SiteGround, a leading web hosting provider, has announced the opening of a new data center location in Madrid, Spain. This expansion is a follow-up to the 2020 decision to partner with Google and begin using Google Cloud for part of the SiteGround hosting infrastructure. The Madrid facility represents SiteGround’s seventh data center, joining locations in the Netherlands, Singapore, London, Sydney, Frankfort, and the United States.
News of this opening begs the question: Why does the choice of server location matter?
New Data Center and CDN Location Announced June 17, 2022
“As soon as Google Cloud, on which our platform is built, announced the launch of their new region Madrid, we started the process of adding this location to our network too,” said Daniel Kanchev, Product and Technology Lead. One of the three cloud giants, Google uses a scalable, highly redundant storage system that bodes well for hosting customers under its service umbrella.
The new data center, which SiteGround announced on June 17, 2022, presents opportunities for increased page load speed and a better user experience for customers whose websites see traffic from Spain. The Madrid data center location will be available to all SiteGround cloud and shared hosting customers.
Location, Location, Location Matters
The physical location of the machine on which a website is hosted plays a role in how quickly the website loads. The closer the server is to the user, the faster the website loads – and the less money and energy is wasted in transmission. A website that loads quickly provides a better user experience, and page load speed directly impacts purchasing decisions for nearly 70% of consumers.
So, when it comes to web hosting, it’s all about location, location, location!
Faster Data Access and Reduced Networking Costs
Say you have a message to deliver to a friend, and it must be delivered in person. It would be much easier to deliver the message if your friend lived right down the road than if traveling to your friend meant paying for a plane ticket and spending hours at the airport and on a trans-continental flight. The same can be said for website data. It takes longer for site data to reach your personal computer when it lives on a server half a planet away.
“Google is known for maintaining one of the fastest and most powerful networks, which means that using their service will result in high speed for our clients’ websites,” said SiteGround CEO Tenko Nikolov when announcing the initial decision to move to Google Cloud in 2020 on SiteGround’s blog.
The physical location of a website’s hosted server directly affects the website’s performance, or how fast its webpages load. By hosting their websites in the new Madrid location, SiteGround customers have a better chance of delivering a snappy page load experience to their locally based website visitors. And just as a plane ticket would cost more than a quick walk down the street, data centers located further away from website visitors will lead to increased expenses. By choosing a nearby data center location, website owners will minimize the cost of doing business with the data center facility.
Enhanced Data Protection with Geographically Distributed Backups
With the new data center facility comes a Madrid-based CDN location as well. With a content delivery network (CDN), SiteGround keeps copies of website data replicated across four continents, ready to recover your precious data in the event of a disaster.
In the unlikely event of a server outage, SiteGround can also leverage the Google Cloud network to offload server resources to another location.
Reduced Carbon Emissions
Saving the most meaningful impact for last: Your choice of data center location directly impacts the carbon footprint you leave behind. This responsibility largely falls on the owner of the data center or server itself, but consumers are wise to assess the commitment to energy efficiency of any prospective web hosting provider. A host that pushes for hardware increases without commenting on the location of your server itself is not keeping the environmental impact in mind.
“There is a tendency to solve problems by adding new hardware,” said green hosting evangelist Fred Plais in a recent HostingAdvice interview. Rather than upgrading your hardware, paying more for a dedicated plan or increasing the CPU allowance, customers can solve performance challenges by first looking at their choice of data center location. Servers are often significantly underutilized – wasting as much as 80% of their capacity – so adding more is not a long-term solution.
By partnering with Google Cloud, SiteGround can offer customers a 100% renewable energy match. With Google’s Cloud Blog celebrating five years of publicly committing carbon neutrality, the public cloud provider has set a “moonshot goal” of being 100% carbon-free by 2030.
Following Google Cloud’s Path to Global Expansion
In lockstep with Google, SiteGround has its sights set on growth, anticipating customer needs and pain points and addressing them head-on. The new Madrid data center is just the latest example of SiteGround’s commitment to global expansion and a customer experience that inspires loyalty. When choosing a web host, heed the advice of hosting experts and take geography into consideration.
Fortunately, when it comes to partners like Google and SiteGround, if they don’t offer a data center location near you, they likely will soon!