New Google analysis reveals the fastest hosts

Written: 22.6.2019 Updated: 22.6.2019

A recent analysis done by Google, which is using data from the Chrome UX dataset‘s time-to-first-byte measurements from real-world users, shows that the speed of sites managed by Seravo was on average better than that of the traditional industry leaders in the WordPress ecosystem.

The percentage of sites with TTFB under 200 milliseconds (green) is much higher at Seravo than at the competition. Also the percentage of slow sites (red) is lower at Seravo.

Time to first byte

TTFB is measured as the time from the start of browser client request until the time that the browser client receives the first byte of the response from the server. It includes the network setup time (SSL, DNS, TCP) as well as server-side processing.

In the case of WordPress sites, this number also includes all the time spent by the WordPress code (PHP), database and filesystem until it is able to provide the HTML output it produces. TTFB is a good measure to estimate how fast WordPress itself is as it does not include things like CSS, JavaScript and other asset loading.

You can test the TTFB of your site by using the browser developer console (usually opened by pressing F12) or using an online service like Webpagetest.org.

The Chrome UX dataset study

The Chrome web browser collects some anonymized data on how real browsers of real users out there load web pages. TTFB is one of the collected metrics. This dataset is available for Chrome developers so they can get insight into performance issues in the real world, and learn things that eventually lead to faster browsers and faster loading websites.

Google employee Rick Viscomi used this data to make some statistics on how fast different content management systems are on average. He also looked into the variation of WordPress TTFB speeds among selected hosting providers.

As seen in the graph below, there are a lot of slow loading WordPress sites out there, and speed is a known issue that many try to tackle on their WordPress sites.

Time to first byte by content management systems. WordPress is the leftmost one.

Note that this data does not reflect how fast or slow the CMS really are, but it shows what the TTFB is as experienced by Chrome users is on average. In a sense the value is more real than synthetic benchmarks. On the other hand one should also consider that since this is tested from users of Chrome, the TTFB also includes the latency between the server and the user which is independent from any of the technical solutions done at the host.

TTFB has traditionally been measured synthetically in the lab, so what makes this dataset unique is that it reflects the real-world server response times experienced by Chrome users as they navigate the web.

Rick Viscomi, Google

Note that the dataset of CrUX only includes the most visited websites in the world. Therefore only 400 sites of Seravo are in the sample instead of all our 3000+ sites. However, the sample is still significant enough to be statistically valid.

Seravo is committed to performance

We’ve built our server infrastructure from the ground up to provide the fastest possible WordPress hosting experience for our customers. With built-in HTTP caching and automatic scaling on all of our plans, we aim to make fast WordPress sites a reality for everyone.

Check out all of our features to learn more about our hosting and upkeep!

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Otto Kekäläinen

CEO

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