Ideally, you should consider the physical location of the server when you choose a hosting package. There are many reasons why it’s important to choose your server location. Along with many other factors, the physical location of the server plays a role in the speed of a website.
What is a Server Location?
Every piece of information on the internet is stored on some computers across the world. We call the server for the computers that store websites. Servers store information and serve it to the browsers when they get a request from the browser.
Servers are physical machines and the location where they are located is called server location.
Why the Location of Server Matters
There are many reasons the importance of server location. All of them are very closely related.
Server Location Affects Page Speed
We hear the question “does server location affect speed?” in general as well as web developers’ forums.
When all other conditions are equal, the proximity of server to the users improves the speed of the website. Therefore, it is better to choose a server that is nearest to your target market.
You might have heard about the content delivery networks (CDN) have servers all across the world and they store same data in servers all around the world. They do this to serve the data to the users (browsers) from a very close location. This increases the server response time and page loading speed.
Server Location Affects SEO
There are many ways how the location of server affects the SEO. When the server is in the same location of your target market, normally it would be loaded faster for them. This has several benefits.
Lower Bounce Rate: The page loading time and bounce rate are positively correlated. It means when the page loading time is high, the bounce rate is also high. Naturally, when the websites are loaded faster, the bounce rate should be low. Many experiments have already proved that a decrease of few milliseconds in the page loading time can significantly affect the bounce rate.
Higher Conversion: Low loading time improves user-experience of the website and hence it can positively impact the conversion. Visitors expect a page to be completely loaded in less than 2 seconds. When a website takes longer than 2 seconds to load, users become impatient and they are highly likely to leave the website immediately. On the other hand, when the site has good speed, visitors are more likely to open more pages on a website. It increases the living time and conversion rate of the website.
Improve Page Ranking: The IP location of the website is believed to be a ranking signal and several studies proved that Google and other main search engines consider it as a ranking factor.
Moreover, the bounce rate of a web page is considered as a ranking factor by search engines because it is a great signal to find out the relevance and usefulness of content on a web page. Therefore, lower bounce rate can improve the page ranking. Additionally, the high living time on the website also positively affects the ranking.
The Cost of Hosting
Generally, the cost of similar product or service would vary from country to country due to some economic reasons. It is also true in the case of hosting. Most of the popular or well-known hosting companies out there are from developed countries where the expense is much higher. For example, Indian hosting companies can offer packages with similar features and configuration for a lower price than a US company provide. You can
How to Choose Server Location
There are a few things to consider before you choose the location of your server. Sometimes, the location of the server becomes important but some other times, it is not that important.
When the Location of Server Matters
You should seriously consider the location of your server when your target market is in a particular geographical area. For example, you have a law firm and you operate only in India. Most of your prospective customers would be from India and hence you have a particular geographical location to target. In this case, it is better to choose a server in India because it can help your website to load faster for most of your visitors.
However, it is not that much simple. You know that there are many factors related to the server that affect the performance of a website. You would have to weigh all those factors before you choose your location. The configuration of the server is an important factor.
Sometimes, the server in the region of your target market may not be the fastest server for them. You have to make research on that before you choose a server in your location.
When the Location of Server Doesn’t Matters
It is not always important to worry about the physical location of the server. Websites with global audience have visitors from all across the world. Hence, it doesn’t make any sense to choose a server in a particular location.
Imagine you have a software development company and you target clients from Europe, North America, Australia, Far East and the Middle East. In this case, you have a global market. A server in Europe would be very good for the visitors from Europe but it is too far for visitors from Australia or the Far East. Whatever is the location of your server, it will be good for some visitors and bad for some others when you have visitors globally. Basically, there is no best location for a server when it comes to websites with a global target market.
The best option for websites with a global target market would be to choose the fastest server available for them. This ensures the average speed of the website in every part of the world.
It is always better for companies to choose a server in the same location of their target market. When there is no specific location for the target market, the best option would be fastest servers anywhere in the world.
It should be noted that most of the hosting companies don’t provide the exact location or country of the servers and instead, they provide the name of the continent. Therefore, sometimes we can’t find where the web servers are located exactly. In such cases, you would have to contact the support team of the hosting company to get such details.