Help on choosing the best geographic location for your server.Posted on 12 January 2016 - Hosting
When choosing a web hosting solution for your website, it is of course important to ensure that the technical capabilities of your server are up to scratch. But another important consideration is the geographic location of your server. So, which is the best country in which to host a website? Here are some of the key considerations.
From a user experience perspective, it is best to host your website in or very close to the country that most of your traffic comes from. That is because although we like to think we live in a wireless age, the internet is still dependent on data being passed along wires. The closer your server is to the people accessing your website, the shorter the distance that data has to travel and the better the website’s performance will be.
If your customer base or website audience includes large numbers of people from countries that are far apart - for example, if your main audience is in Ireland but you have a large amount of traffic from Australia - it is worth considering replicating the server and hosting your website in both countries.
As we’ve already mentioned, the internet is based on a network of wires along which data can be passed. When choosing a hosting location, it is worth giving some consideration to the quantity and quality of those wires within the country in which you plan to base your server, as well as the international bandwidth from that country to the rest of the world.
Another consideration when choosing the best country in which to host your website is where you want your data to be based.
This might be due to a corporate or insurance requirement within your organisation, or it could be because of legislation in a particular territory. For instance, that might relate to who can access your data and on what grounds they are able to do so.
Hosting your website in a country that is prone to natural disasters, power cuts or something else that puts its digital infrastructure in jeopardy will also open up your website to those risks, which might have an impact on website availability.
It is widely accepted that server location is a factor in improving search engine rankings for your website. Google's Matt Cutts has previously acknowledged that server location, in terms of IP address, is a factor in determining a website's Google ranking. For example, a website that is hosted in France is more likely to rank well in results on Google.fr than Google.co.uk.
We've even helped clients to migrate country-specific versions of their websites to web hosts in that country (in the event that it is not one of the markets in which we have a data centre presence) to ensure the site has the best possible chance of achieving its business goals. Learn more about the links between SEO and web hosting.