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Hosting - Is location important?

July 23rd, 2009

A decade or so later, the arguments still go on but now with a variety of potential locations to host from in the UK; it has now changed from a country-specific requirement to a city-specific requirement.

It is no secret that 95% of all UK internet traffic flows through the Telehouse North and Telehouse East datacentres in London so a lot of companies seem intent on hosting there.

In truth, there isn't all that much difference to the typical UK web user - an ADSL connection will introduce an average latency of 20 to 30 milliseconds and hosting content at one of the larger datacentres will usually incur an additional 3 to 5 milliseconds latency per page request.

The flip-side to the coin of course is that if your website caters to a multi-national audience such as both the UK and the USA; where should you host the site ?

In cases like this, a CDN (Content Delivery Network) can be a cost-effective way of getting around this issue; items such as Flash assets (.swf) and images can be retrieved from a server which is geographically closer to the user connecting to it.