How To Reduce Server Response Times (TTFB) In WordPress To <100ms Globally: Your Hosting + CDN Are The 2 Main Factors

Reduce server response times ttfb wordpress

Have a poor TTFB in KeyCDN or SpeedVitals?

Google clearly lists your host/CDN as the 2 main factors of server response times (TTFB). And since TTFB is 40% of LCP, it plays a huge role in web vitals. TTFB is the single most important metric to improve web vitals as it impacts 4/6 user metrics in PageSpeed Insights, including FCP.

The problem is, there is a lot of bad information out there about which host/CDN is fastest. Read my article on the best hosting which debunks a lot of misinformation. Since your host/CDN are the 2 main TTFB factors, use a host with fast hardware + software and a CDN with a large network that has features like full page caching.

Latency is also part of TTFB. Your DNS plays a big role (along with your cache plugin, server load, and other factors which I’ll cover in this tutorial). Feel free to comment if you need help!

What Is A Good TTFB?

Google flags your TTFB if it’s over 600ms but they used to recommend just 200ms. You can aim for 600ms on shared hosting and 200ms on VPS/cloud. TTFB also depends on where you test it.

0-200ms Google Recommended
0-600ms Passes Core Web Vitals
600ms+ Fails Core Web Vitals


1. Choose A Data Center Close To Your Visitors

Choosing a host with a close data center to visitors is an easy way to improve TTFB.

Siteground data center

In KeyCDN’s Performance Test, TTFB gets slower as the data center gets further away. This is a better way to test TTFB than most tools (like GTmetrix) which only test it in 1 location at a time.

Keycdn performance test cloudflare 1

However, don’t choose a host only based on their data centers. You need to look at their hardware, software, CDN, cache plugin, and several other factors besides a “close data center.”

When using more powerful CDNs like Cloudflare Enterprise, using a close data center barely matters since your TTFB is often able to average 100ms globally. This is due to caching both static/dynamic files (using full page caching) while using other CDN features like smart routing.


2. Move Your DNS To Cloudflare Or QUIC

Use Cloudflare’s DNS in most cases (or QUIC’s DNS if you’re on a LiteSpeed server). Cloudflare is a top performer on and QUIC is needed for better geographic routing with Anycast.

Other DNS providers are slow and add latency. For example, GoDaddy and Kinsta’s DNS (Route 53) don’t perform well on While other DNS providers are unreliable: SiteGround’s DNS was blocked by Google for 4 days, causing 2 million domains to be deindexed from Google.

Cloudflare dns

How To Move Your DNS To Cloudflare

Sign up for Cloudflare through their website, add your website, and they will scan records. Cloudflare will eventually provide you with 2 nameservers. Login to your domain registrar (i.e GoDaddy/Namecheap) and find the option to change nameservers (usually in the DNS settings). Replace the nameservers with Cloudflare’s, then in Cloudflare, click ‘Done, check nameservers.’

Cloudflare change namesevers

How To Move Your DNS To QUIC (LiteSpeed Only)


3. Choose A Fast CDN

Which CDN you choose has a massive impact on TTFB.

Cloudflare with APO and (on LiteSpeed) are both fast/affordable CDNs with full page caching. If you have a WooCommerce site or global audience, Cloudflare Enterprise is even faster with Argo Smart Routing + load balancing + image optimization + prioritized routing.

Some hosts offer Cloudflare Enterprise (or at least a partial integration of it), but’s Cloudflare Enterprise is best. Not only is it free with their hosting (which is also fast), but it has more features. For example, Kinsta and WP Engine’s Cloudflare integration lack way too many features to be considered “Enterprise.” Cloudways just recently added full page caching and it also serves annoying challenge pages.’s better integration has a lot to do with Ben Gabler’s background (’s CEO) who was previously StackPath’s Chief Product Officer.

Rocket. Net true cloudflare enterprise

Cloudflare Free Cloudflare Enterprise (Cloudways) Cloudflare Enterprise (Servebolt) Cloudflare Enterprise (
Tbps 192 192 192 192
Edge locations 285 285 285 285
APO $5/mo
Argo Smart Routing $5/mo + $.10/GB
Prioritized routing x
Load balancing 500k queries free then 5 cents/500k
Mirage + Polish x
Automatic configuration x x x
Bandwidth Unlimited 100GB/mo 1TB/mo Depends on hosting plan
Price Free $5/mo (1 domain) $299/mo (1 domain) Free w/ hosting

Out of the CDNs below, use FlyingCDN (for FlyingPress) or (for LiteSpeed).

RocketCDN (WP Rocket) SiteGround CDN 2.0 BunnyCDN FlyingCDN (FlyingPress) Standard Plan
CDN StackPath SiteGround BunnyCDN BunnyCDN QUIC
Tbps 100 Not listed 80 80 Not listed
Edge locations 73 176 114 114 81
Full page cache x Perma-Cache Perma-Cache
HTTP/3 x x x
Load balancing x
WAF x x
Anti-DDoS x x
Image optimization x Limited Bunny Optimizer ($9.50/mo) Bunny Optimizer (included)
Bandwidth Not unlimited as advertised Not unlimited as advertised Unlimited Unlimited Unlimited
Price $8.99/mo $14.99/mo $.01 – .06/GB $.03/GB $.02 – .08/GB


4. Use Full Page Caching

Only a handful of CDNs support full page caching. Here are a few:

  • Cloudflare APO
  •’s CDN
  • SiteGround’s CDN (v2)
  • BunnyCDN (Perma-Cache)
  • Super Page Cache For Cloudflare plugin
  •, Cloudways, and Kinsta’s CDN all use Cloudflare’s full page caching

With full page caching, Cloudflare’s APO improved TTFB by 72%. And since TTFB (server response time) is a large part of LCP/FCP, it’s one of the best way to improve core web vitals.

Cloudflare apo impact on ttfb fcp si

In APO’s post-launch report, mobile usually improves slightly more than desktop:

Cloudflare apo impact on ttfb


5. Use A CDN With Smart Routing

Some CDNs use “smart routing” which can improve latency by about 60%:

Argo latency reduction

This routes traffic through the fastest CDN network paths and is specifically good for WooCommerce or dynamic sites. Cloudflare has Argo Smart Routing (included with and Cloudways’ Cloudflare Enterprise). QUIC also uses advanced routing when using their DNS.

When using Cloudflare Argo, it’s best to also use Tiered Cache + cache reserve.

Cloudflare cache reserve


6. Use A CDN With Load Balancing

Load balancing steers traffic away from unhealthy origins and distributes traffic to the most available server pools. This can improve both latency and uptimes. You can either use a CDN that already supports load balancing (such as’s, Cloudways, or BunnyCDN). Or if you’re using Cloudflare directly, you will need to set this up manually using this video tutorial.

Cloudflare load balancing


7. Try A Host With Faster Hardware/Software

There’s a lot of bad information out there on which host is “fastest.”

When comparing hosts, ignore their marketing. You really need to look at their hardware, software, CDN, cache plugin, and resource limits (CPU cores, RAM, inodes).

When choosing any host, I like to look at:

  • Do they use LiteSpeed or Apache?
  • Do they use NVMe storage which is faster than SATA?
  • Do they use MariaDB which has advantages over MySQL?
  • Do they have scam reports like Hostinger and GreenGeeks?
  • If you also use them for email hosting, you’ll want more inodes.
  • Complaints on TrustPilot about specific issues like high CPU usage.

Hosts I Would Avoid:

SiteGround GrowBig Hostinger Business WP GoDaddy Managed WP Deluxe Bluehost Choice Plus WPX Business Plan
Type Shared Shared Shared Shared Shared
Server Apache + Nginx Apache + Nginx Apache + Nginx Apache + Nginx LiteSpeed
Cores/RAM Not listed 2 cores/1.5GB 2 cores/1GB Not listed 1 core/1GB
Database MySQL MariaDB MySQL MySQL MariaDB
Object cache Memcached Memcached Memcached x x
Data centers 10 8 9 6 3
Cache plugin SG Optimizer LiteSpeed Cache x x W3 Total Cache
CDN SiteGround CDN ($14.99/mo) ($.02-.08/GB) GoDaddy CDN (free) Cloudflare (free) XDN (free)
CDN locations 176 81 Not listed 285 36
Full page caching x x x
Control panel Site Tools hPanel cPanel cPanel WPX Panel
Email storage 10GB 1GB 10GB Adjustable Not listed but frequent issues
Inodes 400,000 600,000 250,000 200,000 At discretion
Major incidents TTFB, DNS, CPU issues (denies it) Downtimes scams, fake reviews, breach Malware, several data breaches Downtimes Downtimes, global outage
Migrations $30/site Unlimited (but screws it up) Paid “Qualified” accounts only 5 free
Support D F D D B
TrustPilot rating 4.6/5 4.6/5 (fake) 4.7/5 3.8/5 4.9/5
Monthly price $3.99 (1 year) $3.99 (1-4 years) $10.49 (2 years) $5.45 (1 year) $20.83 (1 year)
Renewals $24.99/mo $8.99-$14.99 $14.99/mo $19.99/mo $20.83

Siteground slow ttfb

Good LiteSpeed Hosting Plans:

FastComet FastCloud Extra NameHero Turbo WordPress ChemiCloud WordPress Turbo Scala Entry WP Cloud
Type Shared Shared Shared Cloud
Cores/RAM 6 cores/6GB 3 cores/3GB 3 cores/3GB (scalable to 6/6) No limits
Storage type 35GB SATA Unlimited NVMe (US data center) 40GB NVMe (9/11 data centers) 50GB NVMe (US data center)
Database MySQL MariaDB MariaDB MariaDB
Object cache Memcached Redis Memcached Redis
Data centers 11 2 (US + EU) 11 3 (US + EU)
Server LiteSpeed LiteSpeed LiteSpeed LiteSpeed
Cache plugin LiteSpeed Cache LiteSpeed Cache LiteSpeed Cache LiteSpeed Cache
CDN ($.02-.08/GB) ($.02-.08/GB) ($.02-.08/GB) ($.02-.08/GB)
Control panel cPanel cPanel cPanel sPanel
Email storage 2.048GB Adjustable Adjustable Adjustable
Inodes 500,000 500,000 500,000 Unlimited
Major incidents 2022 DDoS attack on 3 data centers 2011 2-day node outage None None
Migrations 3 free 1 free 200 cPanel + 10 non-cPanel 1 free
Support B B B B
TrustPilot rating 4.9/5 4.6/5 4.9/5 4.9/5
Monthly price $5.49 (1-3 years) $9.98 (3 years) $5.99 (3 years) $14.95 (3 years)
Renewals $21.95/mo $19.95/mo $19.95/mo $24.95/mo
Chemicloud gtmetrix report 
Chemicloud vs sitegroundChemicloud pro feedbackChemicloud speed ui supportSiteground vs chemicloud comparison 

Popular Cloud Hosting Plans (Last 2 Are Better, Especially For WooCommerce):

SiteGround Cloud Jump Start Plan Kinsta Starter Plan Cloudways Vultr HF (2GB) Servebolt Pro Plan Starter Plan
Type Cloud Cloud w/ shared containers Cloud Cloud Private cloud
Server Apache + Nginx Apache + Nginx Apache + Nginx Apache + Nginx Apache + Nginx
Cores/RAM 4 cores/8GB 12 cores/8GB 1 core/2GB Unmetered 32 cores/128GB
Reverse proxy $50/mo
Storage 40GB SATA 10GB SATA 64GB NVMe 4GB NVMe 10GB NVMe
Object cache Memcached Redis ($100/mo) Redis Pro x Redis
PHP processor FastCGI FastCGI FPM Apache 2 ITK MPM LiteSpeed
PHP workers CPU limits + suspensions 2 No limit No limit No limit
Memory limit Adjustable 256MB Adjustable 1GB 1GB
Database MySQL MySQL MariaDB MariaDB MariaDB
CDN $14.99/mo SiteGround CDN Cloudflare APO + firewall rules $5/mo Cloudflare Enterprise $299/mo Cloudflare Enterprise Free Cloudflare Enterprise
CDN locations 176 285 285 285 285
Full page cache x
Smart routing Anycast x Argo Argo Argo
Images Limited x Mirage/Polish Mirage/Polish Mirage/Polish
DNS Blocked by Google (4 days) Route 53 DNS Made Easy ($5/mo) x Cloudflare
Cache plugin SG Optimizer Use FlyingPress Breeze Servebolt plugin Use FlyingPress
Data centers 10 35 44 7 Served from Cloudflare edge
Bandwidth or monthly visits 5TB 25k 2TB 1M dynamic requests 50GB + 250k
Control panel Site Tools MyKinsta Custom (hard) Servebolt Panel Mission Control
Email hosting x x x x
Major incidents History of TTFB, DNS, CPU issues None None None None
Support C B C B A
Migrations $30/site Unlimited free 1 free + $25/site Unlimited free Unlimited free
TrustPilot rating 4.6/5 4.2/5 4.5/5 4.7/5 4.9/5
Price $100/mo $29/mo when paying yearly $35/mo with CF Enterprise $99/mo $25/mo when paying yearly
 Move to rocket. Net from sitegroundKinsta to rocket. Net resultsRocket. Net vs cloudways cpu usageRocket. Net no competitionRocket. Net trustpilot review
 Siteground to cloudways to rocket. Net 2Rocket. Net vs siteground commentMoved to rocket. Net vs sitegroundKinsta to rocket. Net ttfb redisRocket. Net vs kinstaRocket. Net vs kinsta priceRocket. Net faster than cloudwaysRocket. Net vs. Cloudways comparisonBluehost to cloudways to rocket. NetSiteground to rocket. Net post 2Rocket. Net vs cloudways vultr hf trustpilot review

Rocket. Net woocommerce elementor


8. Enable TLS 1.3

Higher TLS versions reduce latency and improve security.

Use TLS 1.2 + 1.3 as preferred versions in your hosting account, then disable 1.0 + 1.1. You can also set TLS versions in Cloudflare under SSL/TLS → Edge Certificates → Minimum TLS Version.

Cloudways tls versions

Next, use this TLS checker to see which versions are enabled or disabled on your site. You can also use KeyCDN’s Performance Test to measure TLS speed and how the change impacts TTFB.

Tls checker

There are other Cloudflare settings that help too:

  • Full (Or Full Strict) SSL – this is what Cloudflare recommends anyway.
  • Always Use HTTPS – safe to use if all connections are served from HTTPS.
  • TCP Turbo (Pro Feature) – reduces latency by automatically choosing TCP settings.
  • Custom SSL (Pro Feature) – upload SSL to Cloudflare to terminate SSL/TLS at the edge.


9. Test Your Site For HTTP/3

Cloudflare’s test showed TTFB was 12.4% faster when using HTTP/3.

You can enable this in Cloudflare or by using’s CDN on LiteSpeed which also supports HTTP/3. When you’re done, use an HTTP/3 test to check whether your site supports it.

Http 3 check


10. Increase Cache TTL

A longer TTL (time to live) can lead to a better cache hit ratio. The more cache hits, the faster your TTFB will be. Google recommends caching static resources for 1 year (but WooCommerce sites can aim for about 1 month) which fixes serve static assets with an efficient cache policy in PSI. Depending on where your cache is stored, this can be done in your hosting account or CDN.

Nginx static cache expiry


11. Switch To A Faster Cache Plugin

Cache plugins reduce TTFB by improving server processing times and serving files directly (reducing PHP/MySQL queries). I recommend LiteSpeed Cache (if you’re on LiteSpeed) and FlyingPress in all other cases. WP Rocket has fallen behind and has barely released any new features since 2011 if you check the changelog. SiteGround Optimizer does an even worse job addressing web vitals and has ongoing compatibility issues if you check their support threads.

SG Optimizer WP Rocket FlyingPress LiteSpeed Cache
Server-side caching x x
Object cache integration x x
Delay JavaScript x
Remove unused CSS x Inline Separate file Separate file
Critical CSS x
Preload critical images x x x
Exclude above the fold images By class/type By URL/class Automatic Automatic
Lazy load background images x Inline HTML lazy-bg class x
Add missing image dimensions x
Lazy load iframes x
YouTube iframe preview image x
Self-host YouTube placeholder x x x
Host fonts locally x x
Font-display: swap x
Preload links x
Bloat removal (beyond Heartbeat) x x (details) x
Lazy render HTML elements x x
Guest Mode x x x
Advanced cache control x x x
Gravatar cache x x x
Limit post revisions Delete all Delete all Keep some Keep some
CDN Google Cloud StackPath BunnyCDN
CDN PoPs 176 73 114 81
Full page caching x x
CDN geo-replication x x x
CDN image optimization x x
CDN image resizing for mobile x x x
CDN DDoS protection x x
CDN bandwidth Unmetered Very limited Usage-based Usage-based
Documented APO compatibility x x x
Documentation Not detailed Good Not detailed Good
New features Infrequent Infrequent Frequent Frequent
Facebook group Join Join Join Join
CDN price $14.99/mo $8.99/mo $.03/GB $.02-.08/GB
Plugin price Free $59/year $60/year Free
Renewal price Free $59/year $42/year Free

I personally moved from WP Rocket to FlyingPress and saw a big difference in core web vitals and real-world browsing speed. It was developed by Gijo Varghese who runs WP Speed Matters.

Omm switches to flyingpress


12. Reduce The Load On Your Server

If your CPU/memory usage are over 70%, visitors can experience lag.

The easiest way to reduce CPU usage is by using a hosting plan that uses LiteSpeed and includes more CPU cores/RAM (like as ChemiCloud, FastComet, or Just by switching to LiteSpeed, people have seen a 75%+ reduction in CPU usage. LiteSpeed uses CPU/memory more efficiently, it’s faster, and can handle more traffic compared to Apache.

Litespeed apache cpu usage

There also several other ways to reduce CPU usage if you don’t want to switch hosts:

  • Remove resource hungry plugins (see list)
  • Limit heartbeat, autosaves, post revisions, XML-RPC
  • Replace wp-cron with a real cron job
  • Use your CDN for firewall + image optimization
  • Block bad bots
  • Protect the wp-login page
  • Limit preloading + cache clearing in cache plugins
  • Install Redis or Memcached with OPcache
  • Avoid using page builders/WooCommerce on cheap shared hosting


13. Use The Latest PHP Version

Higher PHP versions reduce TTFB because they handle more requests/second.

Login to your hosting account and update to the latest stable PHP version. It’s a good idea to keep other technologies updated as well (MySQL version, WordPress core, themes, plugins, etc).

Php 8. 1


14. Test With And Without Gzip/Brotli

Compressing pages with Gzip or Brotli can sometimes increase TTFB, so make sure you test this. Check if your host supports Gzip/Brotli compression (Brotli is generally faster than Gzip).

Brotli cpanel
Gzip or Brotli can usually be turned ON/OFF in your hosting account (screenshot is for cPanel)
Cloudflare brotli
Cloudflare also has an option to enable Brotli


15. Optimize Your Database

A bloated, unoptimized database can also make your site/TTFB slower.

While cache plugins clean some junk, you’ll want to use something like WP-Optimize to do a thorough cleanup. This lets you go through your plugin tables, see how much overhead they add, and remove tables left behind by old plugins. You might also see specific plugins/modules adding lots of database bloat. I did, so I disabled several Rank Math features like their Analytics.

Wp optimize unused database tables

To make your database more efficient, use Memcached (or Redis) and OPcache. These can usually be activated in your hosting account and I generally recommend Redis which is more powerful than Memcached. Once activated, some cache plugins can connect it (LSC, W3TC, SG Optimizer). If it doesn’t, check your host’s documentation on how to connect object cache. And if they don’t support it, use Docket Cache. Some hosts (like and Cloudways) support Redis Object Cache Pro which is especially beneficial for dynamic websites like WooCommerce.

Opcache memcached redis
Activate Redis (or Memcached) and OPcache in your hosting account (screenshot is for cPanel)
Litespeed cache object cache
Connect object cache using your cache plugin if it supports it

How do I reduce initial server response times in WordPress?

A fast host/CDN is the best way to reduce server response times (TTFB) in WordPress. Use a host with updated hardware/software (like LiteSpeed). For a CDN, use a service with a large network, full page caching, and smart routing. Using a close data center to users helps too.

How do I reduce server response times with Cloudflare?

Cloudflare improves TTFB with their fast CDN and DNS. You can use Cloudflare to further improve TTFB by using APO, Argo Smart Routing, and load balancing (all are paid services).

How do I reduce server response times with WP Rocket?

WP Rocket improves server response times (TTFB) by optimizing your caching, database, and several other features. However, it does a worse job with TTFB and core web vitals compared to FlyingPress + LiteSpeed Cache, especially when using their slow RocketCDN.

Which WordPress plugins reduce server response time?

Cache plugins (like LiteSpeed Cache and FlyingPress) and Cloudflare's plugin (which is used to setup full page caching) are the 2 best plugins to reduce server response times.


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    • Hi Amit,

      I would try FlyingPress instead of WP Rocket since it’s faster with more features. Otherwise, looks like many recommendations are related to image optimization (resizing them to correct dimensions, compression, WebP). Which host/CDN are you using, and are you using anything for image optimization?


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