How to Reduce Time To First Byte (TTFB) with IIS WordPress

Problem

There are many tools and many guidelines outline to help speed up web pages.  In my case, it is WordPress hosted in IIS 8.  TTFB was ~2 seconds and it took 5 seconds to load the page.

Black Hole

Optimization is like a black hole, sucking all your time while you try to score better on some benchmarks.  Common tricks include:

  • Use FastCGI
  • Use WinCache
  • Use WordPress cache plugin, such as W3 Total Cache.
  • Faster CPU, more Memory, use SSD drive

Troubleshoot

You can use many online sites (e.g. pingdom) to give you waterfall and recommendations.  They are also good to establish your performance baseline.

If you see high TTFB, then the next step is to use a browser on your web server to load the website.  Any web browser (Chrome, IE, Firefox) can give you a waterfall, if you still have a high TTFB, then you know it is something related to the web server, not due to long network distance from a test client.

Solution

For me, the following trip reduces my WordPress page:

  • Total load time from > 5 seconds to 1.2 seconds. 
  • TTFB dropped from ~2 seconds to 183 ms.

The solution is to disable IPv6 on Windows Server.  I simply used Microsoft’s “Fix it”

http://support.microsoft.com/en-us/kb/929852

Reference:

http://forums.iis.net/t/1153459.aspx (many thanks to that thread of discussion!!!)

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