This is my first post on this forum, I heard a lot about Sitepoint so I look forward to receiving suggestions from best people in our field.
Okay we need a dedicated server for our US based website (catering to US customers), but due to budget constraints we are forced to purchase a cheap server from Europe / Asian hosting companies.
Now is it okay to host a website in Europe / Asia that only caters to US customers? Will it have any drawbacks as compared to hosting on a US based data center?
Regarding SEO, will our website rank normally in US search results?
Please provide your suggestions to enable us to make this decision.
Hi jonyvicky and welcome to the forums.
Using Google Webmaster Tools, you can set your geographical target to US, so the location of the server should not matter. In addition, factors such as having a .com domain and inbound links from other US sites will reinforce this as a US site.
The only potential drawback is the time difference between you and the host. As long as there is a decent support policy, you should be OK. Server location has no bearing on the SEO of a site.
From an SEO standpoint it should be fine, I think support is an area to fully understand and lastly you need to consider latency if your site is moving a great deal of data such as video. Good luck with your venture.
Hi Technobear and Dave,
Thanks for your suggestions - really helpful.
I think we can now go ahead with a Europe based server without any doubts.
Hi Bondguy, thanks for your reply. Actually the website will not have any videos - just a database driven site. Good to know that data center has no effect on the SEO. Cheers!
In general, it is more common practice to have your servers and data centers in the country of your visitors. If you have a large influx of traffic from the US, it is probably a better option to get your data centers and servers in the US for speed purposes.
Common practice, but not necessary. Amazon.co.uk is hosted in Ireland.
It should be fine, however, latency might be an issue.
At work, we used to host our sites in the US due to cost, however we are now migrating them to the UK and noticing a massive difference in performance, purely due to the decreased latency.
I am not sure if you can find out cheaper server in Asia. The bandwidth in Asia is very expensive, and the hardware is a bit more expensive too. So with the same configuration (hardware, software, service), Asia-based server will be more expensive than US-based one.
Anyway, it depends on what you want, you might have better vendor in anywhere. I know some good EU vendors, but they are expensive too, more expensive than US vendors (of course, I am saying about good vendors only)
We've recently tested a homepage located on a UK server with a 31 MB video on it.
Download time in Europe about 5 to 6 seconds, download time in the US around 60 seconds.
I'd host where the main audience is.
On that topic, I have another question: Can you host twice or more, i.e. on a US webspace to cater for North America, on a Hong Kong webspace to cater for Europe, and in the UK for Europe?
How would that work all under the same domain?
It looks like you will need a CDN solution. Have you taken a look at that?
Thanks. Never heard of it. While looking, I came across CloudFlare. They have a free plan. Would that be what I'm after, without the need for an expensive solution? http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/CloudFlare
Thanks. This thread has been very helpful. I have decided to go with a shared host with a dedicated ip in the UK, where the traffic is being targeted. Thanks again
If you are not worried about latency, then you can go forward. SEO won't affect location I believe.