TTFB stands for "time to first byte", a metric that indicates the time elapsed between the time a remote computer establishes a connection to a website and the time the first byte of data is sent back to the remote computer. This is often measured in milliseconds.

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Which does google prefer: chained redirects or longer time-to-first-byte?

I'm clearly a webpagetest.org addict now. Once again, I tested my site after optimizing (by eliminating some file scans) and the speed greatly improved. It's now at about 150ms Time to First Byte from ...