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Search engines look at various variables to rank a website. One of these variables is: site loading speed.

At the moment I have 2 options to choose from to host my website on:

Host on a cloud with a virtual CPU/RAM located in my country. Host from my neighbour country on a dedicated server with a dedicated CPU/RAM. So I wonder which option is better for SEO?

Option 1.

Pro The clients will be located closer tot the cloud, so the site loading will be reduced.

Con I'll have to share the recources so availability etc. are not guarenteed/consistent.

Option 2

Pro Dedicated resources!!

Con The server is located in neighboured country so longer travel distance.

Question 1: What is more important for SEO/page ranking anno 2023? Server location? Or dedicated resources?

Question 2: Shared hostings/clouds use vRAM and VCPU. How do this relate to real dedicated RAM/CPU like Xeon or Ryzen? (Cloud/vps: 32 vRAM/16cores (mhz unkown) guaranteed, dedicated: 32RAM/intel Xeon 4coresx3,6Mhz).

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  • Are the two countries large and/or geographically far away enough from each other that it would add a considerable amount of latency to host in the neighboring country (say, more than 30ms or so)? Also, is your website's backend lightweight, or are you planning to run heavy tasks (or serve very large amounts of users) which might max out the ram and cpu of a vps? It all depends on the latency between the countries, and your workload. Jan 13, 2023 at 0:15
  • Client (my home) distance to host: host in my same country= 3hrs drive. Host in neighbouring country=5hrs drive.
    – Foo
    Jan 13, 2023 at 9:53
  • @MaximillianLaumeister the server will run plesk and multiple Wordpress sites with a total traffic of 6 to 1k views a day.
    – Foo
    Jan 13, 2023 at 9:59
  • 2
    2 hours of driving takes light only 0.6ms, which is less than nothing. So, distance is inconsequential to this decision. Jan 13, 2023 at 18:17
  • 1
    Thanks! Ill go for option 2 then.
    – Foo
    Jan 14, 2023 at 7:38

1 Answer 1

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There are too many subtle variables at play to give a simple answer here, but maybe this will be helpful - if not to you, to others -

Google cares about speed of page load - so this is what you need to optimize for. While it is likely that a dedicated server will outperform a virtually hosted server, the connectivity (particularly from Googles closest point of presence) can also play a major factor.

The difference between 2 servers - one configured as a dedicated server and the other a virtual server will be extremely small - less then 5%, and probably less then 1% - so the variances between hardware are likely to play a bigger role in the speed of hosting.

The second thing is then "what are your cpu/memory/disk needs"? If you are serving mainly static / cached / pre-built pages then these resources are not as important as connectivity as static pages require very little resource.

The second point relates to your question 2 -

Virtual Servers are not interchangeable. You get virtual servers with dedicated memory and CPU - which will give you the rated performance, but you also get virtual servers which oversubscribe resources - particularly CPU, which are likely to offer poorer - or at least less predictable performance (but if your load is intermittent and cost is a concern they can be useful, especially if resources are provided as "burstable" usage).

A big thing (to me at least) is disk IO. I can argue either side, but I am firmly in the camp that dedicated resources provide much better disk IO then virtual servers. If most of your content can be cached in RAM (OS's do this automatically), this is probably not an issue - however if not, or if your site is write heavy for parts Google cares about, a dedicated server will likely give you lower disk latency which can be a big deal.

The reverse argument is older dedicated servers will use SATA SSD's, while newer virtual servers may use NVME SSD's which are considerably faster (but even slow SSD is better then fast hard disk), so the age of the hardware may matter if disk IO is important.

Another perspective

At the level of 6-10k hits per day, you may be better focussing on caching/prebuilding sites then dedicated hardware - you will save money on hosting while setting yourself up to scale to larger volumes. I imagine that focussing on things like tuning your webserver - especially careful selection of MPM on Apache, looking at HTTPS/2 or 3 and things which reduce the latency of processes - while a lot harder technically - will get you much further then a dedicated machine and standard CPANEL install.

While 6-10k hits per day is not nothing, its not something that should require a dedicated server. Looking at a Wordpress hosting I'm doing over a variety of sites, I have a VM on fairly old hardware I own doing in excess of 70k hits a day with 16 VCPUs (8 cores), 24 gigs of ram with SSD I control and the server does not break a sweat.

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