Choosing where to host the website is a critical decision small business need to make when they plan to build up their own website and showcase their business online. Initially, they need to decide whether to go with a Local web hosting provider or international, which the most critical call is. After they decide, choosing the right local or international provider is another challenge they face.
The good news here is, shifting your website from one provider to another is not really a daunting task, so relax a bit to start.
However, you’ll still love to hit the bulls-eye on the first try, I know.
If you’re stressed about whether to go local or international, this article will help you get out of the stress.
While both perform the same task, there are still some major differences in features between local and international hosting providers. Both have own advantages, disadvantages.
You usually get better speed, priority support, some sort of ranking advantage, cheaper cost and local currency payout when you go local. On the other hand, you usually get more reliability with international hosting providers.
Let’s go deep.
Here are the top 5 differences in features and services between international and local web hosting.
Website Speed: Local web hosting is Faster!
Local web hostings tend to provide a great benefit when it comes to website speed. If both a local and an international web server had the same hardware and software configuration, the local server would provide better speed than the international one.
Local web servers have ultra-low latency for local users, so the loading time of the website is lower.
The more distance the data has to travel, the more time it requires. Now, if your business is located in area A, you’ll expect most of the visitors from area A. So, it’s better if your websites’ data center is located in area A as well.
If you host your website in area B (international hosting provider’s location) which is few thousand miles away from area A, data has to travel many hubs, Switches and routers between this distance to reach the user’s device for the website to be shown. So it naturally takes more time to load the website.
However, you need to make sure that your local provider has a good and optimized hardware and software configuration to get this benefit, as most of the famous international hosting providers have.
Many local hosting providers have bad technical backing, and in many cases, you’ll find resellers. Be aware of those, and choose a good local hosting provider to enjoy faster speed than international hostings.
By the way, if you’re wondering if this few seconds of loading speed matters or not, let me tell you, it’s a critical and important issue from multiple aspects.
Here are some facts to demonstrate that to you
- 47% of users expect a page to load in 2 seconds or less.
- 40% of users are likely to abandon a website if it does not load within 3 seconds.
- A delay of second tends to decrease the satisfaction of the customer by 16%.
- 79% of online shoppers who were not satisfied with website performance for the first time are less likely to buy from the same site again.
- 52% of online shoppers find quick page loading as an important factor to build their loyalty on the website.
I don’t think I need to tell you anymore. Strive for speed!!
Support: Local web hosting Gives You Priority!
International hosting providers usually have a good support team, but still, they can’t provide top-notch support to users, even if they want.
I can understand why. In most of the cases, famous international hosting providers have a huge customer base. The number of customers is too much for them to provide good personalized support.
So what they have to do is, preparing automated phone calls and serving to customers with related problems. This process does not help to solve the problem in many cases.
Local web hosting providers tend to not have this issue. They often design their service targeting people in the local area. Thus they tend to have to customer base built with local people which is often not huge.
So, they can provide better, personalized customer support if they want and if they have the capable team.
There are real people on the other side of the phone to help you solve your problem. This is much more effective for solving your problem than automated phone calls.
Another great feature of Local provider’s support is the lingual advantage. Local hosting providers provide support in the native language of customers which helps the customers explaining those critical technical problems to support team with less effort.
Last but not least, being in the same time-zone also helps. Your local web hosting providers are available for you at the hours when you’re most likely to need them.
Reliability: International is More Reliable
You might raise questions regarding support and performance of international hosting comparing to local web hosting, but there’s no denying that renowned international hosting providers are more reliable.
They’re such big companies with so many employees and multiple data servers and all. They’re a way bigger entity than local web hosting providers and people definitely rely on them more.
Compare buying a phone from either Apple or Xiaomi. Xiaomi is a really great manufacturer who offers more features at the lesser price. But still, people rely on Apple more for that sense of brand recognition, better after sales service etc.
Reliability is an important factor in hosting because you’re keeping your valuable data to a third party organization, so you need to have trust in them which comes from reliability.
That said, it does not at all mean that local web hostings are not reliable. It’s just renowned international hosting are better considering reliability, just like they are better considering speed and support.
You just need to find out the most reliable Local provider that’s been in the business for a long time and have been providing great service. I’ll suggest being aware of resellers as they’re usually not reliable.
Ranking Advantage: Local Provides Some!
You get some sort of ranking advantage in search engines if you host your local business with local web hosting providers. Search engines tend to rank you higher for searches that are made from the area you’re located in.
Local web hostings send off a signal of locality to the search engines that this business is located in this particular area.
So when someone from that area searches for the service that your business provides, search engine show your website instead of showing similar service provider from a different region.
International hosting providers do not send such geolocation signal, thus you don’t get this type of advantage.
There’s no disadvantage considering ranking when you host with international providers, by the way. If there’s any, I’ll say not getting the geolocation advantage is a disadvantage.
Currency: Local is Convenient & Often Cheaper
International hosting providers usually accept only one currency, US dollar. And payment has to be done through international payment gateways, which many people often don’t have access to.
This makes it inconvenient for many business owners to buy international hosting.
Local web hosting is the solution here. Local hosting providers allow you to pay in your local currency and they often have multiple local solutions like the bank, local money transfer service etc. as payment gateways.
This makes it convenient for you to buy hosting.
Another benefit when you go local is the pricing. Local web hosting usually prices their packages having the local economic condition in mind.
International hosting providers don’t care about that. They price their packages based on their cost, profit margin etc.
That’s why local hosting tends to be cheaper and more affordable often.
To Wrap Up:
Both local and international hostings have their own advantages and disadvantages. You should choose depending on your needs.
If you want to start an international blog where you’ll expect visitors from all over the globe, then advantages of local web hosting like geolocation advantage in search engine ranking, more speed for local area visitors goes invalid.
In such a case, international hosting seems like a better option for you.
But if you’re a local business owner and you expect the bigger chunk of visitors from your nearby location only, you should go with local web hosting providers and enjoy numerous benefits, while faster speed is the major one.