For many current or aspiring website owners, selecting a web hosting provider seems as appealing as going to the dentist. While it’s a necessity, trying to understand the intricacies of web hosts without falling for marketing gimmicks can be an overwhelmingly frustrating experience.
This is especially true when trying to find the fastest web host for your unique website. Unlike many other elements, the speed of a web host directly affects the success of your website.
Unfortunately, web hosts know this, which is why there are hundreds of companies touting their “extreme” speeds and “lighting fast” response rates. After reviewing several hosting providers, you’re bound to wonder which of these companies is real, and which providers are simply using catchy advertising copy.
To determine the best web host for your website, it’s important to first learn exactly why some hosts are faster than others. Afterwards, you’ll understand that not all hosts are created equal.
Reason #1 | Dedicated Server Resources
Rounding out the top of this list, dedicated server resources are the top reason why a web host may be faster than another. Now, it’s important, when we say “web host” we’re typically referring to the specific package offered by the company.
When searching for a hosting provider, look for a plan that offers your website an unchanging set of server resources. This typically means you’ll need to stay away from a traditional “shared hosting” plan, which is when a single server hosts multiple websites.
Instead, go for a dedicated server plan. However, if your budget doesn’t allow this extreme level of service, investigate Virtual Private Servers (VPS), which offer the resource allocation of a dedicated server without the price.
Reason #2 | Hard Drive Specifications
Much like your home computer or laptop, web servers have two different hard drives. One of the main reasons why one hosting package may be faster than another comes down to the technical specs of their servers. Here’s a brief overview of the two hard drives you’ll come across during your search:
• SSD (Solid State Drive) – This is among the fastest type of hard drives as it loads files exponentially faster than its traditional counterpart. Due to its popularity, many web hosts are now switching their servers to SSD, which means you’ll spend less time trying to locate a provider offering this hard drive configuration.
• Standard Hard Drive – Unlike SSD, standard hard drives are notoriously slow and susceptible to damage. If possible, avoid any non-SSD hosting package.
Reason #3 | Local Server
No, we’re not talking about a physical location of servers, but rather, where your website files are stored in terms of server type. Most of shared hosting plans store files on one server, which must then be transmitted to the web server before being sent to an end-user browser for rendering.
As you can imagine, this added step prolongs loading duration. To maximize website speed, make sure to choose a hosting provider who stores your website files on a web server. Along with files, ensure your database is also stored on the web server and not a disconnected storage server.
Run a test to see what is causing your lagging page load times, and see our best practices for a faster website.