California, USA 835ms load time

- From: Dulles, VA - Chrome - Cable 0.440s first byte
- From: San Francisco, CA USA - Yottaa - Chrome - Cable 0.509s first byte
- From: New York, NY USA - Chrome - Cable - 0.467s first byte

In testing the site over the last 20 months, the speeds I listed have been the average.

The default concrete5 5.7 sample content and Elemental theme are not highly optimized and not small (around 1.7MB). These times could be reduced with additional basic optimization.

Ways to improve speed:
- Optimization from basic to more complex (async loading of assets and inlined critical CSS).
- Avoid using an "unlimited bandwidth and unlimited storage" web hosting plan, hosts offering these plans are well known to be slow.
- Make sure the blocks you use support caching or do not block full page caching.
- Avoid loading unnecessary assets in the head of your page. They will block rendering until loaded.
- Use a CDN (content delivery network) for handling asset loading.
- Use a non-shared hosting plan, a higher quality host, or VPS.
- If using a shared hosting plan, look for a host that uses SSD storage and does not offer unlimited storage and bandwidth.
kaladron replied on at Permalink Reply
Eh, thanks for the detail. I'm just starting to help with a school website so there's still lots to do before I post a lot of details asking for help. This initial question is me looking for just what's possible. Since I'm new to Concrete5 I did an initial search and noticed people being proud of 4 and 8 second TTFB and few responses encouraging people to do way better than that. I was worried that perhaps C5 just couldn't do it.