There are a lot of things to consider when choosing a web hosting service to use. Most of us tend to focus on bandwidth, disk space and other facilities offered by the plan. Although these aspects of a web hosting service are important to consider, it is also necessary to consider the location of the server for three particular reasons.
Closer Server = Faster Access
Having your server located close to your target viewers – or potential customers – means your site will be much quicker to access. In an era where there are thousands of websites offering similar information and services, becoming the easiest to access is in fact important.
If you are targeting consumers in the UK, for example, choosing a UK web hosting service will give you that competitive edge you need to succeed. Faster access time benefits not only the site itself but also your customers. Fast loading pages mean they can have a much better experience browsing through your website. As a result of this improved, totally enjoyable experience, you have better chances of turning leads into sales.
Better SEO Performance
A properly located server can help with your SEO and internet marketing efforts as well. Combined with a country-specific domain name, having your website hosted on a server located near your customers can help you appear at the top of search results in that country or area.
For example, your-business.co.uk hosted on a UK-based server usually performs better than your-business.com hosted on a US server. This is mainly because Google and other search engines now take geolocation into considerations when displaying search results. Of course, you still need to target the correct keywords and optimize your site so that search engine crawlers can index it correctly.
The impact of your server location is even more profound when users use country-specific search engines, such as Google UK (google.co.uk). The search engine algorithms automatically prioritize websites that are located in the same country or region in an effort to help users find what they really need.
More Technical Benefits
Choosing a nearby server brings a number of technical benefits as well. Uploading and updating your site, for starters, will be as easy as it can be thanks to a server that is very easy to access. You no longer have to wait a long time to upload large images or a large number of files now that the server is nearby.
Since you can also gain physical access to the server – with the help of your web hosting company, of course – you no longer need to download large backup images just to secure your site. You can have the entire website backed up onto an optical disc or a flash drive; some web hosting companies now offer this type of backup as an added service at affordable prices.
Let’s not forget that there are times when it is not possible to access servers in other locations due to internet backbone issues. While the international internet connection is not working – and other sites are inaccessible – your website will continue to function properly for your users. This is a huge advantage that often brings high conversions as a return.
Location, Location, Location
Now that you know the true benefits of choosing a nearby server, it is time to decide whether you need to opt for a particular server location. Some of the questions you need to ask yourself before making a decision are: · Where are my customers? If over 60% of your customers are based in a particular country or area, choosing a web hosting server located within that country will be very beneficial.
· What domain name will I be using?
Even when you want to use .com as your primary internet brand, getting a country-specific domain name is still a good thing to do. Combined with the right server location, the impact on SEO is too good to miss.
· Is there a plan that suits my needs?
It is also necessary to consider other aspects of the web hosting service before making any purchase decision. A nearby server will do you no good if it is not reliable, doesn’t offer the right set of features and cannot support your website to its best.
· Is it within budget?
Unfortunately, web hosting services are still very expensive in certain countries. It is not uncommon to find US- or UK-based hosting services at much lower prices that Singapore- or Hong Kong-based services with the same features and level of service. Make sure the cost of hosting your site locally is well within your budget before deciding to buy the web hosting plan.
There are a lot of benefits to be gained by choosing a nearby or local server. Be sure to consider these points and see if keeping your website as close to the customers as possible is the right strategy for you.