In a word, yes. And the long and short of it is – keep them close. While you might be able to buy cheap hosting from hundreds of hungry businesses across Europe, America and beyond, don’t be fooled into thinking the distance doesn’t matter. Because it 100% does.
If your agency and its clients are based in the UK, chances are your clients’ customers are
too. But if your hosting provider’s in the US, all the websites you create for those clients are on servers in data centres over 3,000 miles away. So, every time someone in the UK tries to view their websites, the data has to travel from the UK to the US – and back. That takes time.
It might not take hours, or even minutes, but it’ll take longer than it should, and that’s likely to cost your clients customers, business and money. People just don’t want to wait. In fact, around 40% of people will abandon a website if it takes more than three seconds to load. Three seconds. Not long to make a transatlantic return trip.
This delay in transferring data between your site and your server is called latency, and unfortunately it grows with distance. The upshot is, if you want to minimise latency, you’ve got to keep your server in the same country as your agency – giving it the ability to work faster and harder for your clients.
But speed isn’t the whole story. If the websites you create capture data for your clients, keeping them close makes it easier to comply with GDPR and stay on the right side of UK law. It also means you won’t have to untangle the legalities of another country, or risk falling foul of them.
The right UK-based hosting company will house your websites on quality servers in secure local data centres, reducing latency, maximising uptime and making it easier to fix glitches. They’ll take a responsible approach that reins in spam and adds credibility to your clients’ brands.
They’ll also have a UK-based support team, who’ll give you advice, help you stay up to date and be there to talk you through anything tricky. With a good understanding of your market, their advice will be more readily available, accurate and relevant than you might get from overseas. It’ll also be reachable at the right time of day – and in the right language.