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 western USA to the server located in East Canada. I check my adsense, and google still refuses to pay me a cent for the mobile site. Now I think its because google wants good speed regardless of whether the user types in the URL mobile or desktop version of the site.
I thought of a one-site responsive design but went against it because my mobile site is a slimmed down version that eats about half the bandwidth of what the desktop site requires.
Here's some results from my tests:
Testing a server-cached page by accessing desktop URL:
http://www.webpagetest.org/result/160119_0M_1BH7/1/details/ - TTFB > 400ms (200+ms higher than what google recommends)
Testing the same server-cached page by directly accessing mobile URL:
http://www.webpagetest.org/result/160119_C6_1BN8/1/details/ - TTFB about 130ms (within google's recommendations)
Testing similar page uncached by directly accessing mobile URL:
Testing similar page uncached by directly accessing desktop URL:
http://www.webpagetest.org/result/160119_BX_1BV9/ - This scored a D.
I did everything I could to make the pages load faster by running the site from RAM, and by disabling .htaccess use in apache and disabling file checks. According to my inquiry on CDN's, I was told its not a good idea since sometimes I make frequent updates to the site especially when it does not work.
In the past I had chained redirects on my site because I was doing all URL mapping (even redirects) with mod_rewrite but now I'm using my script to determine what page is to be displayed and if a redirect is necessary, I use my script to calculate the final destination instead of making user hop through multiple URLs.
Now I'm curious if this move I made is a mistake. Should I just stick with my setup now of one redirect and possibly longer TTFB, or should I use multiple redirects (as necessary) with lower TTFB?
I'm looking at this from a server performance and googlebot standpoint and don't know which is the best way to go.