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Is server location important for your websites?

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  1. #1
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    Is server location important for your websites?

    I am looking at some cloud hosting offers but I see they are different location such as Canada, UK, NL while I am targeting my audience at US. If I choose server location at Canada, is it still good for my sites? what would you recommend me to choose?

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    Hello wpspeedster,
    For me it's not a very important point. It can only affect the ping and you can easily get a good page loading time by using Cloudflare or any other CDN. And with cloudflare you will have an US IP.
    All my websites are on my server in France, and my audience is at 90% from the US.

    You can test you website speed on 14 locations at : https://tools.keycdn.com/performance

    As you can see below, you can have a fast website all around the world.
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  4. #3
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    Hello,

    It is important because you could get better connections from different locations.

    Cheers,

    Marc A.

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    When browsing websites, can you notice a 50ms speed difference? Your visitors probably cant either!

    Server location used to make a big difference, and some think it still does. The fact is, with the global connectivity we have these day, it does not make any difference, especially if you use a CDN.
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    Hi @wpspeedster
    Well it all comes down to the amount of traffic you are getting and the amount of traffic being used.
    for example if you look at large websites they all have servers around the globe hoping to fasten the load time. however if you're website is not very large (not so much the amount of visitors but the amount of data being transferred) then you do not need to worry about location.

    If you really care about those little unnoticeable time differences, you can use cloud flare as @VirtuBox mentioned. (its free and you also get firewall and SSL)

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    Quote Originally Posted by Luxin Host View Post
    Hi @wpspeedster
    .....
    If you really care about those little unnoticeable time differences, you can use cloud flare as @VirtuBox mentioned. (its free and you also get firewall and SSL)

    If i use Cloudflare or other CDNs then sever location will not be important any more, right?

    And when using CDN, which factors will determine to the loading speed of my hosting?

    I am supposing it needs more CPU and higher RAM.

  9. #7
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    If you are using a CDN all your assets will be delivered directly from the nearest server to your visitors. But your website optimization is still the factor which determine the loading speed.
    Because if you are sending not optimized content to your CDN, it will be delivered faster but not optimized to your visitors. So it will require to optimize image by compressing them properly, to combine and to minify the css and the javascript.

    And the last factor will be your hosting, but you will not need more CPU or more RAM, but to find a way to reduce the website display processing. For that the most used, and the most efficient is to use a cache solution to limit the queries to your database, and the process of php code to serve static content.
    For example, memcache give you the ability to store in memory a static version of your website, to deliver it faster.

  10. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by VirtuBox View Post
    If you are using a CDN all your assets will be delivered directly from the nearest server to your visitors. But your website optimization is still the factor which determine the loading speed.
    Because if you are sending not optimized content to your CDN, it will be delivered faster but not optimized to your visitors. So it will require to optimize image by compressing them properly, to combine and to minify the css and the javascript.

    And the last factor will be your hosting, but you will not need more CPU or more RAM, but to find a way to reduce the website display processing. For that the most used, and the most efficient is to use a cache solution to limit the queries to your database, and the process of php code to serve static content.
    For example, memcache give you the ability to store in memory a static version of your website, to deliver it faster.
    To clarify, using a CDN will allow your STATIC resources to be served from the CDN.

    If you want the CDN to cache and speedup dynamic content then you will need to use RailGun.
    https://www.rdoservers.com/knowledgebase/cloudflare/Railgun-FAQ
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    Quote Originally Posted by RDO Servers View Post
    To clarify, using a CDN will allow your STATIC resources to be servers from the CDN.

    If you want the CDN to cache and speedup dynamic content then you will need to use RailGun.
    https://www.rdoservers.com/knowledgebase/cloudflare/Railgun-FAQ
    I don't really understand how a CDN can speed up dynamic content on my sites while it doesn't have permissions to process my web hosting

    is it using a special technology to do that? or it is using big caching system on their server which can store all the data like Google.

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    Hello, the most classic process of a CDN is to download all your assets, and it's really easy for them do that as they just have to display all your website's pages to get all the assets (css, js, image).
    And after, for wordpress for example, you just have to use a plugin which will change your assets url, by replacing yourdomain.com by yourcdnaddress.com.
    So when a visitor see your page, all your assets are delivered by the CDN. Not by your website.

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    Quote Originally Posted by wpspeedster View Post
    If i use Cloudflare or other CDNs then sever location will not be important any more, right?

    And when using CDN, which factors will determine to the loading speed of my hosting?

    I am supposing it needs more CPU and higher RAM.
    HI @wpspeedster
    Yes you will have faster load time and it will use less resources from your server whether its shared, VPS or dedicated.
    Many factors can effect your website load time such as PHP version (use latest), compressed images, server location (doesnt effect so much for smaller websites but still use CDN), Website caching which is also done via Cloud Flare.
    if you are using wordpress there are many plugins which can take care of caching and image compression for you.
    Also YES RAM and CPU matter however an over kill will not make a difference. make sure you have server side caching which can also effect load times. (server side caching requires RAM)

  14. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by wpspeedster View Post
    I am looking at some cloud hosting offers but I see they are different location such as Canada, UK, NL while I am targeting my audience at US. If I choose server location at Canada, is it still good for my sites? what would you recommend me to choose?
    In today's scenario, No. CDN is there to make your job easy like all others has mentioned above. CDN offers accelerated delivery of your static content (images, videos, css files, js files, etc.). The content is immediately delivered from the nearest POP to your site visitors. For example, if your visitor is from the UK, the content from the POP located in the UK or near by UK will be delivered. If your visitor is from the USA, the content will be delivered from the POP located in USA and the nearest to your site visitor. It is supported by all the hosting providers out there. No matter if you are using shared hosting, VPS or dedicated servers, It seamlessly works.

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    Quote Originally Posted by bknights View Post
    I don't really understand how a CDN can speed up dynamic content on my sites while it doesn't have permissions to process my web hosting

    is it using a special technology to do that? or it is using big caching system on their server which can store all the data like Google.
    CDN's don't access your server directly. In a nutshell, they'll grab the content, usually static files such as images or html pages, and cache them on their own servers. If a visitor requests that content and the CDN has it cached, it will be served from the nearest POP to the visitor instead of being served from your server.

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  17. #14
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    I think Its not only latency issue. Marketing prospective also depends that Search Engine give preference local hosted website on ranking.

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    I agree with some other members that it doesn't matter now as much as it used to as hardware/network is a lot better these days. CDN will certainly help but is not something magic. It is best to use great hardware/network, optimise your website correctly using speed test tools, and only then if it still is underperforming would you need to add a CDN or indeed to try a server little closer with better routeing to reduce latency for the visitors who are more important.
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  19. #16
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    Yes sometimes it's necessary but when you choose cloud hosting there are no any location related problem. you need only the high-speed internet connection.

  20. #17
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    In theory the closer is the server to your audience the better. In practice, it doesn't really matter.

  21. #18
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    I used to encourage people to use CDN, as an example CloudFlare not only speed up delivering your pages as your website will be always on because it is cached and in case your website goes offline they will be on for the users, only the static pages, though.
    Another feature that I like is the time to propagate when you change IPs and some basic DDoS protection on the free subscription, there are lots of other features that you can use as well.

  22. #19
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    remember most of us see visitor ISP speed from our point of views with fast cable/fibre connections, but the average ISP speed around the world is 5Mbp/s and majority of developing world's 3G mobile speeds have at least 300ms latency. For a growing mobile first internet, speed of your site on slow mobile devices will become more important too

  23. #20
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    If you are concerned about server location then out of the three that you listed the one in Canada will be the better choice. I think that as long as you use CloudFlare or some other CDN then the server location won't make much difference if any.
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    It will matter when you are offering any kind of downloadable content (PDF/ZIP/etc) to your audience.

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    It most certainly is, as above stated downloadeble content will be impacted, besides that it will also affect google ranking on a regional perspective. Google prioritises websites which are hosted in the same country/region as the origin of the visitros, however always keep in mind that content is very important.
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    Yes Always choose the server location near to your targeted audience so that the impact time and response will be much fast.

  27. #24
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    Ping times are usually better if the cloud server is closer to the end customer

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