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Factors Influencing Server Response Time Of Your Website

By Author: John Ward
Total Articles: 34

From business owners to on-line marketers, having a website that quickly loads or responds fast to the end-users means a lot for their online success. Websites with reliable content, search engine optimization and with relative speed provide a better user experience ensuring higher conversion rates.

Understanding server response time

*The time interval between the request sent from a user to the web server and the server responding back to that request is known as the “Server response time”. In simple words, the time taken by the server for responding to the user's request. Here the request sent is for HTML content (pages, images, files, etc.)

*Server response is counted in milliseconds. The lower the count of your server response time, the higher the page loading speed you will have.

*As per Google page-speed insight recommendations, optimal server response time should be under 200ms.

*To improve the server response time of a website make sure you keep it under 200ms by resolving the performance issues like slow database queries, insufficient memory, resource availability, slow routing, server configurations etc.

Factors influencing server response time:

Overloaded Server

*Too much web traffic dramatically slows down access to a website. This is caused by more file requests sent by the users to the server. If the server gets more requests than what it can handle, then it will fail to function efficiently.

*It happens due to over-selling of resources or a sudden traffic spike causing server to slow down.

Insufficient server resources

*When a website receives more traffic, it uses more server resources (i.e., memory, disk space, bandwidth, processes) and the web server finds it difficult to serve all the requests due to insufficient availability of resources.

*For displaying web pages, workload at server side is heavy. It loads several style sheets, scripts and uses many resources: which means, for viewing each web page, web server serves a separate request.

*The number of websites hosted on server also matters. A server sharing all its resources (memory, processes, bandwidth, disk space, etc.) equally with all the sites hosted on it may not fulfill all the user requests at one time due to the usage of resources by other websites.

*This can be solved only when you increase the Server resources (i.e. memory, processes, disk space and bandwidth).

CMS or other applications used for website

*Some CMS software is used for different kinds of purposes. If you use one kind of CMS software for a website that doesn’t match its purpose, it might perform poorly during traffic spikes.

*Example, Word-press sites on the web uses PHP. Most of these pages have slow server response times because server follows many steps in responding to a web request.

*Few CMS applications are flexible and reliable. If you use these kinds of applications for your website, it can dramatically slow down your site performance.

*Depending on the site you use for: whether CMS or e-commerce platform, you need to check for new releases and updates available for your site's script. If available, upgrade it for newer versions to prevent your site's speed going down.

*Updating your site scripts to the latest script versions help you in eliminating coded roadblocks impacting site loading.

Web server configuration

*Web server configuration matters a lot in processing the user requests by the server. Based on the peak usage time of websites, you need to deploy web server hardware that has enough CPU and expandable RAM. This helps to cache the most frequently needed pages and other files requested by the users.

*Without cache option, each time the user requests a file; CPU needs to fetch files from the start.

*As the CPU consumes more time for processing even recent files, it slows down its performance in completing all the requests. So systems with slower processors results in poorer performance.

*Systems with cache option saves on the amount of resources used for your requests to display pages resulting in faster load times.

*So, choose a web server software configuration that handles all the requests at a higher speed even at high web traffic load.

Quality of Web hosting

*Web hosting providers play an important role in making your website available all the time for your visitors online.

*Depending on the type of your business website, go for a web hosting provider that meets all your business needs even during sudden traffic spikes.

*Though you choose a web hosting plan that meets your business requirements, your website sometimes goes down due to the ordinary behavior of your web host.

*Make sure that the space allocated for your website on a server is enough that it will help in your business expansion and the bandwidth allocation and meets your web traffic needs.

*If you care about your website server response time, make sure your web host provider does not oversell their servers. The more websites they host on their servers, the slower will be the server response time.

*A quality web host will be available round the clock to support and solve your queries. They will also advise you whenever changes are required in your plan for up-gradations.

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