[Review] DreamPress and TTFB – Can we get good value with DreamHost’s plan?

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A good TTFB value should be less than 200ms for better search results. Time to first byte (TTFB) is to measure the server response. It measures the time when a visitor or client requests the web server and the first byte received by the user’s browser.

Based upon the type of content, the quality of TTFB values also changes. Static content TTFB expected to be below 100ms for the best score. For dynamic pages, it can be between 200 to 500ms.

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DreamHost and WordPress Hosting

DreamPress is one of the managed wordpress hosting plans of DreamHost. It is a premium plan of the hosting service.

It is a scalable service that lets bloggers and owners manage their WordPress sites with simple pricing, add robust servers, and benefit from caching and memory.

Also Read – Performance Test with WP Rocket and Autoptimize Together – Results

DreamPress Benefits

Each DreamPress instance set up on DreamHost’s cloud service technology called OpenStack. Some of the advantages of this plan are –

  1. provision sites automatically
  2. disallow access to root, sudo, and FTP. (login via SFTP is possible)
  3. free “Let’s Encrypt” HTTPS certificate allowed.
  4. You can adjust Available memory and storage based on the plan.
  5. The current and last two versions of WordPress are available.
  6. PHP version recommended by the last 3 major releases of WordPress available.
  7. A server cache called Varnish cache is available.
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In this case study, we will see whether TTFB metric using DreamHost’s DreamPress premium plan is low or high.

web page test results using dreampress plan

Test Site – DreamPress and TTFB

The WordPress site we are testing is on the latest version of 5.8. It is using the free version of Cloudflare CDN. Rocket Loader and Brotli compression used. No other minification or caching methods used from Cloudflare. The server is a location in the US.

total and active plugins on the site

37 plans installed on the site. Out of the 28 are active. For minification, we are using the Fast Velocity Minify (FVM) plugin.

Caching done by the premium WP Rocket plugin with default settings. HTML, JS, CSS minification feature in WP Rocket disabled and taken care of by FVM.

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Test Web Page – DreamPress and TTFB

The page in the current scenario has 11 images.

DreamPress and TTFB – Test Study Scenario

We cleared all the caches on the website. These included FVM, WP Rocket (both normal and OPCache), and DreamPress Varnish cache.

Cloudflare cache also cleared. We were using the WebPageTest speed testing tool to measure the time-to-first-byte timings. We used 9 different server locations to test the efficacy of DreamPress on TTFB.

Results

first byte time using dreampress

The following is the table for one web page.

S.NoLocationTTFB (ms)
1Virginia, US340
2Sao Paulo, Brazil545
3London, UK353
4Cape Town, South Africa1352
5Dubai, UAE756
6Mumbai, India785
7Singapore487
8Tokyo, Japan311
9Sydney, Australia692
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Observations

Since the server is located in the US,  we had the best TTFB time from Virginia. It was 340 ms. We tested the page twice or thrice when the TTFB values were very large to get an average value.

The highest TTFB value was from CapeTown, South Africa. It had a value of 1.352s. The other server locations were between 350 to 750ms.

Keeping in the good values of TTFB for static content from Google as a benchmark. We can say that the TTFB score was average.

time to first byte time from sydney

You can see the actual time to first byte metric value in the WebPageTest on the details tab. When you click the first result and check details, you should see the actual time.

The above results reported are as of summary page. It will be little higher as compared to the actual value. But still as we can see above, TTFB is little higher using DreamPress.

Conclusion

Though the server response depends on the number of plugins, type of plugins, JS and CSS resources used, display, and video ads, the initial server response time is mainly dependent on the type of server configuration.

The location also plays a major role in getting good TTFB values. The amount of HTML page size after conversion creates higher TTFB values.

But on experience with DreamPress for over a year, the TTFB score was not that great with this current plan. Either a better plan needed, or we can use the APO features of Cloudflare for the best TTFB results.

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