Monday 17 February 2020

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How long does it take for the visitors from another country to load your website? This is one very critical question you must ask yourself when hosting your website on servers in a particular location but have visitors from another geographic location. Since the Internet is global, it is highly possible that your website visitors from a distant location are experiencing delays (latency) in getting through to your web content.

In the web world, “latency” is the time taken for the host servers to receive and process a request for a web page. The amount of latency is largely dependent on how far the visitor is from the server location.

It is always recommended to locate your server close to your primary audience base for your website content to load faster. The load time on your website does affect the overall user experience too. In case your webpage takes a lot of time to load, it is highly possible that your website visitors will move on to another website even before your content could load. The latency becomes a rather critical aspect especially if you have loads of images and videos on your website, making it really heavy.

For obvious reasons, taking on latency thus becomes a top priority for the web industry. There are several ways to do this.

Understanding Latency

Regardless of where your host servers are located, there will be some amount of latency between your users and the server. That’s because the information is passed at the speed of light through switches, between networks along the global fiber optic routes.

Do not confuse latency with bandwidth. Bandwidth does affect internet speeds, but a high bandwidth/high latency connection may achieve better throughput with a delay before the data arrives, due to the high latency. A good example of this would be a news channel interview over the satellite, where there is a visible delay between the question and answer – that’s latency.

When it’s about latency in hosting, every fractions of a second counts. A difference of 10-500 milliseconds while loading a webpage may seem really long for some, while others would consider it as normal. It all depends on how your visitors like to use your service, and how much every millisecond is worth.

Content Delivery Networks (CDN)

In order to analyze latency, you first need to understand the existing issues in your infrastructure and applications. These days, most of the hosting companies also provide CDN services. The CDNs (Content Delivery Networks) provide the website content to a visitor based out of any location from the nearest servers. This service thus helps in cutting down the latency of your website. This feature is all the more critical for those websites having an international audience. This way your website is presented to the users from the servers located nearest to them, thereby reducing the down trip time.


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