Speed is vital to many things, race cars, fighter jets, track runners, and websites. The relationship of speed to your company’s website is one based on dollars, especially if your company is e-commerce based. As previously stated, a lack of speed kills when it comes to your company’s website. It affects everything from conversions to bounce rates. It makes sense you would use a web host who provides fast enough speeds to allow your company’s site to be successful.
What Makes a Site Host Fast?
Server Speed Vs. Website Speed
Server speed and site speed are close, but not identical. An analogy is site speed is to software as server speed is to hardware. Regardless of how optimized the user interface may be, your software will seem lethargic if the hardware can’t keep pace. It’s essential to keep both hardware and software up to date, so everything runs smoothly and speedy. In this way you can have your website optimized for blazing speeds, but if the site host is not up to par with your website you might as well be using outdated software and graphics. With the short attention spans which have developed in the digital age, you don’t want your host to cause users to feel as if they are using dial-up.
How is Fast Measured?
A site host’s speed is measured in response time. Server response time is the length of time for a web server to respond to a request from a browser. It measures how long it takes to load the required HTML in order to retrieve the page from a server.
Why Response Time Matters
If you are a small company, you may not need the fastest site host for your website. But the slower your site loads the less return visits you will have from customers. If you are a mid-sized to large company, then you will need a host who can accommodate the size of your site. Some hosts have servers (data centers) placed across the globe so that the nearest server to the user who wants to visit your site will not have to wait for a server halfway around the planet. A good site host will have a number of servers not only on each content but several in each country.
Solid is Better than Hard
Look for a site host who uses Solid State Drives (SSD) over Hard Disk Drives (HDD). HDD stores vast amounts of data at a low cost, which is fine for data storage, but can be troublesome for websites and because of the moving parts they can wear out quickly. SSD drives have no moving parts, and store memory through a series of flash memory chips and their speeds are up to 20 times faster than HDD.
Look for site hosts who use PHP7. PHP (Hypertext Preprocessor) is a programing language which initially stood for Personal Home Page. This language has been around since 1994, and it has gone through several versions. The latest and fastest is PHP7. If your site host is not using this version of PHP, then it will not have the same speeds as one that does use it.
Automatic Updates and Backups
A good server will send automatic updates and automatically back up your data. By doing both of these actions, your website is ensured of quick load times and data security.
If your company is just beginning to venture into e-commerce or SEO based on content marketing, or you are an established company with a large IT department; it is vital in either case to have a site host who has quick load times; otherwise you will see your conversions slip away.