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Cloud v/s CDN v/s Geolocated Hosting: Which Should I Choose?

If you’re reading this, you’re probably a web developer who’s had this question across his mind at least once. Should I choose Cloud Hosting or Geolocated hosting or CDN to serve customers in different geographies? Having had regional hosting servers for all our other dsampy webs programs, we recently launched geolocated hosting in China and now have hosting available from servers in Hong Kong, US, India, Turkey and UK.
But let’s ask some vital questions first:
  • What is the purpose of geolocated hosting?
  • What should I choose if my client expects customers from multiple locations?
  • What about CDN?
If you’ve had at least one of these questions in mind, keep reading.

Why Should I think twice about Cloud Hosting for website visitors from various locations?

The common belief when it comes to serving customers from different locations is that Cloud Hosting, which boasts of high performance and turbo speed is probably a better option than geolocated hosting which in comparison, may not have the superior performance of the Cloud.
It is true that greatest advantage of the Cloud is amazing flexibility which makes it ideal for businesses with growing and fluctuating demands. Cloud easily gives you an advantage over competitors due to the sheer superiority of this type of hosting. But does this mean it’s the ideal hosting choice to serve visitors from locations around the globe?
Well, I’m here to tell you that that might not be the case.
What’s important to understand is that while the Cloud certainly is superior, local Cloud hosting still has servers in physical locations which, if aren’t close to your customers’ location, can affect the load speed time of your website. Surprised?
Take a look at the image below. Let’s list what we see:
  • Cloud Servers are located in South America
  • Your geo-located Shared Hosting servers are located in West India
  • Your client’s customer is accessing the website from East India
If performance is your objective, Cloud hosting (which is definitely powerful and offers flexibility) would be an ideal choice. However, if low latency and high speed are important to you, geo-located servers are apt in this situation due to the sheer proximity of the server to the customer, which the Cloud might compromise on.
cloud

It’s important to assess your objective. Would you prefer the power of a Cloud server or the low latency from a geo-located server?

The alternative you could explore – CDN

Enter, CDN. CDN is short for content delivery network. It’s a system of distributed servers that deliver pages and content to users in different locations. It servers your webpage content from the closest edge-server to your visitor. Some examples of popular CDNs are Amazon’s CloudFront, CloudFlare, Akamai.
How does CDN improve speed?
CND stores copes of the files on your webpage in various locations around the world. When someone visits your website, these files are delivered to them from the closest CND server.
What are the advantages of CDN?
• Fast delivery
• Global reach
• Swift user experience
• Quick file loads
• Scalability
• High availability
Here’s a simple diagram to show how CDN works:
cdn-diagram

What about Geolocated Hosting?

Usually, web providers have servers in locations around the world to enable faster load speed and lower latency.
Advantages of opting for geolocated hosting:
1. Proximity to market i.e. the distance data has to travel between your server and the user which affects load speed also known as latency. The closer the proximity, the greater the load speed. Geolocated hosting facilitates that. Try assessing your needs with the 80:20 ratio – where serving a majority of your clients’ customers is important to you.
2. Search Engine Optimisation Benefit: Server location is one of the many factors Google considers when delivering a webpage to check if your website is relevant for that geography or language. Google says, “The server location is often physically near your users and can be a signal about your site’s intended audience” therefore increasing your chances to be visible to the target audience in their searches.
3. Cost effective: Geolocated hosting is certainly more affordable than Cloud Hosting and CDN. If your business does not see very high volumes of traffic, this might just be the best budget solution. It’s economically better if you’re looking to cover more of your target audience.
At Dsampy Webs, we have datacenters located in:
• Hong Kong
• Turkey
• India
• United States
• United Kingdom
Conclusion
While it all boils down to your clients’ requirements and his target audience, it’s important to weigh all your options before you make a decision based on common belief.

If money is not a constraint and you’re looking for performance, flexibility and speed, both Cloud Hosting and CDN are fantastic options.
Think you need more information on this topic or have something to add? We’d love to hear from you in the comments below.
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