Optimizing Site Performance: Beyond WordPress

Web performance optimization isn’t simply done inside WordPress. It goes far beyond and often times in front. When it comes to determining site performance, various essential elements come into play, including DNS lookup time, TLS handshake, TCP connection, TTFB (Time To First Byte), and Content Download. This article will take you through each of these elements and their best practices in detail. By the end of it, you’ll have a holistic understanding of web performance optimization outside the WordPress application layer.

DNS Lookup Time

Remember, when we were kids, we would use a phone directory to look up people’s numbers? DNS(Domain Name System) works in a similar way. When you type a URL into your browser, DNS translates that domain name into an IP address pointing to a server where that website resides. This look-up time can vary, influencing total webpage loading speed.

Best Practices for Optimizing DNS Lookup Time

  1. Use a reliable DNS provider.
  2. Implement DNS Caching at the client or server level.
  3. Aim for a lower Time to Live (TTL) settings.

TLS Handshake

Transport Layer Security (TLS) handshake occurs when a user visits a website having an ‘https’ protocol. This secure connection between a client and a server is like a secret handshake between two old friends. It ensures that the data exchanged is encrypted and safe from prying eyes.

Best Practices for Optimizing TLS Handshake

  1. Use TSL 1.3, which requires fewer round-trips than TLS 1.2.
  2. Implement OCSP stapling to lower certificate validation time.
  3. Use CDN(Content Delivery Network) providers that maintain persistent connections with origins servers.

TCP Connection

TCP (Transmission Control Protocol) is the fundamental protocol that powers the internet. Imagine the internet as a massive highway. TCP would be the traffic rules which ensures that data packets reach their destination properly and in order.

Best Practices for TCP Connection

  1. Implement HTTP/2, which allows multiplexing, leading to better resource utilization and faster load times.
  2. “Keep-Alive” feature allows TCP connections to stay open for multiple requests, reducing the time needed to establish new connections.
  3. Use CDN providers that are geographically closer to your users to reduce TCP round trip time.

TTFB (Time To First Byte)

TTFB is the time a browser waits to receive the first byte of data from the server after it has made a request. It’s like waiting for your meal after ordering at a restaurant.

Best Practices for TTFB optimization

  1. Optimize server and application logic.
  2. Implement Server Side Rendering (SSR) to provide the user interface (UI) faster.
  3. Upgrade to a faster hosting service.

Downloading Content

The last piece of the puzzle is downloading content. It’s the phase when the client’s browser receives the website’s data from the server and renders it for the user to see.

Best Practices for Optimizing Content Download

  1. Optimize images and other static assets using compression techniques.
  2. Implement lazy loading for images.
  3. Use CDNs to leverage browser caching.

To conclude, just remember the story of the tortoise and the hare. Speed alone isn’t everything. The hare was indeed the faster one, but it was the consistent and diligent tortoise who won the race. Likewise, optimizing these five elements carefully and consistently will help you win the website performance race. Happy Optimizing!

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