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First Byte time very slow

  • Hi,

    I installed the latest version of W3 Total cache, configured it and added a CDN (MaxCDN). When testing our website: http://mijncosmetica.nl I see that loading times haven’t improved and the site was getting slower.

    I started checking loading times on http://www.webpagetest.org/ I saw that everything was loading very quickly but that the first byte time was massive (5 – 6 seconds). I’m really trying to seek for a solution.

    Perhaps my configuration was not 100% correct or there is another solution to resolve.

    Thanks for your time and knowledge.


    Jeroen Hamel


Viewing 12 replies - 1 through 12 (of 12 total)
  • Plugin Author Frederick Townes


    You have woocommerce on your site, so if a cookie is set then cache pages are not being sent. When I’m not authenticated or no cookie sent, things are quite fast.

    Hi Frederick,

    Thanks for you very prompt reply. I didn’t realize that this is causing a really slow first byte time. Is there perhaps possibility to resolve this?

    I’m currently looking into the possibility of adding CloudFlare too. I don’t know if this will improve the performance. I’m really impressed with you pluggin and want to use all the features but as I expect you will understand I want to improve loading time for most users. Deactivating makes the website faster and I really convinced that working with your pluggin make WP sites a lot faster.

    Thanks agains.



    Plugin Author Frederick Townes


    Thanks for you very prompt reply. I didn’t realize that this is causing a really slow first byte time. Is there perhaps possibility to resolve this?

    With the current release of W3TC cookies prevent W3TC from “matching” a page as being unique and therefore allowing it to be returned as a cached page. A future release will generate unique cache keys per cookie, which will begin to address this. Other than that TTFB can be reduced for cache misses (which is what is happening when cookies are present in a request), by using object caching and / or database caching alongside of an opcode cache to optimize WP and PHP as far as they can go.

    I’m currently looking into the possibility of adding CloudFlare too. I don’t know if this will improve the performance.

    Alone, it will not address the issue. See above.

    No full page caching would help in an ecommerce site. Still, the performance could be improved with the help of WP Object Cache and W3 Total Cache, assuming, APC / memcached / Xcache is present with your host / server.

    Plugin Author Frederick Townes


    @opjacht, was that helpful?

    Hi Frederick, Pothi,

    Thanks for your support. I acitvated db and object cache. This doesn’t seem to improve the loading times. I contected my hosting provider as I can only use ‘disk’ as caching option and I’m convinced this is as slow as not caching. I will let you know once I got more info from them (they are also looking into the possibilities of Redis). I also use the CDN functionality.

    I also tested (and don’t know if I can mention this here) WP Super cache. This pluggin actually improved the TTFB. As this pluggin has some issues with the dynamic parts of the pages this isn’t option for at this moment. W3C offers much more options to customize the caching.

    As you mentioned Cloudflare will not address this issue alone. I also don’t know what the effect will be on dynamic elements. Perhaps it has to do with the Woocommerce plugin.

    Thanks again for you time.



    Hi Frederick,

    I had contact with my hoster and changed servers. Now I can make use of memcache.
    I can choose the option now in the W3C admin panel. When I choose this I get the following message:

    The following memcached servers are not responding or not running:
    Database Cache:

    Contacted the hosting again and they informed me that the memcache is available on the following location:

    Do you have experience with this? Can I change locations?

    Thanks again,


    Hi Frederick,

    I’m still trying to improve loading times and especially the TTFB.
    I managed to add update the memcache location by updating the ‘master.php’ (/wp-content/w3tc-config/master.php). This improved loading times a lot.

    I’m now monitoring if all caching goes well. If you have any futher tips please let me know. The only thin I’m seing now is when I add a product to the cart and later try to remove this from the header cart by clicking on ‘verwijderen’ (Dutch for remove). Visually this doesn’t seem to work.

    Thanks and regards,


    Plugin Author Frederick Townes


    @opjacht, Database Cache and Object Cache don’t improve loading times when you’re using page caching because it’s the page cache that is the “highest level” cache of the 3.

    Anyway, do you have the PECL memcache module installed? It’s required.

    @frederick, I am running into the same issue opjacht is experiencing with WooCommerece and TTFB. Do you have any suggestions on what can be done to speed things up till the matching logic is incorporated in W3 Total Cache?

    Also, is there an ETA for the feature?

    My site is http://www.alohayall.co – I am a huge fan of your work, W3 Total Cache is my favorite plugin and, by far, the most important component in each of my sites!

    I have the same TTFB problem. In fact, I have 2 problems.
    1. I have W3 Total Cache installed. However, the http://www.webpagetest.org/ test shows all cache static failed.
    And the TTFB is between over 8s to 2.747s (resun)
    My site is http://geoadvanced.com/

    2. It seems that W3 Total Cache increases TTFB. I use a test site (http://geoadvanced.org/) to test the TTFB. Below are the results:
    No Cache WP Super cache W3 Total Cache
    1st time 0.385/0.516 0.380/0.294 0.887/0.717
    rerun 0.738/0.262 0.313/0.265 0.672/0.676
    1st time 0.532/0.262 0.272/0.266 0.778/0.687

    Any suggestions and solutions?
    Thank you.

    Hey I have the same issue, the first time the page takes long time to load
    according to http://www.webpagetest.org/

    First View 7.981s
    Repeat View 3.332s

    Any idea, my site is not an ecommerce site.

Viewing 12 replies - 1 through 12 (of 12 total)
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