Web Hosting Is Like Pizza

I’m a member of many WordPress-related Facebook groups and spend way too much time perusing them, answering questions and giving advice where I can.

A member of one such group posted a pretty regularly asked question. It started like this.

Hi all looking for some opinions on hosting.

Without specifying any requirements or information about their website, the poster was looking for recommendations to increase the Time To First Byte (TTFB)

I replied with some points they could investigate to find the underlying issue before jumping to another web hosting provider.

Here are my tips if you are in the same situation.

Why Is My Website Getting Slow TTFB?

First, run your site through a speed test and optimise it as best you can by following their recommendations.

Secondly, raise a support ticket with your current web host and ask them to investigate TTFB.

Ask if they have New Relic with the WordPress addon, as that can provide a lot more data on what’s going on under the hood.

Thirdly, TTFB is also affected by your theme, your plugins and what they do when initiated at the beginning of every WordPress page request.

Have you disabled all your plugins, switched to a Twenty Twenty theme and ran a baseline TTFB test for comparison?

That’s the fastest WordPress will get on that server.

There’s a tonne of investigation and stuff you can do before thinking and asking about hosting recommendations.

Back To the Story & Pizza

The poster qualified that they had already fully optimised the site and was looking for general web hosting recommendations, again without providing any information about their website.

Sigh 🙄

Web Hosting Is Like Pizza

The pizza base is made from the same ingredients but some people put extra effort into making the dough crispier or fluffier or both and stuffed with cheese – they usually charge more for that.

Some whack on pre-made tomato sauce and others take the time to make their own unique tomatoey yumminess.

Some people love the sweet taste of pineapple as a topping while others claim this is blasphemy.

Some companies offer premium toppings like BBQ cheeseburger with truffle oil and others just throw on cheap cheese.

The key takeaway is if you ask anyone for pizza recommendations you’ll get a different answer because it depends on a multitude of different things, some being personal tastes, preferences, price, and good or bad experiences.

Web hosting is like pizza.

Buy one and try it out.

If you don’t like it, try a different pizza next time.

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Wil is a dad, WordPress consultant, WordPress developer, business coach and mentor. He co-organizes the WordPress Sydney meetup group and has been on the organising committee for WordCamp Sydney since 2014. He speaks at many special events and contributes to the WordPress open source project. His likes are chillies, craft beer and electrogravitics.

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