When looking for a host, many webmasters are tempted to pick any provider so long as the features, price, and support are right. While this is all well and good, there is one factor customers often overlook: location.
That’s right. Your host’s location actually makes a difference- the closer its servers to your visitors, the faster your site will load. Therefore, it is always best to pick a host that’s located in the same country or region as your greatest source of traffic. If 75% of your traffic is American, don’t host with a company in Australia.
This can sometimes mean working with a host in a foreign country. This may or may not be worth the trouble. Hosting across borders can mean having to convert currencies. Because of time differences, support tickets might take longer to be resolved. If getting closer to your visitors means making these sort of sacrifices, you may be better off hosting in your home country.
With broadband speeds getting faster and faster, most users notice little difference between a site loaded 100 km and another 1000 km away. However, if you plan on serving large video files or Flash to the masses, disparity in location will be a problem. High traffic sites will often have servers located in multiple countries and use a special script to detect your location and load the content from the data center closest to you.