Part of having a professional website is ensuring that it loads fast. Users will become frustrated if your pages take too long to display.
In this article, we’ll look at VPS hosting as an effective and affordable way to ensure that your pages load fast. We’ll start with a definition of page speed, discuss why it matters, and then consider how VPS hosting guarantees fast page speed.
Let’s get started!
What Is Page Speed?
The term page speed refers to the amount of time required for a web page to load fully in a user’s browser.
Unlike site speed, which measures load-time of several pages, page speed refers to the performance of a single page within a website. Page speed can be impacted by several factors, including the page’s file size and image compression. Still, the element with the most significant impact is the performance of the site’s server.
Why Does Page Speed Matter?
Digital marketing requires fast page speed. According to a recent study, 40% of consumers will wait no longer than three seconds for a page to render before leaving the site.
More than half of consumers expect a web page to load in two seconds or less. While large companies like Google aim for less than half a second, two seconds is the threshold for most eCommerce platforms.
Pages with a lengthy load time cause elevated bounce rates, and even if a user is willing to wait for a slow page to load, they’ll typically spend less time on the site than they would if pages loaded faster.
Page load times have a marked effect on a site’s conversion rate, which refers to the percentage of users that complete the desired action. A page that takes longer than four seconds to load yields conversation rates that are half of what they would be with fast page speed.
When pages load quickly, the user experience improves, and it’s easier to keep the visitor engaged. You may have fantastic content, but with users’ attention spans on a steady decline, if that content doesn’t load fast, very few people will wait to see it.
Aside from improving user retention, page speed is one of the primary signals search engines use to algorithmically rank pages. According to Google PageSpeed Insights, site loading time is a direct factor in ranking.
How VPS Hosting Impacts Page Speed
The hosting service you use affects not only page speed but is also one of the primary determinants of site loading times.
Why is this? If your entire site were a restaurant, the server would be the kitchen: it’s where the resources are stored and prepared, with page content cooked to order as business logic is applied in the final steps before it’s served to the user.
Hosting services remove the necessity for a business to maintain a dedicated server in house. Once a consumer visits your site, the third-party host is responsible for providing them with your online content as quickly as possible.
Many small businesses opt for shared hosting plans. It’s a low-cost choice in which hosting is provided using shared servers, with one computer running many websites.
A shared hosting plan limits your access to server resources and imposes restrictions on the applications you can run. While some site owners find that shared hosting is sufficient, providing acceptable website performance, others may wish for something faster and more scalable.
For a business with a large customer base, for a new venture in which you expect rapid growth, or for any business that relies heavily on its web presence, a dedicated hosting plan is preferable to shared hosting. This is where hosting on a VPS (Virtual Private Server) comes into play.
Using sophisticated virtualization software, VPS hosting offers a dedicated, high-performance server environment only used for your website. A business can provide rich content, reliable eCommerce functionality, and launch a resource-hungry web app, all powered by a VPS hosting solution. With dedicated and scalable resources at their disposal, site owners can ensure fast page load times no matter how their content and their approach to digital marketing change over time.
Managed VPS hosting is a flexible, fast, and scalable option that many businesses will see as an attractive alternative to shared web hosting.
Testing Your Website’s Page Speed
There are easy ways you can test your site’s page speed. Several free online test sites exist, and they use distinct metrics to evaluate site performance. Below, we’ll discuss the most popular.
GTMetrix has analyzed over half a million sites to determine their performance.
- To get started, you need to copy and paste your site’s URL into their analyzing box.
- GTMetrix will analyze your page’s performance and provide a detailed report that includes speed scores and offers tips on how to improve them.
A moderately experienced developer can look at the in-depth ranking metrics to implement simple code refactoring that will result in faster load times.
Google PageSpeed Insight
Google provides its platform known as PageSpeed Insights, dedicated to minimizing site load times on every common viewer platform.
- After analyzing the site, PageSpeed Insights provides suggestions to help you lower load times.
- The platform relies on sophisticated metrics to rank your site, analyzing which elements of the page are first rendered.
Web Page Test
Though it’s one of the older website-testing platforms out there, webpagetest.com is still preferred by many developers. The site allows you to choose a test location, set the browser type, and test with other variables to better identify underlying performance issues.
Is VPS Hosting Right for Your Business’s Website?
It’s common for small business owners to wonder whether VPS hosting is the right choice for their website. VPS hosting is a little more expensive than shared hosting, and the fact that many small business sites run fine on shared hosting gives site owners a good reason to think twice before opting for a VPS plan.
If you want to maximize site performance and give your platform room to grow, VPS hosting is a great choice. It gives site owners peace of mind as their business grows, because they know their website can keep up.
A website that’s run on a managed VPS hosting plan can provide guaranteed, consistently fast page speed. That’s critical if you want to keep your customers and prospects’ attention.
To determine if VPS hosting is right for your website, you’ll need to assess your business needs and growth plans. If you want to lock in a hosting solution that will ensure high performance from the start and keep pace as your business evolves, VPS hosting may be the way to go!