Does website hosting affect page loading speed? Your business can’t afford to have pages that take an age to reveal the content to customers. Not only will they click away in a matter of seconds and go to a competitor, but loading speed also has a direct impact on how Google rank you in their search engine.
However, the changes you need to make could come down to simply moving to a better web hosting package or company. We explain more about how website hosting affects speed and what you can do about it.
How does website hosting affect page loading speed?
When a page on your website is accessed by a visitor, the information they will see on their screen is delivered by a remote server (run by a web host). How quickly they will get to view the content depends on how quickly the server is able to respond and process the request. The server has to process three main tasks: execute code, run database queries and server files in order to deliver the page to the user’s network.
How to choose the right web hosting package
When it comes to picking out the right web hosting package there are some crucial areas to take note of that will affect how quickly your webpages are loaded. In fact, they are the exactly the same as those that enable your own laptop or desktop to process information faster.
- Dedicated resources: You want to ensure that your website hosting packages offers a dedicated server or VPS instead of a shared plan. This will mean there is always enough memory and processor resources available and they are not taken up by other sites trying to access it at the same time.
- Local resources: You may want to put your own resources directly onto the host’s webserver, which is better than sharing the space with other sites, boosting speed in the process.
- More resources: The more memory and processing power available on the server, the more resources it has available to process requests quickly and effectively.
- Fast hard drive: Go for a plan that using a solid-state drive (SSD) rather than a standard hard disc, as this will ensure files are loaded faster, which should result in quicker loading times.
The loading speed may also be affected by something referred to as TTFB, which can be overlooked and should be considered when looking at potential issues.
What is TTFB?
TTFB stands for time to first byte. This is used to measure how long a user’s browser has to wait before the first byte of data arrives from the server. The longer the browser has to wait, the longer it will take for the full page to display for the user.
Why is TTFB important?
There are conflicting opinions about whether or not TTFB is important, although when Google’s former Web Performance Engineer, Ilya Grigorik, subscribes to the idea that it does matter, it is worth taking into account.
Google PageSpeed Insights state that anything under 200 ms for server response time is good, while 300-500 ms is the standard range. Anything higher than 600 ms might require you to update to a better web stack. To measure your TTFB, launch Google Chrome and use the DevTools.
Will upgrading to a better hosting package improve website speed?
If your site is resource intensive, upgrading your web hosting package gives you a much better chance at improving your site’s load speed. Sites that load slowly when multiple users are browsing pages at the same time should also see speed improvements For sites that are already relatively fast hosting, or less resource intensive, then you may only see a small change in speed.
To get a better understanding of what to do next, a website audit is the best start point, giving you clear insight about which areas could be improved through coding and/or moving to a better web hosting package. It’s something we’ve done for businesses working in a variety of industries, helping to boost user engagement and conversion rates as a result.