When looking to host your website, or custom software solution, it's important that you pay attention to where the software will be hosted. Where you host your website will have significant impact on how your website operates, the laws which it operates under, how it is "found" and how your users engage with it. In today's article, we look at whether or not you need to host your website in Australia if you're an Australian business.
When considering where to host your website/web application, there are a number of considerations that you should review. These include:
- The location of your current-audience;
- The location of your target-audience;
- The location of your business; and
- The legislation your site will be governed by.
The Location of Your Audience
It's important to consider the location of your audience for a number of reasons. Here's why.
When your users access your website/web application, they're sending a request to the server. The server will process the request and send the content back to the user. In today's "connected world" this seems to happen in an instant. But in reality, the request and response have to cover huge distances - from the physical location of the user to the physical location of the server and back. That distance can have an impact on how quick your website loads/interacts for a user, so ensuring the server is located close to your current audience can have improved performance for your users.
On the other side of the equation, when it comes to new users many will use Search Engines to find your website/web application. Search Engines will tend to favour local offerings when users search for new services. So by ensuring that your system is hosted in the same country as your user will go a long way to attracting new users.
The Location of Your Business
As much as our world is becoming interconnected; we're still limited by one factor when it comes to doing business offline - timezones. Even if you can automate much of your operations, there will still be some elements that require manual intervention. These include maintenance windows for hosting; customer support hours; etc. If your business is located in the same timezone as your host, their hours of operation can often be more aligned with your own - making it easier to manage maintenance windows of your server and customer support enquiries.
Different countries/jurisdictions have different legislative requriements that govern the environment in which your online systems will operate. In some instances, these can impact significantly on the way your systems/software operate. Often ensuring you are hosting in the same country as your business can ensure that you are more familiar with legislative requirements and can better be prepared to address them in your terms of service/privacy policies. Similarly if your audience is also familiar with these requirements, they may also have less of a barrier to engaging with your services online.
It is important to note that in some instances, hosting in your local country will be the best solution. However in other instances (ie your clients are located abroad), it is important to evaluate an alternate hosting location that is more responsive to your requirements.
At DCODE GROUP, we work with Amazon Web Services to host our systems/software for ourselves and our clients. AWS provides hosting services around the globe (including Australia), allowing us to determine the best location for our systems depending on the requriements of the solution.
If you're developing a custom software solution that requires hosting, contact us today to discuss your requirements and find a hosting solution that will help you, your users and your business achieve the best results.