When you host a website on cloud servers through Fasthosts you can choose whether you want the server to be in the UK, Germany, Spain, or North America. But what difference does it make? The location of your cloud server actually has more of an effect than you might think. It can help with SEO, latency, privacy, and sovereignty.
The Data Centre
All of our data centres are state-of-the-art facilities that are fully equipped with the latest hosting technology for Windows and Linux. They are monitored 24/7 by a team of professionals, and safeguarded by strict physical and remote security measures. The climate is controlled and managed by a multi-million pound Denco system that analyses temperature, humidity, and – in the worst case – detects a fire and discharges £25,000 worth of FM-200 fire suppression gas within two seconds of detection. In the event of a power cut, power is switched to our diesel backup generator with absolutely zero interruption of service.
The UK Fasthosts data centre is in Gloucester, England and has been since the company’s inception. When we released CloudNX we also started to offer data centres in other locations. The data centre we use in La Rioja, Spain, contains 15,000 servers in a 1,000 square metre building. The 1,200 square metre data centre in Baden-Baden, Germany holds over 25,000 servers, and the American facility in Lenexa, Kansas is 5,000 square metres.
The data centres are similar in technology if not in design, and the CloudNX servers are the same everywhere, but there are certain advantages to choosing one location over another.
Firstly, it’s worth thinking about where most of your website’s traffic is coming from. Simply put, if your website gets most traffic from the UK then it’s usually better to choose the UK data centre. If your audience is mainly American then there’s reason to choose the facility in the US.
One reason for this logic is because of latency. If your customer is UK based, and they are trying to access a server hosted in America then the time to load that page will be higher than if they’re trying to access a page located within the UK. A lower latency is expected from a closer proximity. If your customers are Spanish then a Spanish data centre will give them a lower latency. This also has a benefit within SEO.
Studies show that bounce rate increases dramatically when a page load time is over two seconds, with 40% of people abandoning a page that takes three seconds to load. For every one second a page is delayed, conversions are reduced by up to 7%. Bounce rate and conversions all affect your SEO rankings as a result of page load times and latency. This is especially true with mobile SEO, where a slow loading page is far more likely to result in a bounced session. So it’s worth thinking about when considering where you want your website hosted.
Along with the SEO benefits, another thing to consider is the sovereignty and security of your data. Data hosted in the UK is subject to UK law, just like data hosted in Germany is subject to German law. For greater transparency over who regulates your data, it’s probably better to store your data within your country of residence.
For more information on the benefits of cloud servers visit the Fasthosts website.