How Website Hosting Affects Your Website’s Speed

Web Development | 14-03-2023 | Paul Wheeler

How Website Hosting Affects Your Website’s Speed

You may be surprised to learn that website hosting can affect your website’s speed. Of course, there are a lot of things that can slow your website down, most of which you can fix on your own. Things like reducing the number of plugins you use, hosting video files on external sites, and using web-safe fonts are just a few ideas.

But many website owners forget that website hosting can make a difference to your speed. It’s something we often rush through early in the process of creating a website and then never think about again! Don’t get caught out here, though—the web host you choose can have either a positive or a negative effect on multiple aspects of your site.

Here’s how website hosting affects your website’s speed, why that matters, and how you can go about choosing the best type of hosting to boost your site’s performance.

How Hosting Affects Website Speed

There are two aspects in which your chosen web host affects the speed of your site. These are your bandwidth and server response time. Let’s dig into both of them!

Bandwidth is the amount of data that can move between your website and the server in one go. If your site has a low bandwidth, your site will slow down quickly when there’s a lot of traffic. On the other hand, if you have high bandwidth, your site speed will stand strong even when there’s a lot of traffic coming in.

The time it takes for the server to respond can also make quite a difference. If it’s a fast server, your site will load more quickly. Slow servers will leave your site floundering as it loads.

Both of these things are ultimately in the hands of your website hosting provider. It’s in your best interest to choose a website host that offers fast servers and more than enough bandwidth—it’s a good idea to check real user reviews before simply believing what a hosting company tells you!

Types of Web Hosting

The first thing to consider is the type of hosting you’re on. This can make a huge difference to the quality of your hosting.

Shared: Your site will share a server and bandwidth with any number of other sites. A cheaper option, but also the most likely to have speed problems!

Dedicated: Your site will have its own server and bandwidth, usually fast and stable. More expensive than shared by quite a bit, though.

VPS (virtual private server): This is a hybrid between shared and dedicated, in which you share a server but have your own dedicated resources so you’re technically not sharing bandwidth with others.

Cloud: Pricey, but it’s often the best option with spectacular bandwidth and server speed in comparison to the others.

Why Website Speed Is Important

The faster your site pages load, the more traffic you’ll get and the more easily they’ll convert. In today’s “instant gratification” society, you can’t afford to allow your website to take its time!

User Experience

Nobody wants to waste valuable time waiting for a website to load when they could already be getting the info they need on the next site. If they’re not getting what they need ASAP, they aren’t going to stick around.

More than half of the people who land on your website won’t stick around if the page doesn’t load within 3 seconds. That’s not a lot of time! If your site is loading in 4 or 5 seconds, you’re quite possibly losing a huge chunk of potential customers.

Visitor Retention

Not only will potential clients click away if your site takes some time to load, but you could be annoying visitors to the point where they’ll actively avoid your site in the future. Some studies suggest that close to 80% of visitors won’t come back if they have a bad experience!

But get your speed right from the start and as long as your content is valuable and your site is easy to navigate, people will come back for more.

Conversions and Sales

Your chance of converting people is low if more than half of them are leaving within the first 3 seconds! The longer you can keep people on your site, the more likely you are to convert them at some point.

It’s a fact that faster-loading sites have better conversion rates than slow sites. This doesn’t always mean they buy something—sometimes, they may enter their email address for a lead magnet or take some sort of action that gets them into your marketing funnel.

Brand Image

A poorly-designed, slow-loading website gives the impression that your business or brand isn’t very professional. On the other hand, a speedy, well-laid-out site makes you look like a pro in your field.

Brand reputation is much more important than you may realize. Word gets around… So don’t give your visitors any chance to tarnish your reputation! Getting your website speed right is essential if you want to have a good brand rep, be recommended by happy customers, and ultimately get more business.


Interestingly, website loading speed is a factor that Google considers when it ranks websites. So if SEO is important to you (it should be), it’s in your best interest to get your website speed up. The faster your website loads, the higher you can rank on Google.

Obviously, this needs to work together with SEO-optimized content and your technical SEO. But paired with an improved bounce rate, boosting your site speed could be the one thing that really kicks up your rankings!

What to Look for When Choosing a Web Host

You already know that website hosting affects your website’s speed, so what do you look for when choosing a web host? Here’s what you need to eyeball before you sign on the dotted line.

Uptime Scores

The amount of time your website is online and available to be visited. When your site is offline, nobody can visit it—which completely defeats the point of even having a website.

Most web hosts offer 99% or more uptime. But don’t just take their word for it—we highly recommend browsing through user reviews and real-life stories to get a more well-rounded view of how good the uptime truly is.

Allocated Server Resources

On shared servers, there’s only a certain amount of resources available. They get split between the multiple sites on the server, so if one site is getting a spike of traffic, the resources will divert there and pull away from your site.

On the other hand, VPS servers may be “shared”, but they have a set amount of resources allocated to you. No other sites on the server can steal those resources away from you. On a dedicated server, all the resources are yours, and you share them with nobody.

Make sure the resources allocated are sufficient for your site. If you’re a small local site that has a simple website, you may be quite okay on a shared server. However, if you have dedicated resources, you don’t need to worry about running out.


Website speed is important, but it doesn’t help if your web host doesn’t offer great security. Ask upfront about things like SSL certificates and secure access, which can boost the security of your site.

You can also install plugins that add security, but it’s in your best interest to find a host that offers security from their side. Remember, excess plugins can also slow your site down, so it’s first prize to have strong security from the side of your host.

Server Location

The closer the server is to the visitor, the faster the site will load. This can be difficult if you’re getting traffic from all over the world because you can’t cater to everyone!

But for example, if you’re running your site from Europe, but your target market is mainly American, you may find yourself running into issues if your server is located close to you rather than close to them.

Content Delivery Network (CDN)

To get around the server location issue, many web hosts offer CDN services. A CDN is a server that stores a cached version of your website.

These can be located all around the world, so when someone from far away pops onto your site, it doesn’t have to grab the information from the server all the way to a different country. It simply pulls up the cached version, loading much faster.


Can your web host help you grow? What if your business suddenly grows to twice the size, with twice the traffic? Will your web host be able to keep up? You should definitely consider a web host that allows your business to scale.

Cloud hosting is absolutely amazing for scalability. If you’ve got the budget and plan to grow your site in the future, it’s definitely the way to go.


Your web host should be backing up your site regularly. If something crashes, you need to know there’s an up-to-date version of your site ready to be restored. If your host isn’t backing your site up, you’ll have to start from scratch… And that’s a lot of money, time, and work.


Good customer support is essential. If there’s a problem and you need help, you need to know that your web host is going to be willing and able to help. Again, this is something you’ll probably need to check customer reviews to get an accurate idea of.

Does the Web Host Offer The Following Additional Features?

The above features are essential for any web host if you want to run a website smoothly, speedily, and with few issues. But some web hosts may offer extra features that can help your site to run more efficiently and improve your loading speed.

Intuitive Content Management System

A content management system is basically a no-code website builder. It’s an easy, intuitive software or platform that makes it easy to create, add, and edit content. Like WordPress, for example.

Many web hosts come with their own CMS—in fact, a large majority of them use WordPress. Some others you may be familiar with include Wix, Squarespace, and Shopify.

Many web hosts have their own drag-and-drop website builders with a built-in CMS but double-check with your host beforehand. These can boost your speed because you don’t have a lot of code in the background!


This is all about transferring files. If you’re sharing any kind of digital files on your website, your host will need to have FTP/SFTP access. The “S” stands for secure, which is the better way to go both for you and the receiver of the files.

Having a seamless FTP system might not boost your website’s speed much, but it can make downloads from your site much quicker. This is also extremely valuable—if someone has stuck around on your site for long enough to download something, you want them to have the same seamless experience when downloading.

Free Site Transfers

This is transferring your site from one domain registrar to another. It’s not changing your web host or your website builder. It’s much simpler than that! Look for a web host that offers free site transfers. It can be a tricky process, but they’ll be able to help you get through it seamlessly if you need to do it.


Understanding how website hosting affects your website’s speed is the first step to making better decisions about your web hosting. If you’re one of the many of us, who chose an affordable web host right at the beginning of the process and never went back and considered changing that, now is the time!

Do your research, check user reviews, and figure out exactly what it is that you need from a web host. This is the foundation on which your site is built, not just in terms of speed but in terms of multiple other elements of the performance.

If your website has been slower than you’d like and you’ve been trying to speed it up, it might be time to consider finding a new web host. Find one that offers all of the above features, and you’ll notice that your site is faster and more user-friendly. Isn’t that what every website owner wants?


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Paul Wheeler

Paul Wheeler runs a web design agency that helps small businesses optimize their websites for business success. He aims to educate business owners on all things website-related on his own website, Reviews for Website Hosting.