The topic of performance hosting is by far one of the most important features than any website owner should consider and work to continuously improve.
A big problem that a lot of online businesses experience is that they do not get the traffic that they need. It's not just us telling you this, Google has recorded a lot of data on why performance hosting can make or break a website.
- Amazon AWS
- LoadStorm Test
- Load Impact
- Uptime Monitoring
- PHP 7
- Shared Hosting
- Virtual Private Servers
- Dedicated Servers
- CDN (Content Delivery Networks)
- Speed Factors
- Speed Testing Tools
“Performance issues vary. At best, they create small delays that are only briefly annoying to your users. At worst, they make your site completely inaccessible, unresponsive to user input, or both.”
It comes down to performance hosting and how it can be used in order to keep users engaged. It's more than the content that your website offers or the many features that you put out there.
Websites that have short response times ultimately rank better in search engine results.
Research data has shown that users who cannot access the website content in a short time leave and opt for other websites with faster loading and response times.
With this in mind, a good hosting platform has to account for speed in order to allow the website to rank higher in search results as it has become one of the biggest influencers.
Performance hosting is different all over the world based on user behavior patterns online but Australian web hosting still comes down to some main topics such as design, engagement, hosting plans, cloud hosting and short response time.
Performance hosting starts with the web hosting control panel. What a web hosting service is a tool that allows you to have complete control over your website.
Depending on the web hosting service platform that one opts for, there are different hosting packages based on what the platform will offer and what you will need.
A web hosting service such as cPanel can make it easy to manage your network of online domains, to backup, store, transfer and change your files, to create a custom database and then launch it by using various tools.
With these tools, you can have a great impact over your website and ultimately over the traffic that you get on it.
Basically, a web hosting service like this is meant to automate the management tasks that the owner needs to complete on their server.
The customers will have access to storing their web files, to launching and managing email networks and even easily creating websites and domains for them.
AWS (Amazon Web Hosting) is another leader on the market of web hosting services.
Being part of the servers that we work with, we are confident that it is a great hosting tool. If you are interested in finding out more about our options for Australian web hosting you can check them out here.
As a cloud hosting platform, AWS is first and foremost a web hosting service that focuses on functionality and security.
The commercial cloud for any customer is designed to optimize a secure chain through which information can be exchanged, having the option to encrypt your data.
AWS takes into account the Speed factors that influence the performance hosting side of a website. As we previously mentioned, speed is a key factor in user engagement and a good cloud platform has domains that boost the performance of a website.
If you want to find out more about domains and what we have to say about domain management in Australian Website hosting feel free to check this out.
Being a global cloud platform, AWS has a series of server locations with availability zones all over the world.
There are a lot of them on the globe but what interests us is the server locations in Sydney, which was launched in 2012 and that currently has 3 availability zones.
This server has a low latency cloud infrastructure with almost unlimited capacity for users.
The role of the three availability zones in Sydney is to allow for uninterrupted performance in the case of an emergency. As a separate server location from all the others available globally, this creates a super-fast cloud hosting platform for Australian companies and customers.
AWS also has a region speed test where you can check the average latency of a regional server that can be used as an average indicator for a reference.
Amazon CloudFront is a key feature that works with data delivery.
What it does is that it reduces the delivery time that it takes for data to reach your users.
CloudFront is used for performance optimizing for web applications and websites.
It works with data centers and it speeds up the time needed for content to be delivered by taking it to edge location data centers.
Why is CloundFront relevant for you and for your needs?
It optimizes website performance by delivering your data in a fast and reliable manner. Since lack of speed has been documented to be the main thing that makes users disengage with the content that is offered, a platform such as this is meant to counteract this issue.
CloudFront can also be used to deliver your whole website or application, not only for one or two features that you offer online with your platform.
In order to improve your website performance, the first step is to check your website or web application performance.
One service available online that can do that is LoadStorm. LoadStorm is a cloud-based platform that uses a series of sophisticated scripting controls in order to offer an in-depth analysis of your website.
It is primarily used as a tool for cloud load testing. One of its benefits is that you can test the performance hosting level of your small business website in just a couple of minutes.
The program is easy to use and it offers reliable data fast by analyzing the browser recording (HAR file) of your website.
Load impact is another option for load testing.
As a platform used for performance testing, it uses the data collected from your platform in a number of ways.
First of all, it is a great tool to test your system behind firewalls and then analyze the data in order to decode ways to improve.
When it comes to cloud testing, Load Impact can be used as a way to scale the cloud with users and the requests in order to see if your cloud hosting service scales appropriately based on how many users access it and how the data evolves.
You get to see the response time for your website, the request rate and a number of other important test factors for your hosting service.
It will offer a valid representation of the hosting performance levels that you currently have.
The performance value of a web hosting service can be maintained and analyzed constantly by incorporating a program that does performance monitoring.
Using a reliable hosting provider will eliminate a lot of the problems that your website might encounter. The uptime of your website can be affected by a server going down, a database issue or even due to a hack or a virus.
What uptime monitoring programs do is check the website(s) that you own and monitor their activity. Once an error is encountered what the service does is send a notification to the developer or to the owner of the site in order to notify them.
The reasons why such programs exist is because a small error or a page going down can affect the traffic and the engagement that your website gets.
Users tend to go and look for what they came for from another website if yours is down. While they won't tell you about the problem, an automated program like this can save you time in the long run.
Infographic by section.io
Another important step in optimizing the performance hosting of your website is looking at PHP.
This is specifically the case for WordPress hosting and hosting on other platforms that use PHP. Having a better-upgraded version of PHP integrated into your hosting platform will lead to better overall performance.
Every web hosting company has a different PHP version that they use. Generally speaking, the latest updated version is best but in some cases that won't be supported by your web hosting service.
So far PHP 7 and above have been noted to offer the best performance. As we have already mentioned WordPress hosting, here the recommended version of PHP for optimal performance from your web hosting platform is PHP 7.3.
Please note that the WordPress example is only meant to exemplify the importance of PHP and not be a standalone example of optimal web hosting.
Running a webpage or a website on an older version of PHP is not necessarily a bad thing.
Certain features do not require the latest version and other websites were created when an older version first came out and these websites were not updated. Putting that aside, when it comes to performance Australian hosting having a super fast website is key.
Data has shown that PHP 7.3 is currently the fastest version with the most req/sec. It is 10% faster than PHP 7.2, 17% faster than PHP 7.1 and 19% faster than PHP 7. When the PHP results of PHP 7.3 and PHP 5.6 are compared we can see that PHP 7.3 is 65% faster than 5.6.
Therefore it is safe to say that a website running on PHP 5.6 would be considerably slower in its loading times compared to a more up to date website running on a newer version.
The cloud platform can improve speed but the coding behind your website can also have a big impact on how high you rank in search results.
Good performance hosting has to do with how a database works and how it is implemented.
A great tool that can influence and ultimately help you and your website is MariaDB. It works by turning data into applications. It is open-source software that is fast, works with a lot of storage engines, different plugins and other features that can make it great and adaptable to many situations. It is a very good replacement for those that use MySQL.
Moreover, if you have MySQL connectors they will still work with MariaDB without having to be changed. This data management platform is good for backup and for improving performance by spreading the load. Ultimately, it can help improve speed and load time by optimizing your databases in a reliable, scalable manner.
While using the right tools for web performance hosting or for application hosting can be expensive if you want it done right, there is a cost-effective effective option, especially if you are the owner of a small business who wants to create a website for it.
Shared hosting is a form of web hosting where one server hosts multiple different sites.
The advantage of shared hosting is that it allows you to put your website up online very fast while also having access to tools such as databases, monthly traffic, and other options.
Moreover, the cost of using the service is small since it is divided between users.
The disadvantage of shared hosting is that in most cases the bandwidth is limited and it cannot account for high traffic on the website or for high volume sites.
Virtual Private servers
Virtual Private Hosting (VPS) is a form of server hosting that is completely opposite to shared hosting. A VPS hosting environment is great for those who have websites that get a lot of traffic.
By paying for your own server you have the ability to set it up and manage it as you see fit. The benefits of VPS are that you have privacy over your files, complete control over the server and the ability to customize your data as you see fit and optimize it.
This is a suitable option for Australian website hosting for websites that are popular and get a lot of traffic.
A dedicated server is another form of internet hosting used for websites.
Acting as a sort of a middle ground between shared hosting and VPS, a dedicated server is leased by the client, allowing them to have full control over the server and not share it with anyone else. The client also has full access over the resources available for that server.
While it may sound appealing to lease a server and have full control over it in order to host your website, dedicated servers are not really meant for a small business or for websites that will not get a lot of traffic.
They are made for clients with high traffic, allowing them to configure the website to their needs.
Content Delivery Network
A CDN is a group of servers that offer fast transfers for website traffic and it can also seriously boost a website's load time.
Since it distributes content among a number of servers, users experience short loading times when accessing the content. The different servers in a CDN are placed at exchange points between networks.
The connection is safe, secure and fast, allowing for content and data to move smoothly and making content easily available.
A CDN will also have DDoS (Distributed Denial of Service) mitigation, a feature that is great in fighting off attacks, viruses or even hacks.
Infographic by KeyCDN.com
Speed factors have a large impact on how your website works and how fast the content loads. There are a number of different aspects that influence the general speed of your site.
Even with a good cloud hosting and an adequate server for the content that you have on your website these indicators can not only influence your load times but also show where errors are made in order for them to be optimized.
FTTB (short for First Time To Byte) is a measurement used in order to indicate how responsive a webserver is. When someone accesses a website from Google or from another search engine, the browser asks for bytes from the server.
What FTTB does is analyze the response time that is spent in order for the server to deliver a response. If the FTTB is too high this means that it will take longer for someone to access your website.
Ultimately, high FTTB indicated that the website does not have a super-fast server.
The main goal in Australian website hosting is to ensure a fast connection and FTTB is an indicator of that.
Tools like WebPageTest can help diagnose your current FTTP score.
Load time is another measurement used for determining the speed of a website.
What it does is come up with an estimated load time that a user clicking on the website can experience before the content of the website loads. This measurement can also give a global average page load time.
The advantage of using this tool, especially if your website offers content or services that can be accessed globally by users, is to determine an average load time that is an indicator of your website performance.
The smaller the average, the better the results are.
Speed is what will make your online business website rank high against your competitors!
Start Render time refers to the first response time that a user has to wait for before they access the page. It is comprised of FTTB, server response time and initial page rendering and parsing.
It is different from load time since render time refers to the time spent with a blank white screen before the website loads. Start render time is just as important as load time as an indicator of speed and perhaps even more.
An optimal Start Render time, based on the Human-computer interaction (HCI), should be anywhere between 1-2 seconds.
If not, optimizing start render time is crucial in making sure that the server is responsive and that the elements within the server operate at a normal capacity.
HTTP (The HyperText Transfer Protocol) is a protocol layer form that is found everywhere on the world wide web.
Since every day new forms of media and content are put online, HTTP/2 is a needed innovation used in order to increase the speed of client-server data communication.
Since Internet speed varies from one region to another, most website looking for web performance look towards using HTTP/2 since it allocated more high-speed broadband internet.
Therefore, in a region that is either oversaturated with the content or where speeds are slow, switching to HTTP/2 can get you more traffic than your competitors since your website or web application will be faster.
RAM (Physical Memory)
The effects of RAM over your overall speed for your website go back to the previous topic that we discussed, that of servers and how much control you have on them based on the type of server that you choose.
In this scenario, we'll discuss RAM with reference to Shared Hosting servers since it can better illustrate the relevance of it.
In a dedicated hosting server, you share the CPU, the disk space and RAM with other websites that are on the same server.
With less RAM the general speed of your website will be smaller than when compared to a VPS or a dedicated server since you have less access to the server's resources.
SSD (Solid State Drive) storage is a fast and dynamic way to store data, making it accessible and reliable for your hosting service.
They are less prone to technical failure and they are used by servers in order to store data in an integrated circuit format. The advantage of SSD storage when we refer to speed factors is that since it is a new form of technology, it makes web data faster to access.
Different server providers offer various levels of SSD, but you can make an informed choice when looking at the hosting packages and what you are offered and whether that fits your needs or not.
Australian hosting and the speed of it has a lot to do with the server location that you choose for your website.
The reason why a server location matters in this case all has to do with data and time, and especially the time it takes for data to move from one server to another.
If you have an online business that deals with local services it would be advised to choose a server that is closer to the visitors' location who are likely to access your website for your services.
The closer the server is, the faster it will be to process a request from a visitor.
CPU is an essential part of performance hosting and of performance monitoring for your website.
Depending on the server services that you have, you will have access to either one CPU core or multiple ones (you might have to share them with Shared Hosting depending on the server provider).
When you have access to one CPU core, the server will deliver the web page depending on its speed. With multiple CPU cores, you can divide your web pages between them in order to be accessed faster by the visitor or by the client.
CPU can have a great impact on how fast your website is.
Knowing how your website works is done by using testing tools in order to analyze all the information that your website has.
From uptime to req/sec, testing tools are used in order to see how a website or a web application performs.
The reason why they are continuously used is that these testing tools can pinpoint exactly what makes a website slow and also the key areas where the website can be optimized in order to increase traffic, scale higher on search results and make your website faster.
While there are a lot of testing tools online, some are better than others.
For example, GTmetrix will analyze your website and score features of it with grades, offering you improvement suggestions if needed.
Another testing tool that a lot of developers use is PageSpeed Insights from Google. Since Google is by far the most popular search engine at the moment, this tool will analyze the content of your website and give some suggestions on how you can make your website faster.
Pingdom is also a good testing tool, using color codes in order to reveal information about your website. It is used primarily to look at the website load speed but it gives you other key analysis factors as well.
If you are interested in seeing the performance levels for your uptime, you can use Uptrends in order to gather that data and emulate load times, check for errors and look for improvements.
Another testing tool for your website's speed is Batch Speed. It uses Google's Page Speed checker in order to crawl your websites and offer a score of your website's performance.