Hi folks, can any of the experts in here give me a straight answer to this question?
why do websites often get a poor server response time on the first test of a page speed tool? Test two and three are lightening fast but that first one is always slow.
CPU usage looks good so resources aren’t strained. I’m on DigitalOcean via Cloudways. Any backend wisdom much appreciated.
The answer – not cached vs cached. If the site has any cache, and the content is uncached the time of testing, the first test warms the cache, subsequent testing is faster because the content is served from the cache. After a while if the pages are not used the cache will timeout and you’ll get the slower page load times.
Same as mentioned, and some caches work that say you have a page or post that is suddenly popular, and 5000 hit the page at once. The first person would have the slower response while the other 4999 would see the cached version, which is still a win, because the server is only doing the work for the 1st person.
Probably first request needs PHP to generate the page. Subsequent requests cached.
That’s why the server stack is that important. Not all visitors will be getting “fast” pages from cache, some will be waiting quite a long time for a “poor” response from the slow Apache, in your case.
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