Australian businesses have traditionally used Australian web hosting companies as their providers. However, in recent years, the number and variety of overseas hosting providers have drawn many Australian companies to change their hosting plans. These overseas companies lure businesses with significant savings in hosting fees, but this reduction in cost is not all it appears to be. Australian companies that do business with Australian companies can benefit a great deal from native hosting providers, and these are just a few of the reasons:
Websites that are hosted overseas can suffer from significantly slower site load times. Information uploaded by a computer in Australia must travel to the overseas hosting location first. This can take some time for the initial information to become available. Then the same information must travel back from the overseas host to the Australians who are accessing the website. This process creates an unnecessary middleman, the overseas hosting location, when all the information could have been stored locally in Australia. Not only does this chain of events affect the processing of the website, but it also slows downloadable materials, including images and sales resources.
Because information moves so quickly on the Internet, this may not seem like a large disadvantage, but the repeated lag times could affect the success of the business. Website users do not like to visit slow sites, so if two websites offer the same information, but one is significantly slower, the visitor will most likely choose the faster site. This could cost a business a great deal of profit and significantly impact a visitors experience, particularly if you’re running a popular online store or content management system.
Many overseas hosting providers are perfectly reliable, and choosing to use one of these sources does not necessarily guarantee poor service. However, by connecting a site to an overseas provider, there are an increased number of possible points of failure. When more exchanges and connections are set up in the chain of hosting, more breakdowns could possibly occur in the chain. Utilizing an Australian web host will eliminate the prospect of these breakdowns by keeping all the exchanges contained on the same land form.
Host maintenance schedules
Web servers are configured to the time zone where the host is physically located. This means that a website hosted in an overseas location will display the clock of the time zone where the overseas host is physically located rather than the Australian time of the business. Of course, the website can be re-configured to adjust for the time difference, but a few minor lapses in timing could affect any e-commerce conducted from the site and could make the timing of visitors’ activities and comments confusing.
In addition to altering the server clock, the time zone also affects the host’s maintenance schedule. Most web hosts designate specific times to perform backups on the server and to update the hosting platform. These technical supports are usually slated to occur during the overnight hours when web traffic is at its lowest, and the fewest number of people will visit the sites. However, when a website is hosted overseas, the overnight hours could actually be during the middle of the day in Australia. This could severely impact the traffic of the website by slowing down the load times or by taking the site offline entirely. Websites that are hosted directly in Australia do not encounter this discrepancy in timing, giving these hosting companies a great advantage.
Business websites cannot afford to lose income due to website errors or other technical issues. Time is money, and both can be wasted when dealing with overseas hosts. Like with the maintenance schedules, the time zone differences between Australia and an overseas location can cause headaches when it comes to troubleshooting website issues. A problem that occurs in the middle of the day in Australia could be happening in the middle of the night where the web provider is located. This could potentially be devastating to the productivity of the website when no one is available to help solve problems at the hosting location overseas in the middle of the night.
Search Engine Optimisation
When a website is created, it is assigned an Internet Protocol (IP) address. The IP address frequently relates to the geographical location of the website, which aids search engines such as Google during search engine optimisation. The search engines make every attempt to connect Internet users with websites that are the most relevant to their physical location. For example, Google would try to match an Australian visitor with an Australian website. When the website’s IP address is located overseas, even if the business is Australian, the search engines see the site as overseas. This discrepancy could prevent potential Australian clients and customers from viewing an Australian business. Using a native web hosting company would prevent any of this confusion.
To find out more about the services offered by Digital Pacific including Australian web hosting and domain names visit www.digitalpacific.com.au or give our friendly team a call on 1300 MY HOST.