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WebPagetest Forums - First Byte F Rating, 5+ Second Page Loads

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Full Version: First Byte F Rating, 5+ Second Page Loads
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My website currently has an F rating for First Byte time, with 5+ second page loads.


I have spent several days talking to tech support agents at Blue Host, even had an admin take a look at the server my site was housed on. Nothing seems to improve the first byte time or page load speeds. I have tried stripping down the site to bare minimum, no wordpress plugins, basic 2012 wordpress theme, optimizing sql datbases etc.

Just spent 40 minutes in a Blue Host tech support chat and he was unable to find the source of slowness, in fact it ran quick (second or less) on his end even through proxies. And he had this to say:

"Sorry I am searching high and low for slowness anywhere and really truthfully can't see any. I've checked nearly every log, checked multiple proxy sites for speed tests and many other things and cannot find slowness I'm sorry. Believe me, I wish, in a way, that I could see slowness so that I could troubleshoot it, but I cannot see a proxy that is taking more than a second to pull up that site"

Would really appreciate some input on this and what I might be able to do to remedy the situation.

Downloading your page from my place (north germany) takes me 2-5 seconds (using curl). If there where any proxies involved, there should be "via" headers in the response.

But visiting the site with a browser takes 15 seconds.
(03-25-2013 11:57 PM)Torsten Robitzki Wrote: [ -> ]Downloading your page from my place (north germany) takes me 2-5 seconds (using curl). If there where any proxies involved, there should be "via" headers in the response.

But visiting the site with a browser takes 15 seconds.

Thanks for checking that out. 15 Seconds is unacceptable. I am not sure why the site is having issues, as I said all plugins are disabled and I stripped it down tot the basic 2012 word press theme.

Anyone have possible ideas for a solution?

are you using any type of caching at all? Using Varnish, memcache?
Check out this url:

I believe you site needs to be optimized, but it could be your apache configuration as well.

Could you post some of your apache's configuration?

<IfModule prefork.c>

PageSpeed 1.12 Score: 66/100*

Enable compression
Compressing the following resources with gzip could reduce their transfer size by 151.8KiB (74% reduction).
Compressing could save 85.0KiB (84% reduction).
Compressing could save 58.8KiB (64% reduction).
Compressing could save 2.1KiB (59% reduction).
Compressing could save 1.9KiB (61% reduction).
Compressing could save 1.6KiB (61% reduction).
Compressing could save 1.5KiB (74% reduction).
Compressing could save 527B (55% reduction).
Compressing could save 378B (43% reduction).
Leverage browser caching
The following cacheable resources have a short freshness lifetime. Specify an expiration at least one week in the future for the following resources: (expiration not specified) (expiration not specified) (expiration not specified) (expiration not specified) (expiration not specified) (expiration not specified) (12 hours)
When the site is all stripped down to basic wordpress, I would think the web server and/or database server are the factor.

You could try to test a static html file, and see how that one performs, to eliminate the bare web server and network connection as the problem.

Next step could be testing the PHP engine speed without database connection.
Thanks for your reply vovone. Unfortunately I think the diagnostics you recommended are not too familiar to me. I am not sure how to create a static html, or eliminated the bare web server and network connections or testing php. I might google these to see how to do them, but I assume they require advanced knowledge that I simply dont have.

I did locate a thread on blue host forums and it does seem like many other users are experiencing a similar phenomenon as me, found here
It seems I will likely just switch to a more reliable service like WP Engine or
Hello bluehabit,

It's not that complicated to test a static html file. But I send you a PM (private message, link near the top of this page) yesterday to offer you help with a test I like to try too.

I don't know what kind of access you have to your shared web hosting package, but I'm quite sure there is some kind of upload options either via FTP or via your control panel to upload a simple static html file and then point the WPT test url to that file.

Anyway, you might reply to the PM I sent you, and we can perform some tests I'm also interested in.
From the looks of your test I would say that there were a couple of problems going on. Almost certainly there is a database performance problem or a problem with the web server php configuration. It looks like requests that hit your application code are significantly slower than those that serve static files:

Requests 3,4,8 and 11-17 are all static files while 1,2,5 and 6 are going through the wordpress php code.

You probably don't need to test a static html file separately unless you are curious, your current site is serving enough static files as part of it's normal loading to look at.

That said, even the static files look slow relatively speaking. They are taking 100-200ms longer than they should for 3,4 and 8 - the green part of the line should be a lot more like 11-13.

It looks a lot like a shared host that is over-provisioned too far and it can't keep up with the requests.
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