Datacenters exist the entire world over. Finding someone to host your website, email, application or anything else should never be a problem. Choosing the right partner, though, can be tricky. When it comes to finding the right server, there’s a lot on the line. Every detail, no matter how small, can have a significant impact on a server’s functionality, reliability and performance. One such detail that often goes without much thought is where servers are physically located.
Network Administration Considerations
The first thing webmasters need to think about before deciding where to lease server space is whether the hosting provider offers managed or unmanaged services. Depending on the type of service chosen, a webmaster or network administrator may be required to appear in the datacenter to perform certain tasks themselves. This requirement (or lack thereof), may help indecisive webmasters start to whittle down the options.
Impact on User Experience
When weighing hosting options, it is imperative that webmasters consider their target audience. Where is the majority of this audience located? This matters! The further away an end user is from a server, the longer it will take for the server to respond to that user. This can create serious lag issues when significant quantities of data are being transferred. In extreme examples, transferring too much data across too broad a connection can even lead to server failure, creating unnecessary downtime.
It is also worth mentioning that major search engines, such as Google, consider page load speed as a ranking factor when determining search results. Webmasters should always be looking to eliminate all possible sources of lag, so choosing a datacenter nearer to the target audience is a practical solution.
Data Security Requirements
One of the primary functions of any server is to protect the data it is storing. In many cases, these data security measures are also subject to legislation at the federal, state or municipal level. The nature of such legislation can create certain restrictions on what a webmaster or network administrator may be trying to accomplish with his or her server. In these scenarios, that person would be better off choosing to utilize the services of a datacenter in a different location.
How to Choose Server Location
There are, naturally, even more factors to consider. These are just the primary elements that should lead the discussion. Each individual case will present is own unique requirements and challenges, but the considerations we’ve described here are a great starting point for identifying some key criteria that will heavily influence the decision.
Expanding Our Own Reach
At URPad.net, we are proud to offer our VPS services throughout the US with servers located in Los Angeles, Houston, Lansing and Orlando. We also offer servers in France, Germany and the United Kingdom. Right now, we’re actually looking to expand our reach. We’re hoping to begin hosting in at least two more datacenters in 2015, and we’d love to hear from you about where we should be doing that. Let us know your thoughts on Facebook or Twitter, or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org (subject line: New Datacenter Locations) and let us know how we can serve you better!