07 Nov 12 9:27 pm
Although we don't know to what extent, the speed of your servers and website does affect your search rankings
, because Google has found that it affects customer perception
of a website (they tested using the Google search page, but they know it affects other sites too).
There are a plethora of ways to help speed up your site [for the technically savvy], regardless of which country your server is located in. For example:
One particularly useful tool we use here at Affilorama is Google's Page Speed Insights:
Enter your URL into that tool, and it will give you recommendations to speed up your site.
However, no matter how much you speed up your site server-side, your server location does pose some concern.
In my personal experience, here's what I've seen:
- Dedicated hosting is always faster and more configurable than Shared Hosting - but only go this route if you have technical expertise. It is far too easy to make dedicated hosting *slower* than shared hosting if you don't know what you're doing.
- Customers in countries with 'poor' international links are best served by having a server in their country (e.g. New Zealand, China). They are also a really bad idea for serving international customers.
- A decent server host in Europe [specifically I've tried Germany, Switzerland and Britain] is actually fairly on par with a US host for speed *most of the time*
- British dedicated hosting seems to be overpriced.
- The best hosting is by far in the US. If most (or a significant chunk) of your customers are in the US, I wholeheartedly recommend getting hosting there.
- There are some absolutely shoddy web hosts in any country. Do your research, and don't be afraid to move if its really not working out for you.
Specifically related to the original question:
The location of your server doesn't matter. The speed does. If you can, measure the download speed of your site from the US. If it's >600ms, you should be concerned. For best results, you want less than 400ms for the initial response from your website (ignoring pictures, etc). It doesn't sound like much, but it's all it takes for a potential visitor to make a decision about your site. Not very long at all.
Hope this helps :)