Role of TTFB in success of an e-commerce website

Updated 14 June 2017

Today we are living in an era where a buyer is surrounded by the options in terms of e-commerce websites. There are so many options are available for a buyer to purchase from. So we need to grab the buyer who visits our e-commerce website. But if the load time of our website is higher then buyer usually switch to other options.

There are various reasons for the higher load time of a website but TTFB is major in all of them. TTFB also plays an important role in sales conversion for an e-commerce website. When a website loads quickly then that website achieves a lower Bounce Rate (the percentage of visitors to a particular website who navigate away from the site after viewing only one page). If a user spends more time on a website then it leads to higher chances of sales conversion.

Introduction to TTFB :

Time To First Byte (TTFB) is a measurement used as an indication of the responsiveness of a web server to other network resources.

TTFB measures the duration from the user or client making an HTTP request to the first byte of the page being received by the client’s browser. This time is made up of the socket connection time, the time taken to send the HTTP request, and the time taken to get the first byte of the page. Although sometimes misunderstood as a post-DNS calculation, the original calculation of TTFB in networking always includes network latency in measuring the time it takes for a resource to begin loading.

Improving TTFB with CDNs :

The main reason for greater TTFB is DNS Lookup. If DNS ( Domain Name System- It maps the IP address with the Domain Name) is greater, then your TTFB will be higher and your system will not respond quickly.

You can reduce TTFB by reducing the DNS Lookup (distance) between your content and your visitors. If your servers are in Atlanta, but your users are in Sydney, you don’t want your users to request content halfway around the world. Instead, you want to move that content as close to your users as possible.

Fortunately, there’s an easy way to do this, move your static content into a Content Delivery Network (CDN). CDNs automatically replicate your content to multiple locations around the world, geographically closer to your users. So now if you publish content in Atlanta, it will automatically copy to a server in Sydney from which your Australian users will download it. As you can see in the diagram below, CDNs make a considerable difference in reducing the distance of your user requests, and hence reduce the latency component of TTFB:

Before CDN :

After CDN :

To make an impact on TTFB, make sure the CDN you choose can cache the static HTML of your website homepage, and not just dependent resources like images, javascript, and CSS since that is the initial resource which google bot will request and measure TTFB.

There are a number of great CDNs out there including Akamai, Amazon Cloudfront, Cloudflare, and many other.

Visit for AWS Setup Services, Speed Optimization, and Virtualization of your e-commerce website.

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Category(s) cloud ecommerce
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