Need for Speed: Slow Web Server Response Time and What to do About it
Server response time is the time it takes your web server to respond to any web browser's request. We can look at everything that happens in an Internet minute to understand the importance of speed when it comes to you website:
If your web server response time is slow, you may end up with current or future customers wondering why your website is wasting their time. You'll also be subjecting your business to falling behind in search engine algorithms that would bring you more views. Google–and other engines–favors sites with quicker response times. That goes for sites loading on mobile, too.
Reasons for Slow Web Server Response Time
- Website traffic: That's a good thing! Don't let it turn into a problem with a slow server.
- Web server software: If you're managing your server software yourself, there are many tutorials that can help you configure it to your advantage. Software like Apache and Nginx are commonly used and scalable.
- Web hosting: Maybe it's time to up the quality and scope of your host. If you're site is hosted on a shared server with a whole bunch of other sites, it's not going to load as quickly as if it were hosted on a dedicated server.
Google's Page Speed Insights and GTmetrix are tools that effectively measure your site's speed. These are a good place to start to spark further action items, like which resources to reduce or how to better configure your software.
So, what are the options? You'll either have to learn how to identify the issue and fix the problem, following up with consistent monitoring for future lapses, or you can let us do all of that for you.
Our cloud hosting packages come with managed support, real-time monitoring, and proactive maintenance. And, you can choose how much you want to spend by opting for your site to be hosted on a shared server or a dedicated server. But to demonstrate the real difference, we ran two sites we host through GTmetrix. We wanted to compare load time between one site on a shared server and another on a dedicated server. The site on the dedicated server loaded nearly twice as fast, even with double the amount of data.
Reconsidering your current web host may be your first step to improving your site's loading speed. Remember that server response time is just one piece of the puzzle. Style, content, and user experience are key elements and like most things in IT, a delicate balance must be struck.