So what happens when your web host is taking up to 8 seconds to serve up your website? I’m no math whiz, but it’s not looking good.
Today I had the privilege (and pain) of migrating a customer’s site from one of the big box hosting services to our hosting service. The customer wasn’t happy with the service he was being provided. Page load times of his reasonably designed site were upwards of 8 seconds during peak hours. I was more than happy to move his WordPress site over and set him up with our standard web hosting plan on a server out of NYC.
How it works
Before I get to the “before and after” results it may be useful to some of you to explain how web hosting works. A web server is just a computer. Usually the computer is located in a data center somewhere where it has access to high speed, low latency connections. Just like your home computer, there are various price points and performance levels. A thousand servers can host one web site, or one server can host a thousand web sites. It all depends on the popularity of the web sites and the capabilities of the web server.
Most web sites are low demand and one web server can handle many web sites without trouble. It is cost effective for the web host and the consumer to split the cost of one server among many separate web sites. Problems begin to occur when a server is overloaded with websites and not able to respond in a timely fashion when many users are connecting. This is when you start getting 8 second load times.
The little guy
I won’t make the generalization that all big web hosts are bad. However, in general, a large web host is going to be more concerned with how many sites they can pack into one server while providing sufficient performance to make sure that service isn’t cancelled. On the other hand… I believe most small web hosts, myself included. will take pride in offering superior customer service by optimizing and ensuring excellent service. Well beyond what any large service provider could ever offer.
What does it look like?
With a little optimization page load times drastically reduced. Customers will be more likely to spend time on the site, and in turn the site will drive more conversions.