WordPress is the most popular CMS with a market share of over 28% on the Internet. A common complaint of almost every WordPress user is the slow load time of WordPress websites. Slow and clunky websites lose revenue and traffic that eventually brings down the reputation of the website and the brand.
UX is currently the talk of the town in the Silicon Valley and a slow website ruins it all. There can be so many reasons of a slow WordPress website, but the most overlooked one is poorly located data center.
Hosting experts often recommend that in order to deliver blazing fast page load time, one really has to locate the server as near to the target audience as possible. To know more about this phenomena, let’s dive deep into it.
Why Choose A Local Data Center?
Majority of website owners aren’t aware of the importance of the location of the data center that hosts their website. Perhaps this is because of the simple fact that the majority of WordPress hosting providers do not reveal the location of their data centers.
Let me illustrate the issue with an example. If a website targets Canadian audience and the data center is located in Toronto, data will be transferred swiftly regardless of the size of the files. In contrast, a data center located far away from the target audience will introduce high latency in data transmission.
Large files commonly include high-resolution images, videos etc, and this eventually affects page load time. This is why the location of the data center is a crucial factor in the performance of WordPress websites.
Launching DigitalOcean in Canada
To explain further why choosing local data center is important for your WordPress site, I am launching a DigitalOcean server located in Toronto, Canada on Cloudways, a managed cloud hosting platform that is ideal for WordPress websites.
Sign up To Start
Sign up on the platform to initiate the server launch process. Enter a valid email address to complete the signup process. Remember that you can also sign up using your LinkedIn, Google or Github account.
Select WordPress from the drop-down menu and give it a name. Additionally, give a name to the server and project folder too to avoid confusion later on.
Choose DigitalOcean from the list of market-leading providers.
Select your server’s size. Remember that your server should have extra space and resources for handling unforeseen situations.
Choose the server’s location wisely. Your server should be located near to your target audience for extracting optimum performance from the server and the application. I picked Toronto for the purpose of this article as the target audience is in Canada.
Your server is ready for your awesome WordPress app. Click LAUNCH SERVER and wait for a few minutes, as the Platform prepares and initiates the server.
Once the server is ready, go to the platform and click Applications in the top-left menu, then tap the WordPress app.
Use ACCESS DETAILS > ADMIN PANEL to get into the dashboard of WordPress staging site:
- Click URL
- Copy and Enter Username
- Copy and Enter Password
After logging into the WordPress Dashboard, you will find that Breeze cache plugin is already installed on your WordPress website.
Breeze—A Swift Experience
Breeze is a cache plugin by Cloudways. The plugin has a lot to offer including:
- Easy configuration.
- Includes file-level caching system.
- Supports Varnish cache.
- Database cleanup.
- Minification of HTML, CSS and JS files.
- Simple CDN integration options.
- Compatible with WordPress Multisite and WooCommerce.
Breeze is backed by a team of WordPress engineers and 24/7/365 days live human interactive support. On top of all the plugin is totally free to use.
Evaluation and Web Analytics Tools
To evaluate and let you know the importance of local data center, I’ll do an experiment. I will test a default WordPress website hosted on the Canadian data center using the following tools:
- Pingdom Tools
Why Consider a CDN?
A Content Delivery Network (CDN) is a group of cache servers (called nodes) that are networked over the Internet.
In short, a CDN provides the following benefits to your website:
- CDNs are excellent for websites with high visitor peaks
- CDNs ensure that a web page is available around the world
- CDNs reduce server response time and decrease the resource (bandwidth and disk space) consumption rate.
- Visitors will observe an overall increase in the page load speed.
- Websites will rank higher in SERP because of high speed.
If you wish to further speed up your Cloudways hosted website, you could integrate a CDN with it.
Summing It All Up
Using a local data center is a great way to target your audience fast, and with the help of a cache plugin, you would be able to get blazing fast page load speed. If you have a global audience to target, CDN is the best way of increasing the overall presence and performance of your website.
If you wish to carry out the tests yourself, get a free trial and launch your WordPress website on Cloudways. Please do not forget to share the results in the comment section below.