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I run a regional website in the US, where I'd say about 40% of our traffic and most of our returning visitors are located in 3 states. In shopping around for a new dedicated server I'm wondering how important location is, and whether it makes the most sense choosing a provider that is closest.

I did find this post but it deals with the server being located in a different country. Does it matter where a server's physical location is?

How important is a servers location to the largest concentration of users? Additionally, are there things to consider like making sure your servers datacenter is located next to a major hub?

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I don't agree with my friends Angio. The location of the server does have a meaning, I'm not not saying it's the only factor, but it makes no sense to have a server in the States, for example, when most of your customers are in Europe - cause even if the bandwidth is good and the server is fast (CPU) it will still be inferior - comparing to a server with less capabilities in Europe.

That's also why CDN solutions such as Amazon, Akamai are widely used.

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CDN's are great for websites with a lot of visitors to distribute CSS, JS, images, and videos. The core website files though are typically on a server not a CDN. When i'm in Greece on an island that uses ISDN or ADSL I would probably choose to host my site in another country where bandwidth and server resources were plentiful. –  Anagio Mar 15 '12 at 10:36
    
@Angio you're right if most of your customers are not in Greece, which is exactly my point ;) –  alfasin Mar 15 '12 at 19:58
    
My point is that many countries around the world have great data centers, servers, and bandwidth, ec2 for example has opened a new center in Brazil I believe. If I were in Greece and my customers in Australia I wouldn't care what my ec2 region was unless I had hundreds of thousands of visitors. –  Anagio Mar 15 '12 at 20:08
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The location of your server really doesn't mean much. What is more important is that you are on a reliable hosting provider or data center. I use Amazon ec2 which allows you to select a region to setup your server.

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Insofar as location within a (reasonably-sized) country or state matters at all, the important thing is having fast and reliable connections to the local backbone. This is often easier to arrange close to major network hubs, which in turn are often located close to major urban centers.

Of course, if you're Google, Amazon or Facebook, you build your data centers anywhere you damn well like and just lay down some fiber to connect them to the closest convenient hub.

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