It’s easy to be tempted to send your websites hosting overseas, it can be cheaper than hosting locally in Australia and companies regularly claim to offer a similar level of service. While all this all sounds great, in reality there are several major issues when you host internationally.
1. Customer Service
Customer service is an essential consideration for any product/service your business uses. If you can’t contact your provider and fix a problem promptly, then you can face serious issues. With web hosting, this could result in your website being down for extended periods of time. Effectively turning that expensive, fantastic website you had built into something completely useless.
Customer service is one of the major problems with international web hosting. Language can often be a serious barrier, as customer service operators will usually speak English as a second language. Communication is essential for good customer service, and if you can’t explain your problem to your customer service operator, it is unlikely to be fixed. Even if you are lucky enough to find a company that has excellent customer service operators, international time differences can cause difficulties. If your website goes down in the morning and your website hosting company isn’t at work for another 12 hours, there’s no chance your website will be up by the end of the day.
Your website’s speed is a fairly simple issue, the closer your customers are to your website’s server, the quicker it will load. So, if your website is hosted in America but your customers are in Australia, they could easily be frustrated by long load times, and decide your products aren’t worth waiting for. Host your site near where your customers live, or at least in the same country.
3. Google/Search Engines
You might not know this, but Google and other search engines can tell where your website is hosted. No matter how well you optimise your site, even if you focus on your service location, having your website hosted overseas will cause Google to lower your search ranking against those websites that are hosted locally. This won’t necessarily cause issues for your sites rankings, but if your industry is competitive, it could make you drop off the front page of the search results. Research shows that less than 50% of Google searchers go past the first page… that will be 50% of potential customers that will never see your website.
4. Legislative Protection
Red tape can be a pain in the arse for any business; all the forms the Australian government requires at tax time can certainly be time consuming. The good side of our legislation is the protection it offers consumers. With access to consumer affairs departments across the country, Australian businesses and consumers have some protection from shady business practices. In some cases, other countries don’t offer similar protections, which could easily lead to your business getting ripped off. Don’t let that happen, host your website locally.
Hopefully these points have helped make the argument between for local versus international website hosting clearer. All these problems just aren’t worth the few dollars you save.