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Does It Matter Where My Web Site Hosting Provider Is Located?

On the internet, physical location is no barrier. Anyone, even from the middle of Alaska, can explore a site that's based in Japan. Because of this universality, there are plenty of international web hosting companies that offer services to users in other countries. When you're thinking about creating a web site, it seems like it shouldn't make any difference where your web hosting company is located; it's all the same internet, right? In some ways this is true, but there are also some ways that the location of your web host can affect your web site. In this article, we'll walk you through aspects of the potential impact the location of your web site hosting provider can have to help you choose the web hosting company that's right for you.

International Currency

If you have ever traveled abroad, you know that dealing with foreign currencies can be a hassle. Calculating exchange rates, dealing with fees charged by credit cards for dealing in a foreign currency, and just plain confusion can make working with something other than the U.S. dollar very costly. It's no different with web hosting, so it's usually best to deal with a web hosting company that gives you prices in U.S. dollars, even if the provider is located overseas. This will ensure that you know exactly how much you'll really be paying. Even if an international web hosting provider offers the cheapest rates, make sure that dealing with the other hassles that can come with international web hosting are worth it.

Customer Support

We've all had the experience of calling a company's customer support phone line only to wind up talking to someone in a foreign country. Cultural differences and language barriers can make trying to get your problem solved with foreign customer support a true challenge. It's a good idea to look for a web hosting company that offers customer support that is located in the United States or Canada, even if the web hosting company itself isn't. Having local customer support can help you avoid a whole slew of problems, including international calling charges and time zone confusion in addition to language and cultural barriers.

Effect on Search Engine Rankings

The major search engines, including Google, determine which country a site belongs to by where it is hosted. How this affects your rankings in the search engines isn't a question with an absolute answer. However, it makes sense that a search engine would give higher rankings for a local search to a web site that it deems to be located in that area. This will be a particularly important hosting consideration if you are seeking local visitors. If your visitors will be coming from all over, or if they will be family and friends who will not likely be using a search engine to locate your web pages, your web hosting company's locality will be less of a concern in this respect.

Web Hosting Speed

The speed at which your web pages load depends partly upon the speed of the visitor's connection and partly upon the speed of the web server's connection. It's important to be sure that the web hosting company you choose has a reliable and powerful connection, no matter where it is located. For instance, Freeservers, located in Los Angeles, California, is able to offer exceptional speed and reliability for your web pages because of the strength of our web hosting technology and the advanced centralized telecom network that Los Angeles boasts. If you are considering an overseas web hosting company, be especially careful to check on the strength of its web connection.


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