Time To First Byte (TTFB) is important for web marketers because there’s a statistically significant correlation between a fast TTFB and a high ranking on Google for generic search terms (e.g. those not including your brand name). Here's a beginners guide to how it's measured, how you can check yours and what qualifies as a good Time To First Byte (TTFB).
Time to First Byte (typically abbreviated to TTFB) is the measurement of time it takes for the initial computer handshake between your browser (Chrome, Firefox, Safari, etc) and the website you're visiting.
Time to First Byte (TTFB) is the measurement of time between:
Someone typing in your web address into their web browser and hitting “Enter”
The moment that your website replies with “I’m alive”
Time To First Byte isn't about how long it takes your entire webpage to download, nor is it a measure of how quickly all the pictures load. It's just about that initial connection; and it's that which is important.
How to check TTFB
This free, unique Monthly Website Health Checklist compiled by the team at Noisy Little Monkey will give you the low down on how to check your (and your competitors) TTFB - plus much more besides!
Ideally your TTFB needs to be faster than the TTFB of all your competitor websites.
So, what is a good Time To First Byte? Generally, under 0.3 seconds is what the SEO consultants at Noisy Little Monkey consider to be a good rule of thumb,
If your website's TTFB sucks, talk to your the people with whom you registered the Domain and your hosting company and ask what they can do to help! Our SEO clients benefit from super fast TTFB as part of the service but - surprise surprise - we charge a market leading fee, so it's probably worth you shouting at your hosting company for free, before you pay us to do so.
Further reading on TTFB
Image Credit: Flava Flav