There are quite a few pieces of information out there talking about why hosting speed matters.
The reason for this is because it does.
We wanted to show you why hosting speed matters, and what you can do about it. Just to let you know, we will keep updating this article to add more helpful information.
Why hosting speed matters?
It matters, if you are a blogger, you want people to read your articles.
Or if you are a business or a professional, you want to get more leads, consultations requests, etc.
If you are an e-commerce store, you want people to buy your merchandise right?
I think you are getting the point.
Nowadays, people want to find stuff at light speed. Meaning zero waiting time if possible.
Is it possible? No. But at least you got to try to have your site loads at the least amount of time possible.
What does Google say about it?
According to Google, the probability of bouncing from your site for websites that loads on 4 seconds or more is more than 50 %.
And let’s not mentioned that every second bump a 10% that probability.
Other’s publications describe how Amazon found that 100ms make them lose 1% of sales, which means millions.
As you can read, hosting speed matters and you should take it seriously.
Hosting speed vs. loading speed of your site
What has to do hosting speed with the loading speed of your site?
Well, a lot.
A hosting company is composed of a lot of servers.
This servers store, process, and deliver content to browsers (or Clients).
Remember that the server can deliver content to any Clients like browsers, apps, intranet web portals, etc.
For the sake of your mental sanity or this post, I will refer only to web browsers like Chrome, Mozilla, or Bing.
So this means that the engine of every website is the server itself.
The faster the response from the server the fastest the content is delivered to the browser. Therefore, the visitor will receive their queries sooner.
Server setup can affect your hosting speed
Of course, hosting speed is not everything, but, it can make a huge difference depending on different factors.
The better the server configuration for the type of website you have the fastest it can deliver the content.
One of these factors is the type of website you have.
What I mean by “type of website”?
I mean, is it built on a Content Management System, HTML, Ruby, another programming language?
Depending on the “type of website” you have, will probably be affected by the settings of your hosting infrastructure.
That’s why we recommend talking with your hosting provider about what you are trying to build and, if they have excellent customer service, they will tell you what you need.
Sometimes your project needs a custom server setup, and sometimes only a regular hosting plan.
Note, some hosting companies provide this kind of custom-setups at a cost.
What other factors affect my hosting speed?
Website Design matters?
Design matters too, imagine a NASCAR racing competition with a car that has a design like a fridge.
I bet the air resistance will make that car lose that race for sure. On the other hand, the engine of the car is essential as well, right?
The topic can get complicated, and I don’t want to get into the nitty-gritty of all the server spectrum.
To keep it simple, a server (your website’s engine) store, process and deliver content. And that’s a lot.
When a bad web design adds random scripts or has the wrong code, it could make the site load slower.
So this does not mean that the hosting speed is slow but that there is something on your website that is making unnecessary requests to the server.
So keep the design in mind.
Another factor would be the resources that your website loads when is called from search engines.
Some of this resources are:
You can download some scripts like Google Analytics on your local server which will increase your website performance.
If you want to download GA script on your WordPress consider using a plugin called, CAOS.
For video, consider using Wistia or have a developer help you optimize your YouTube or Vimeo videos.
How to fix a slow hosting speed?
To fix your hosting speed, you will first need to identify the problem.
Secondly, you will need to consider if it is cost-effective for fixing your server’s problem or if you have the necessary knowledge for doing it yourself.
Hopefully, if you are a novice or just starting, you are in a managed web hosting solution and not on a bare-bone server.
We will not show you how to fix a slow hosting speed since every situation is unique but, we are going to show you where to test your web hosting speed.
And, if you noticed that you have a consistently (every 5 days out of 7) slow server response then you should consult with your developer to see some options.
How to test my hosting speed?
Once you have optimized everything on your site, it’s time to check your server speed.
The good news is that you can found a few free tools out there that you could use to check your hosting speed.
Note, none of these tools are perfect, but they can provide you with a good idea on how fast is your hosting speed.
Bitcatcha is more beginner friendly to use as it gives your hosting speed a grade. Yeah, like school, A+, A, B+, C, F you get the point.
What Bitcatcha do is measure the response of your server from different locations.
These locations are the East and West coast of the United States, London, Singapore, Sao Paolo, Bangalore, Sydney, and Japan.
If your website will be serving visitors from a particular region is better to focus on the results of those countries.
What is an excellent server response? A good server response for your location depends on your goals. But, less than 200ms is a fair response.
If you have your hosting speed with a server response lower than 200ms you are good with Google.
As you can see from the above image our server response was of 52ms on the West and 1ms on the East of the United States which is pretty decent.
I recommend that when using Bitcatcha, try it at least three times an take the average of those results. As I said before, none of these tools are perfect.
With Pingdom tools, you get more detailed results as you can see from these images.
Pingdom was designed to help you make your website faster.
This tool was built for non-techie and developers so you shouldn’t have a problem at least starting the process of measuring your website speed.
Just copy and paste your site’s URL (www.yourdomain.com) and paste it over Pingdom checker bar.
Chose the server location for the test and you are good to go.
After a couple of seconds, you will see the results.
Once the process has done the test, you will see your performance grade which is another scale from A-D (at least that’s the lowest score I have tested so far).
You will also see your page size, load time, and the total requests of your site.
With this information at hand, you can contact your web developer and give them this report so he can make the necessary fixes.
Tell him, that you need a fast website and that if the hosting speed is one of the factors that is impeding getting faster, then you should start finding a new hosting provider.
Now you know why hosting speed matters, how to test it, and why you should have this information when it comes to optimizing revenues, leads, or visitor’s user experience.
Contact your hosting provider and ask him/her what type of hosting will work for your project.