The whole World Wide Web or WWW is made up of web pages that were built for various different purposes. Some of them made for educational purposes, some of them for selling goods, some for entertainment and some for showing the work of a person or a company.
All these websites are stored on a server that are either on remote locations or either in house. Many companies and people like to make their own in house server racks and use it as the server for their site. But most of the web sites on the internet use shared hosting as their hosting solution. In this post we will see how important the location is when it comes to shared hosting.
Without any further ado, let’s start by knowing what Shared Hosting really is.
What is Shared Hosting?
So, as the name suggests, Shared Hosting is the most basic type of hosting you can BUY from web hosting providers. As the name suggests, shared means a lot of other websites share the same server and use the same resources at the same time. The IP address of all those website is the same and if the server goes down, all the websites hosted on that server will go down as well.
Basically when you are using a shared web hosting, you are sharing the space, the bandwidth, the CPU as well as the load on the server with other users of that very server. If a site eats up a lot of resources, it will slow down other sites as well.
Now, the main reason why shared hosting is one of the most sold web hosting spaces is because they come for dirt cheap prices. Companies like HostGator even provide the first month for as low as $0.01. If you go with some other companies, you will see that the plans of shared hosting start from below $5 and they provide some great stuff like unlimited domains, unlimited bandwidth and what not. These shared hosting plans are only good for those who want to host a basic website that doesn’t get many visitors. Even the hosting companies have restrictions like CPU usage that a site can use. But our main point of this post is how the location of the servers can affect the performance of the web hosting. So let us take a look on that.
Server Location and How it Affects Shared Hosting Performance
Server location definitely affects the shared hosting performance and in this section we will see what affects you are going to see when your server is at a remote location and the visitors are at different location.
For example, you have hosted a website with Africa targeted content and you have visitors from Africa but your server is located in Texas, USA. This is going to affect the performance of the server in many ways.
Latency will be high and hence waiting time will be more
Latency is a term that is used for describing the time a packet of data takes to traverse the whole system of network. In the case of web hosting, the request packet is sent by the user’s browser which requests the server to allow the browser to fetch the data from the server and serve it to the visitor.
Now since the location is far away from the location of the visitor of the website, the packet will take some more time as compared to a visitor who is near the server location and hence they will have to wait for more amount of time to get the data from the server.
All in all this boils down to the fact that higher latency can result in slow transmission of data.
High page load times result in lower search engine rankings
It is not a hidden fact that Google and other search engines will consider your page load times when it comes to rankings and faster loading pages are ranked higher in SERPs. So, if you page load time is low you should take a look at another host or a local host in the country where your target audience is.
CDN – A much needed helping hand!
So, Content Delivery Networks or CDN are used to mirror the cache of the page on servers that are situated around the world and then when a visitor wants to access your web page, they will be served through the server that is nearest to the location.
This can easily lower down the page load times to a great extent. These CDN services are provided by various companies around the world and you can choose one that you think will be suitable for you.
All in all we can say that the location of the server does matter when it comes to shared hosting but not so much. Since each and every day we see the ISPs pushing the limits to provide higher internet speeds, the page load times are definitely going to increase.
But we should also remember that a good web design is the one that works on all system equally and hence solutions like CDN can make the whole experience a little bit better.