Does server location matter?

Galya Titova

When considering where to host an application, no size fits all needs. To determine the best location, you have to consider many factors and cases but one of the most important criterion you must satisfy is the physical proximity of your target market.

In today's crowded marketplace, the good user experience is a game changer, and apps with perfect user experience are rewarded with happy and loyal users. The most common reason for users to complain and abandon an app is loading time - consumers have grown incredibly impatient and speed is of essence when it comes to the overall experience while interacting with a piece of software.

Intuitive UI that’s easy on the eye, solid, quality code, etc. are indeed important, however what app developers should also be focusing on is how fast is the data transfer between the users and the servers.

When a user request information through your app (loading a user account, or another piece of information stored on your servers), this information has to travel from your server location to your user's device passing between several networks via internet exchange points (ISPs) and switches. The physical distance between your server and the user, as well as the number of ‘hops’ between networks will affect the speed, at which your app loads and runs. Although nowadays the internet connections are quite good, communicating between different continents can create a significant delay.

Benchmarks

Here are the benchmarks that we did in our regions in North America, Europe, Asia, and Australia.

These numbers prove the need of different server regions for different target markets.

As you can see, there are some significant differences in the speed when you are requesting information that is stored close to the point where you are located.

In other words, if the majority of an app users are located in let's say Seoul, then it would be best for this particular app to be hosted in the Asia region. Of course, it is true that users from other, more distant areas, would have to wait a bit longer for every data transfer if they want to use the same app but you would be catering to your core user base. This way you will achieve a much higher customer satisfaction level, which on its end leads to higher adoption and retention rates.

Selecting your app's server location is an important decision that you have to take based on your target market(s) but we promise that being close to your customers (both metaphorically and literally) will pay off.

This said, now seems to be a good time to mention that today we are launching our new regions Australia and Asia so you can have more options to choose from and host your apps in the heart of your markets.

If you need advice for your particular target market, please do contact us at support@sashido.io or via our live chat. We will be happy to help!

Galya Titova

Head of Marketing Innovations @ SashiDo

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