15 Tips on How to Increase Server Speed & Server Performance

Server Performance

If you want to provide the best user experience on your website and rank in the top Google search result pages, increasing your server performance and speed is a must.

The good thing is that you can take several steps to improve your server speed. However, you should note that improving your server speed and performance is an ongoing process. Otherwise, you would see a drop in server performance as various issues crop up.

So, if you are wondering how to optimize server performance, you’re at the right place. We’ve compiled fifteen essential tips to optimize the speed and performance of your server and the hosted websites.

Table Of Contents

  1. What is Server Response Time and Why It’s Important?
  2. 15 Tips on How To Increase Server Performance & Speed
  3. Optimize Your Server Speed Hassle-Free With RedSwitches
  4. Conclusion

But first, let’s see what server response time is and why you should care about it.

Key Takeaways

  • Increasing website response times and server speed provides a better user experience and positively influences website SEO.
  • To increase your server’s speed and optimize server performance, you should:
    1. Opt for a reliable hosting provider.
    2. Clean your scripts of any unnecessary or redundant code.
    3. Cache your website.
    4. Defragment and optimize your databases.
    5. Update any applications you use on your server.
    6. Reduce the size of the images before you upload them.
    7. Remove any unused or unnecessary plugins.
    8. Optimize your DNS speed.
    9. Reduce the number of round trips.
    10. Use fast storage on your server.

What is Server Response Time and Why It’s Important?

Server response time measures how long it takes to respond to a client request. For example, if a user tries to access a website, the server response time indicates how long it takes to start loading from the server. Therefore Server response time should be reduced to improve server performance.

server response time

Server response time is called TTFB, which stands for Time To First Byte. It is usually expressed in milliseconds and measures how long it takes for the first file of a website to load from the server onto the client’s side.

Server response time is crucial because it helps determine how fast a user can access your website or application. Faster server response times lead to a better user experience (UX). Not to mention, page speed is a ranking factor for Google and can significantly improve website SEO.

According to Google, the ideal server response time is under 200ms. You’ll find that anything slower than this limit starts affecting your website negatively.

If you want to know how to increase server speed, keep reading!

15 Tips on How To Increase Server Performance & Speed

Follow these steps to ensure your server is running optimally and no time is wasted loading your website files:

Reliable provider

Host With a Reliable Provider

If you are wondering why your server is slow or how to speed up your slow server, you should start by getting a server from a reliable hosting provider.

It’s easier to get reliable hosting than to try fixing a slow server. For instance, you will get better server response times if you opt for a hosting provider that offers top-quality hardware, a fast network connection, and a lightweight control panel.

So, before optimizing your hosting server, ensure you have a good server that gives you an edge over the competition. This will optimize server performance and server speed.

Minify Your Scripts

Your website comprises different files, including HTML, JavaScript, and CSS code. When a user accesses your website, your server sends these files to their device.

Minifying code scripts means cleaning them of any unnecessary or redundant code. This practice will decrease the size of the files, and consequently, they load faster.

Next, you can compress specific scripts, further reducing their size.

Cache Your Website

Every time a user requests to access your website, the server must fetch all necessary files to load your website. This impacts your server’s response time, especially when many visitors try to access the same files simultaneously.

Caching your website solves this problem. In this process, the server keeps recently-requested files in memory and serves them immediately when a user requests the same files. This increases server speed.

You can cache your website in several ways, including HTTP, memory, application, and OpCode caching.

Optimize Your Databases

Optimizing your website’s databases is a crucial step to increasing server speed and server performance.

Servers use database tables to store content such as page information and product data. Similarly, user-generated content, such as comments, is also stored in the database tables. However, since data is repeatedly written and deleted, over time, gaps occur in the way data is stored. These gaps, known as fragments, increase fetch time and decrease the efficiency of the server.

You should plan to “defrag” database tables to eliminate these gaps and optimize fetch time. In addition, defragmentation often helps fix “broken” or missing records.

Update to the Newest Server Application Versions

To ensure your server is running optimally, update any applications you use on your server.

Software updates include the latest bug fixes and speed optimizations, so you can improve the overall speed of your server by simply keeping applications up to date.

reduce image file size

Reduce Image File Sizes

Large image files on your website can slow down your server response time. This is because images take a long time to load, especially for users with a slow internet connection.

To increase server speed, you can try reducing the file size of the images before you upload them. If you’re using WordPress for your website CMS, you can install plugins like Smush and Lazy Load to reduce the size of all your images and load images only when users scroll down to them.

Remove Unnecessary Plugins

Too many plugins can slow down your website. Plugins take time to kick in and do their job when your website is loading, so too many plugins will inevitably slow down your server response time.

To implement this tip, go through the installed plugins frequently and remove any unused plugins. Also, think twice before installing a new plugin and consider whether the benefits of the plugin are worth potentially slowing down your server. Removing unnecessary plugins will eventually optimize server performance.

Optimize DNS Speed

A huge factor determining the speed of your website and server performance is how long it takes to perform the DNS lookup.

When users try to access your website, they use your domain name to reach it. Their web browser then performs a DNS lookup, which means it looks for your IP address in the DNS records. These DNS records are stored on a DNS server.

If you are experiencing slow DNS speeds, consider switching to another domain provider with a faster DNS server response.

Reduce Round-Trip Time

As we’ve already mentioned, your website is made up of different files. Users request and receive each file individually when they try to access your website.

This means that your server receives individual requests and then responds to them by sending the correct file.

Each file request and the delivery combination is called a round trip, just like the round trip you make to your car to move all your groceries to your house.

To improve server speed, you should reduce the number of round trips users need to make to access your website. You can do this by packaging JavaScript files together, combining background elements in one CSS file, avoiding importing CSS code every time you need it, and using CSS stylesheets instead.

Use Fast Storage

If you want to increase your server speed and you’ve tried all the above tips, it’s time to opt for a faster storage option for your server.

As a general rule, SSD and NVMe storage solutions are much faster than traditional HDDs. If you are still using hard drives, it’s time to migrate your data to faster storage.

And if you are still unhappy with the speed of your storage, consider upgrading your SSD or NVMe drives to higher quality ones that have greater read/write speeds.

Experiment with Reverse Proxy

A significant portion of a server’s workload is sending HTML files to clients. So, if you’re interested in speeding up your server responses, you can set up a reverse proxy that lies between the server and the clients. It stores the oft-requested files and serves them without burdening the server. This frees up server resources that can serve more visitors.

Setting up a reverse proxy is easy, and you can configure any popular server (Varnish and NGINX are two popular options) to act as a reverse proxy for your server. However, you should consider your web architecture’s workload and complexity to find the right reverse proxy configuration.

Keep Optimizing Server Settings

Demands on servers fluctuate as campaigns are launched, and the business offers new products and services. That’s why you need to optimize server settings regularly so that variable workloads don’t slow down the response time and performance.

Optimizing server settings helps in better resource utilization so that you get the most out of server resources. Here’re several server settings you need to tweak regularly:

  • Timeout
  • KeepAlive
  • KeepAliveTimeout
  • MaxClients
  • HostnameLookups

Enable HTTP/2

HTTP version 2 has been out for some time and has seen an excellent adoption rate because of the benefits it offers in the context of speeding up server performance.

In particular, HTTP/2 offers the following benefits:

  • HTTP/2 uses a single connection for transferring files. This saves the time wasted in creating and maintaining parallel connections.
  • Prioritizes the transfer of essential files in serving clients so that the page is rendered quickly at the client side
  • Headers are compressed for faster transfer.
  • Text data transfer is replaced with a more efficient binary transfer.

The good thing is that all popular servers support HTTP/2, and you can enable it to get a performance boost. You need to make sure that all applications on the server are configured to use HTTPS. This includes the reverse proxies that you’ve set up for your server.

Minimize Database Table Count

The more tables a database has, the more time it spends finding and fetching the desired data. While optimizing the databases hosted on a server, you should evaluate each table carefully and determine whether it’s critical to your operations. If the answer is a “no”, consider backing up the data and dropping the table to give an instant boost to the database performance.

Optimize The Site’s Critical Rendering Path

A site’s critical rendering path is the number of steps required to render the site at the client’s end. This includes all the HTML, CSS, JS, and other scripts required to deliver the page in the browser. So, if you can reduce the number of steps (files) in this path, the user experience will speed up.

Here’re a couple of things you can do to shorten the Critical Rendering Path:

  • Delete or archive unused themes, plugins, extensions, and assets
  • Compress images and videos to reduce the size of the download package
  • Combine and minimize CSS and JS files
  • Use “defer” or “async” to postpone loading files that aren’t essential to rendering the first fold of the page.

Optimize Your Server Speed Hassle-Free With RedSwitches

If you’re looking to increase your server speed, RedSwitches can help! We offer dedicated servers that run your applications and websites at maximum speeds.

Our servers use the newest brand-name hardware and can be deployed all over the globe. You can choose between 1 GE, 2 GE, 10 GE, or 20 GE ports with unmetered bandwidth.

If you don’t have time to manage your server, we also offer managed to host experience. Our team of expert engineers take over the critical server optimization tasks to let you focus on other business processes and increase your server performance.


This article offers 15 tips for optimizing your server for faster response to all user requests. Since this is an essential requirement for a great user experience, you’ll find that after applying these tips, Google will place your website higher in SERP results.

Our ultimate tip for fast hosting is to opt for managed bare-metal servers that ensure optimal performance regardless of the workload and traffic. Contact us today, and we will harden your bare metal server and optimize it for maximum speed and performance!

Let us know what tips you tried and your favourite tip out of the 15.