Updated: November 30, 2023
Does it matter if your web host is local? It can affect speed and customer service, but it’s not the sole factor for your website’s performance. When selecting a web host, consider these key factors and whether their locality benefits them.
Do Local Web Hosts Have Better Customer Service?
The location of your web hosting provider doesn’t directly affect their service quality. Excellent customer service can come from providers worldwide. What matters more are factors like available contact methods (phone, email, support tickets) and 24/7 service. However, there are benefits to having a local web host.
Local hosts often hire from your community, leading to personal connections and shared language. While non-native speakers can offer great service, language barriers might arise, especially for technical matters. This is crucial for clear explanations during complex issues.
Ultimately, a local web host increases the chance of receiving excellent customer service in your native language and culture.
Do Local Web Hosts Have Faster Hosting?
Having a local web hosting service doesn’t guarantee faster speed compared to a host located in a different region. However, a host with a nearby data center (view ZebraHost’s datacenter footprint) generally offers quicker hosting within your local area.
This is because data transmission occurs through copper or fiber wires, each with specific speed limits. For instance, copper wires carry electric signals at up to 300 MB/s, while Fiber Optic can achieve speeds of 10 GB/s. However, there are a couple of other factors to be aware of:
Data Center Proximity to Customers Changes Perceived Speed:
If your customers are concentrated in one market, it’s easy: pick a provider with a nearby data center. For instance, if your customers are in Skokie, Illinois, a Chicago-based data center works well.
But when you serve customers in multiple markets, you face a choice. Either find a provider with data centers in those locations or use a CDN network to store your site’s data globally.
Customers near data centers load your site faster than those without one nearby.
Local Network Infrastructure Changes Speed
In general, customers with higher internet bandwidth and better network infrastructure load websites faster. There can be significant speed variations between someone in a fiber-optic-equipped city versus someone in a rural area with older internet infrastructure.
Take note of your customers’ locations and recognize that some may experience slower loading times due to these factors. Often, site speed in such cases is outside your control.
Web Host Infrastructure Matters
Do your web hosting resources include modern server and network infrastructure? If not, even if the host is near your market, they could be slower than a host far away but with up-to-date systems. Before deciding, it’s wise to inquire about your host’s infrastructure. Ask about its age and the speed of the data center they use. Calling them or seeking details can provide valuable insights.
Are Local Hosts More Flexible?
Local hosting providers often offer an advantage due to their smaller, adaptable nature. For instance, at ZebraHost, we frequently assist customers with tailored solutions. Clients can easily reach us for matters like billing, security setup, plugins, and extra services. Management is also readily accessible when necessary.
However, flexibility varies based on the company and might not extend to larger organizations offering hosting as a secondary service, like managed service providers (MSPs). Even if these larger organizations are local, their terms of service often tend to be more rigid.
Should You Intentionally Seek out a Local Host?
Opting for a local host can simplify support and provide a team familiar with your business. But ensure they have data centers near your customers or can ensure speedy delivery. If not, ask about setting up a CDN.
For businesses with diverse customers and strong website management skills, a local host might be less crucial. Choosing a larger provider is possible but be aware that customer service might be outsourced and limited to chat/tickets, requiring better web admin skills.
Choosing a local host is beneficial when their data centers align with your customers’ locations. Local hosts offer flexibility and top-notch customer service in your language. Alternatively, large hosts suit businesses with varied customers or strong web admin skills.
At ZebraHost, we cater to Iowa, the US, and global clients. Our Iowa-based team provides exceptional 24/7 support. Explore our budget-friendly hosting plans if you’re considering hosting a website with us.