Google has made it very clear that the speed of your website will affect its rankings in 2021.
There are many things you can do to improve the performance of your website. Some of them involve removing and optimizing code, whilst others focus on how you deliver your content through content delivery networks.
One area that is often overlooked comes with the hosting itself. Although a content delivery network helps to deliver content, reducing the need for fast hosting, not all resources can come from a content delivery network (such as AJAX). With this, it is still important to have quick hosting, so here are a few of the things you should look for with hosting.
#1 Varnish Cache
Good hosting will come with a varnish cache – this is a way of storing the pages so that each page does not have to be recomputed. Not only does this reduce the server load, but it also makes your website load much quicker.
#2 CPUS/RAM Power
The amount of power your hosting has makes a big difference to the performance. The majority of shared hosting comes with limited CPU and RAM capacity, which makes it difficult when you start to get serious traffic. I found this out once a website reaches around 500,000 visits/month. When this happens, going to dedicated cloud hosting is the best method I have found and helps to keep your website uptime as close to 100% as possible (rather than going down when the shared hosting cannot cope).
#3 Clock Speed
You may find your hosting has the capacity, in terms of CPU, to deal with your traffic. However, how quick is your CPU?
This is just as important. VULTR HS proves this with Cloudways, which illustrates many benefits from the quicker CPUs, as opposed to the standard VULTR server.
Many good hosts have automatic backups to a separate server for peace of mind, if ever anything happens to your website.
This definitely beats using plugins to backup your websites, since they save the backups locally on the server. If the server goes down or is wiped, so does the backups too.
#5 Storage Speed
How much storage you get with your host is definitely important, especially for those that use a lot of videos or images. Something that is often overlooked is how quick is your storage.
For example, SDD significantly improved the speed of data transfer from HDD. Now, in 2021, NVMe storage greatly improves the data transfer, when compared to SSD.
Some hosts are already offering NVMe as the storage of servers. With this, the time to first byte will be quicker, since the data transfer is much quicker too.
All in all, the need for fast hosting is not as important now as it was 5 years ago, for revelations in CDNs and delivering content not from your original server. However, if you use AJAX and want to eek out every last drop of performance to help pagespeed, adding a quick hosting can help to achieve just this.