Think you’ve found a web hosting provider? Don’t commit to it before you check all the features and services they include for the price. We all want to get the most out of the money we’re paying each month (or year) for hosting, and if you don’t know what to pay attention to, it’s simple. The features that you should look for are bandwidth, disk space, tech support, uptime, and speed. If you are new to web hosting, we’d recommend trying a monthly web hosting plan as they are lower risk. Most of the leading web hosting companies try and lock you in for 3+ years, and when you don’t know what you want that can be problematic. Many factors go into the speed of your website, but one of the crucial things to consider when you want to optimize your website speed is your hosting.
If you’re worried that your website is slow or underperforming, the reason might be the speed of your web hosting provider. If you have already tried everything to fix your website performance and cannot seem to do it, you have been targeting the wrong issue. Statistics show that 80% of website speed problems are related to images, broken page elements, visual design, and code. However, the other 20% of the reasons for your website’s slow performance may be related to the speed of your web hosting server. Bear in mind that if your dynamic pages are slower than your static pages, the issue is with your web hosting server. Note that the page load speed and web hosting speed are two completely different things. That’s the reason why it’s essential to test the speed of your web hosting before actually choosing it. After that, you can work on enhancing your page load speed. So, here are our five ways you can use to test the speed of your web hosting provider.
1 Check the Time to First Byte (TTFB)
The TTFB metric shows the time needed for the user to receive the first byte from the HTTP/HTTPS GET requested data packet. This metric is defined as the time the browsers need to perform a DNS lookup and connect within the TTFB. The Internet connection has a direct influence on the TTFB metric. The TTFB should be a maximum of 0.5 seconds, while with the latest technology and web server configuration, it can easily reach 0.1 seconds.
2 Distribution of Web Components
What is also important for your website speed is the distribution of the website components. If you have issues with your server, the problems will show up once the website is accessed and cached by an end-user. This error will make the TTFB duration way longer than it should be. The TTFB is the largest component responsible for the website latency of up to 60%.
3 Secure Sockets Layer (SSL)
The time it takes for an SSL handshake to take place depends on several factors, such as the protocol used, the presence of an SSL offloading, etc. If your web hosting provider does your SSL handshake, then you should take into consideration the SSL response times. The response times may be the key to your server being slow or fast.
4 Domain Name Servers (DNS) Response Time
The DNS response time is, in fact, the time your website name server takes to return the IP address to your browser. If the DNS response time is under 300 ms, then this is a standard metric for the speed of your server. If the response time of your DNS is higher, then you should change your DNS provider. If your web hosting server maintains your DNS, then consider this metric. To find out the exact TTFB and distribution of web components, as well as SSL and DNS response time, which might be responsible for the slowness of your web hosting server, the best way is to complete an actual web server speed test.
5 Web Server Speed Test
To check the performance of your web hosting server all, you have to do is enter your website URL. However, to get the most out of the web hosting speed test, you’d have to go through the process and read the results accurately. There are many web server speed tests available online you can choose from. Some of the most commonly used are Pingdom, GT Metrix, Bitcatcha, WebPage test and many more.
To sum up, checking the speed of your web hosting server is not the same as checking the loading time of your website. However, these two are intimately connected, meaning the speed of your web hosting server may be affecting the loading time of your website. The following features and metrics are responsible for the speed of your web hosting server: TTFB, SSL, DNS response time, and distribution of web components. All this can be easily checked online by a custom web server speed test.