Ever since ICDSoft.com started offering web hosting services, we have always paid great attention to site performance and user experience.

Server location is one of the factors that play a significant role in a site's performance.

If the user is physically closer to the server, usually this means that the access speed will be greater. 

Today, with the push from search engines for highly optimized sites, and the expectations of users constantly increasing, the importance of site performance and therefore location has only increased. 

How to choose the best location

In general, you should choose the location that is closest to the majority of your target customers. 

ICDSoft has servers in three locations - Europe (Sofia, Bulgaria), North America (Boston, USA) and Asia (Hong Kong). 

If your users or customers are primarily from the USA, choose the USA option; if they are from Europe, the Middle East, or Africa, the European option would be the best. Finally, for Asia, Australia and Oceania, choose the Hong Kong location.

Choosing the right server location is vital because it directly affects the speed at which your website loads for users.

How and why does server location affect website speed

The actual physical distance that data needs to travel between the server and the user impacts the latency or lag experienced by the user.

If you have played online games, you have probably encountered the term lag already. Network lag is a very important factor in online gaming - even if the bandwidth (the speed of download/upload) is high, if the lag is high, the game experience may be ruined due to the long time between performing an action on one’s own computer and it being reflected on the computers of the other players. 

When a user requests access to your website, the server needs to retrieve the necessary files and deliver them to the user's browser.

The physical distance between the server and the user plays a crucial role in determining the time it takes for these files to be transmitted. 

Network lag, which is primarily affected by the distance, affects in a similar way both the requests from the user and the response from the server. Thus, the effect of the lag is doubled.

For websites, if the server is located far away from the user, it will take longer for the initial data to travel, resulting in slower initial website loading times. Research has shown that users expect websites to load within a few seconds, and even a slight delay can significantly impact user satisfaction and engagement. Some users may just close the page, or return to the search results in order to find a faster page.

Search Engine Rankings are also being affected by this - directly by search engines measuring the website speed, and indirectly by user retention and bouncing.

Factors which you should consider when choosing server location

Selecting the right server location can be both easy and complicated.

The easiest way is to determine your site’s target audience - for example, if you want to sell products to American customers, select a server in the USA, regardless of your actual location.

If you want to complicate matters, you can go as far as multi-homing setups, utilizing the services of global cloud providers, where you can have your site hosted on multiple simultaneous locations. Such setups are generally used by very large sites and usually require having your own team of system administrators for setting up and maintaining the infrastructure. 

Here are some factors that most website owners have to keep in mind when selecting a location:

1. Target audience location

Understanding where the majority of your target audience is located is crucial. If your website caters to a specific region or country, hosting your website at a server location close to your target audience can significantly improve the user experience and boost engagement.

2. Content delivery network (CDN)

Implementing a Content Delivery Network (CDN) can be an effective solution for optimizing website performance across different geographical locations. A CDN consists of servers distributed globally which cache and deliver your website's content to users from the server closest to their location.

If you want to learn more about Content Delivery Networks, check out our post:

Many ICDSoft customers use the free service provided by Cloudflare - it is easy to configure and offers a suite of extra services (like DDoS protection) at no cost. Information for setting up Cloudflare for clients of ICDSoft is available in our article How to Enable DDoS Protection and CDN with Cloudflare on your Website.

3. Data center infrastructure

The infrastructure and reliability of the data center where your server is located are important factors to consider. Ensure that the data center has redundant power supply, efficient cooling systems, and robust security measures to protect your website's data and ensure uninterrupted uptime.

Many hosting providers don't provide much information about the data centers they use, or it is not easy to find it on their websites.

At ICDSoft, selecting the right data center is of vital importance, and we are proud of being partners with companies that share our idea for high-quality services:


All data centers used by ICDSoft meet all of our strict requirements. One of the more interesting requirements of ours is having redundant upstream network connections, coming from separate routes - so that if, for example, roadworks break one cable route, we still have an uninterrupted connection via the other.

4. Legal and compliance requirements

Some websites may need to comply with regulations which may predetermine the location of the server. If your website has such requirements, please follow the rule of the law and select the option defined in the regulation your site falls under.

Different countries have varying legal and compliance regulations regarding data protection and privacy. If your website deals with sensitive information or requires hosting in a specific region, it is essential to choose a server location that complies with the applicable laws and regulations.

Here are some of the most common questions our support team gets about the selection of server location (FAQ):

Does server location affect SEO?

Yes, it does. Server location impacts SEO both directly and indirectly. Search engine bots measure the site speed, and this is a factor in the ranking of your website. Additionally, search engines may consider the hosting location of websites for localized searches, which are very important for local businesses. 

Having a slow website may lead to a high user "bounce rate", which can indirectly affect the ranking.

Some users may have also opted into sharing browsing data with a search engine provider - if this data shows your website is slow, this may indirectly affect the ranking as well. 

Can I change the server location of my existing website?

Yes, at ICDSoft, it is free and very easy to migrate between the three data center locations we offer. 

We have a custom migration tool which allows us to move complete hosting accounts between servers with minimal user involvement and downtime. The user only needs to notify our support team about their wish to have their website migrated, and to provide us with a time frame at which they wish to have the migration performed. We can perform migrations 24/7 any day of the year. 

Are there any downsides to choosing a server location far from my target audience?

Yes, there are downsides to choosing a server location far from your target audience. As mentioned earlier, the physical distance between the server and the user affects website loading times. If your server is located far away, users may experience slow page loading speeds, which can lead to a higher bounce rate and lower user satisfaction. We would only recommend selecting such a location in one case - regulatory requirements.

What are some ways to mitigate the importance of the server location?

While the geographical location of the server where your website is hosted can have a significant impact on its speed, reliability, and overall user experience, there are ways with which you can mitigate this factor. Here are some technologies that can solve this problem:


Can I have multiple server locations for my website?

Some large cloud providers offer such setups. However, they are quite complicated and aren’t necessary for most websites, as there are better, cheaper, and easier options.

At ICDSoft, we recommend the use of a Content Delivery Network (CDN). This approach allows your website to be hosted on one location, but its static resources to be stored and served from various servers strategically placed at different locations. 

Does server location affect website security?

In general, no. However, some shady hosting providers may offer cheap VPSs or shared hosting from data centers which aren’t operated in a professional manner. Having a server in your basement is rarely a good alternative to a dedicated data center that is in its own building with 24/7 security and surveillance, backup generators, industry-grade climate control systems, etc. 

Additionally, the country in which a server is located may indirectly affect its security due to their regulations and laws.

How can I determine the ideal server location for my website?

To determine the ideal server location for your website, consider factors such as your target audience's geographical location, website loading speed requirements, and any legal or compliance obligations. If you are located in the same country as your target audience, use the speed test feature on our Data Centers page - it will give you an answer quickly.


While the geographical location of the server where your website is hosted can have a significant impact on its speed, reliability, and overall user experience, other factors play an important role as well.

Thus, when choosing your new hosting provider, you have to balance the reputation, reliability, prices, and performance of a provider, and the right server location.

This is the reason why at ICDSoft, we maintain servers in three strategic locations in the world - for us it is vital to offer our customers reliable, secure, and performant services that satisfy all their needs.


A web hosting provider since 2001. We host over 58,000 websites for customers in over 140 countries around the globe.