Web Hosting (or Server Rental) is the life support of the Internet. Websites on Internet require a Host Machine that can serve web-pages to the client machines which is your PC or Phone in this case. Whether you are a business person, artist, developer or a hobbyist, You really need a web presence in a form of website or an app where can you show your potential and grow. That’s where Web-Hosting comes in.
If you perform a quick search on your web-browser, you will be inundated with web-hosting advertisements and search listings, promising to give you a website hosting for as low as $1 per month. It becomes confusing as every provider claims to be the best in the business. That’s a long debate that requires intensive audit, benchmarks and years of experience.
In this series of Web-Hosting Tips for Beginners, I will try my best to help out the beginners who are trying to learn the tricks of the trade.
Web Hosting Tips Part 1 – Choosing the Right Server Location
Server Location is vital yet the most overlooked part. You must rent a Web Hosting whose data center (server rack) is physically located near to your visitors. The reason behind this is distance; the greater the distance, the higher the latency/ping which results in delayed communication between your Web-hosting’s Server and the website visitor.
Tip: To check the latency between you and the server, Press WinKey+R and type the following and press enter, replace the numbers with your server IP address or website domain name
ping -t mywebsite.com
ping -t 127.0.0.1
In network terminologies, we are talking about Time to First Byte (TTFB) and Round-Trip Time (RTT). Stock Exchanges, Web Giants such as Google, Microsoft and Amazon spend millions of dollars on data centers to achieve lowest latency possible. This is just the network delay we are talking about. Code/script execution, web page rendering time is another Pandora’s box which we will discuss in other part of series.
Imagine logging in your Gmail/Outlook account and it takes 3-4 second to validate the credentials you entered. Or if you have played multiplayer FPS games (Call of Duty, PUBG) then you already familiar how irritating a 200 millisecond delay can be. Losing a game due to this is frustrating, I know.
In addition, Slow website ruins the User Experience and plays negative role in Search Engine Optimization (SEO). Search Engines give preference to websites that are lightning fast.
So How Do I Choose the Right Server Location?
If your target audience (visitors) are coming from South East Asia region, it would be logical to get Web-hosting from same region. In this case a Singapore based provider would work as it is one of the largest hub of underwater Fiber Optic communication cables. If you are planning to target visitors from everywhere in the world, then it becomes a bit tricky because of laws of physics. There’s no single Server location that can have ideal <100ms latency to every country on planet. Luckily in this case, Content Distribution Network comes in place.
What’s a CDN?
There are lots of factors and variables involved in website loading speed, server location is one of them. You can host your website anywhere you want but generally you would want to be hosted near you as you will be spending most of the time developing it. Slow connection to the server can be counterproductive.
In the beginning, you don’t need to worry about getting a CDN service. Get your website hosted on reputable and cost effective web hosting and then decide where you want your website to be hosted next. You can decide for a better location for your visitors based on the Google Analytics data.
TL;DR – Get a Web hosting near your location, develop a website, analyse the visitor data, then decide your next web host to migrate to.