How to Reduce Server Response Time in WordPress?

Reduce Server Response Time

Are you getting “Reduce Server Response Time” message when running website speed test?

In this article, I mentioned 8 ways to reducing response time of server, and boosting up the loading speed.

What is Server Response Time?

Server Response Time is the duration between the request sent by the browser to the server, and the first byte received by the browser.

When a user clicks on the link, it sends the request to the server for the data. After receiving the request, the server responds with the mentioned assets. The time it takes between sending the request and getting the HTML document of response is Server Response Time.

Google suggests keeping the Server Response Time under 200 ms. The response time of a server is typically measured with what is known as a time to first byte (TTFB). If it is more than this, the longer will be rendering the HTML and more time in loading all the other resources of the page.

Why Reducing Server Response Time?

Be it Pingdom, GTmetrix, or any other Pingdom speed test, you will see the Reduce Server Response Time warning if the page loads slowly.

reduce server response time

Three main reasons to reduce server response time:

  • SEO and better ranking
  • Better loading means better UX
  • Improved trust factor among visitors

Research shows that more than 1/3 people will abandon the page if it takes more than 3 seconds to load. Also, the more time it needs to load, the worse it ranks on the search engine result page (SERP).

With faster web page loading means better user experience, which improves the trust factor among visitors, by reducing the bounce rate.

Ways to Reduce Server Response Time

Here are ways to reduce server response time.

  1. Fast Web Hosting
  2. Compress, Minify, Optimize Scripts
  3. Optimize your Web Server
  4. Improve database performance
  5. Use a CDN
  6. Implement Caching
  7. Keeping WordPress Clean
  8. Monitor PHP Usage
  9. 3rd Party Scripts

#1 Fast Web Hosting

A quality WordPress hosting can solve many of your speed-related problems. So always get the quality WordPress hosting.

Fast Web Hosting means:

  • High-quality hardware of their servers
  • Properly optimized for WordPress
  • Use of latest technology and modern infrastructure
  • SSD storage with support of NVMe
  • Dedicated resources for a client
  • Uptime monitoring to make sure that hosting is always efficient

Ensure that the WordPress hosting you are taking is providing you the best of the best. At ServerGuy, our focus is to load our client’s site under three seconds.

Our team has experience of years in optimizing the servers, and we configure the hosting that explores the true potential of WordPress. You can check our WordPress hosting plans.

#2 Compress, Minify, Optimize Scripts

When writing the code and scripts, developers leave lots of white space, comments, and formatting, that are not needed to run the system.

The spacing makes the file heavy and increases its size. To reduce the size of the file, one has to minify it. In minification, the unnecessary character gets deleted, while the code runs correctly.

UnOptimized HTML:

<div class="container">
  <div class="mug"></div>
  <div class="soft-drink-cup-1-wrapper">
    <div class="soft-drink-cup">
      <div class="ice-cubes"></div>
    <div class="cap"></div>
    <div class="straw"></div>
  <div class="soft-drink-cup-2-wrapper">
    <div class="soft-drink-cup"></div>
    <div class="cap"></div>
  <div class="soft-drink-cup-3-wrapper">
    <div class="soft-drink-cup">
      <svg viewBox="0 0 500 500" preserveAspectRatio="xMinYMin meet">
        <path d="M0,100 C150,200 350,0 500,100 L500,00 L0,0 Z" style="stroke: none; fill:#d5b498;"></path>
    <div class="cap"></div>
    <div class="straw"></div>

Optimized HTML:

<div class="container"> <div class="mug"></div><div class="soft-drink-cup-1-wrapper"> <div class="soft-drink-cup"> <div class="ice-cubes"></div></div><div class="cap"></div><div class="straw"></div></div><div class="soft-drink-cup-2-wrapper"> <div class="soft-drink-cup"></div><div class="cap"></div></div><div class="soft-drink-cup-3-wrapper"> <div class="soft-drink-cup"> <svg viewBox="0 0 500 500" preserveAspectRatio="xMinYMin meet"> <path d="M0,100 C150,200 350,0 500,100 L500,00 L0,0 Z" style="stroke: none; fill:#d5b498;"></path> </svg> </div><div class="cap"></div><div class="straw"></div></div></div>

Minification of JavaScript, CSS or HTML can reduce the file size up to 50%, and sometimes more.

Also, look for if the hosting has enabled Gzip compression. Gzip is a type of formatting the file that reduces the size of the file significantly.

#3 Optimize your Web Server

Optimizing a web server is not something that everyone can do correctly. Moreover, our team is an expert in configuring servers. 

A properly optimized web server reduces server response time. You can either choose the Apache webserver or Nginx. These two are most accessible web servers and power the large part of the Internet.

Both have their pros and cons, and you can read more about them: Nginx vs. Apache Web server.

#4 Improve database performance

Apart from optimizing code and servers, it is also essential to ensure that the database is optimized correctly. 

Improve Database performance:

  • Do proper indexing of the database tables
  • Retrieving only the relevant data and information
  • Deleting correlated queries
  • Using/avoiding the temporary tables
  • Not using coding loops as much as possible
  • Optimizing database schema

These are the few ways you can optimize database performance. In the beginning, the database is clear and responds quickly to requests. The data transmit fast, but as the data begin to increase, the tables become cluttered.

In the end, the databases are filled with so much content that it takes time to find critical information.

That’s why regular cleaning of the database is recommended.

#5 Use a CDN

CDN or Content Delivery Network is a network of edge servers around the globe that cached the public assets of the site, and then serve the content from the nearest server.

The distance between the server and browser (user) plays a critical role in loading WordPress sites. By implementing CDN, you reduce the distance between the server and the user, and eventually, it leads to the fast loading of the page.

You can use WordPress CDN plugins and free CDN service in the beginning.

#6 Implement Caching

Having caching implemented on the WordPress site is standard practice, and if you are not doing it, you are lagging behind the web norm.

Leverage browser caching to boost the speed of the site. There is Redis caching, memcaching, and server-side caching, you have to use them to adequately cached the site’s resources.

There are WordPress caching plugins, such as WPRocket, W3 Total Cache, WP Fastest Cache, that you can use to enable it. Without the cache, the browser loads content from the webserver every time, and it puts the pressure on the server.

#7 Keeping WordPress Clean

WordPress is a powerful and most popular PHP based platform to make sites and blogs. There are plugins for every other functionality, and that makes WordPress so beginner-friendly. 

But cleaning WordPress is not that straight. Even after you uninstall the plugin, it will leave behind an enormous amount of chunks and cookies. That’s why you should not install plugins that you are not using. Because, they all make the platform mess up, and make it slow to run.

Keep the platform neat and clean, so it eats up fewer CPU resources.

#8 Monitor PHP Usage

WordPress is a PHP based platform, and the speed of the site is directly proportional to the speed of PHP. If heavy PHP scripts are running on the site, it will inevitably slow down the loading speed.

Please make sure the PHP is updated, and it is on the latest version. A website running on PHP 5 will have a slower server response time than the site running on the PHP 7.

Check out the PHP version your site has, and if it is not late, ask your hosting provider to upgrade it. Use the PHP compatibility plugin to find out the PHP version of your site.

PHP version checker

#9 3rd Party Scripts

Sometimes your WordPress website is slowing down due to the third party scripts. 

Let’s say you embed a Tweet to the blog post. The browser will also send the request to Twitter to send the mentioned tweet. If the Twitter or the third party content you hosted on the page has a slow server, it will affect the performance of your website too.

The server response time of the WordPress websites is only as fast as the slowest loading request on the page. Make every request fast, and the overall page will open faster.


How do I speed up my WordPress site in 5 minutes?

You can speed up your WordPress website by implementing a CDN and caching plugin. Caching plugin makes a copy of the static website assets near the user. A CDN brings the database closer to the user. A WordPress website will see a noticeable boost in speed by adding a CDN and caching.


Server response time is a critical speed metric, and you have to reduce server response time to get the fast loading speed of the WordPress site.

In this post, I mentioned the ways you can do it. I hope this post helps you. If there is any other way to reduce server response time, leave it in the comment box.

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