Your product might be worth waiting for. But the truth is, hardly anyone will wait. Studies show that as page load time goes from 1 to 5 seconds, chances are that up to 90% of users will leave. It’s frustrating, but it’s no surprise—there are too many alternatives on the market to stare at a blank page and wait.
So if you’re not selling something completely unique yet in high demand (is that even possible?), you’d better make sure to outrank your competitors in website speed.
This post will show you how cloud technologies can help you optimize your infrastructure for maximum speed and uptime. Beyond that, we’ll advise some particular cloud solutions and list their pros and cons so you can weigh your options. Let’s get started!
#1 Cloud Hosting for Improved Uptime and Performance
You can assiduously optimize your code and brutally compress your images, but it’s all a waste of time if your hosting is slow and unreliable.
Traditional web hosting hosts your website on a single server, in a single datacenter. There are three main types:
- Shared hosting — a cost-effective but not really reliable option for small personal websites, blogs, and startups. With this option, your website shares a single web server with other websites, which means that if one of the websites on your shared server has a traffic spike, your website might load slowly, or not at all.
- Dedicated hosting — unlike the first option, dedicated hosting means that the entire server is only yours. Obviously, it won’t be that cheap. It’s best suited to large businesses with high traffic.
- VPS (Virtual Private Server) hosting is somewhere in between. You still have to share a physical server with other websites, but fewer. And in this case, the server is virtually divided into many individual virtual servers, so each website has their own private environment. This option is best suited for small businesses and online stores.
All three types have their differences, but they share one thing in common: with traditional hosting, you rely on a single server, which means a single glitch on the server can harm your website performance, or even take your entire website down.
Cloud hosting goes beyond the single-server model. Unlike traditional hosting, it spreads your website across multiple servers. This means that sudden traffic spikes won’t result in slow page load times or complete outages: if one server is overloaded or down, your site will keep running on the others without speed loss.
So if your website often experiences high traffic (e.g., an ecommerce store, a popular blog, etc.) and uptime and load times are critical to you, cloud hosting would be the perfect option. For small personal websites or any other site with low and stable traffic, such hosting isn’t necessary.
There are a lot of cloud hosting providers for different budgets and requirements, so you can explore the reviews and choose one that suits you best.
We consider Cloudways to be the most optimal choice because they have subscription packages for any budget and lots of features to satisfy both experts and newbies. Let’s dive deeper into the pros and cons of this cloud hosting provider.
- With multiple data center locations and constant monitoring, Cloudways guarantees 99.999% uptime.
- You can choose from 5 big cloud hosts including Amazon Web Services, Google Cloud Platform, linode, VULTR, and DigitalOcean.
- Excellent performance and page load times achieved with solid-state drive (SSD) technology and built-in advanced caches.
- Strong security features: OS-level firewalls, built-in Let’s Encrypt SSL, two-factor authentication, regular security patching, etc.
- You’ll get your cloud servers live in minutes. Quick installation without having to read a ton of documentation.
- Pay-as-you-go billing—you pay only for the resources you consume.
- Cloudways will migrate your first website to the cloud for free.
- No domain registration option.
- No email hosting.
- Requires a certain level of expertise to use, might be difficult to figure out at first.
- It offers unusual hosting control panels that might be confusing.
#2 Cloud File System for the Highest Load Speed
There are a lot of processes that occur between the moment when a user uploads a file and the moment it appears on a website:
- Users need to be able to upload their images or other files to the website quickly and easily.
- Files need to be securely stored and easily accessed.
- FIles need to be adjusted to your website.
- Files need to be delivered swiftly across all devices.
But there’s more. When it comes to a webpage’s data footprint, images, videos, and documents are the major contributors. If they’re not optimized properly, they can noticeably slow down your pages and harm your website performance. That’s why you need to take care of image compression, format, and optimization for every screen. After this complex solution is ready, you’ll need to constantly maintain and update it.
Building a reliable file infrastructure is crucial for image-heavy websites that receive files from users: social media platforms, eCommerce websites, SaaS products, media platforms, eLearning businesses, etc.
Developing the entire system with all the nuts and bolts might take several weeks or months, as well as lots of headaches. A much faster and more cost-effective solution would be using a cloud file system where all these features are available out of the box, and everything is done right to ensure fast page load times and website performance.
One of the most complete cloud solutions for file handling is Uploadcare. They offer an end-to-end solution that replaces complex parts of backend infrastructure with a single service that covers every step of content delivery.
Uploadcare File Uploader allows users to upload all kinds of files—images, audio, video, documents, and archives—to a website from multiple sources like Dropbox, Instagram, personal computer, camera, and many more.
Once files are uploaded, they are stored on the secure CDN. There are a lot of manipulations like cropping, resizing, and enhancing that are done automatically. After that, files are perfectly delivered to every screen.
- Complete out-of-the-box media pipeline saves a bunch of development time and allows you to rapidly build and deploy your prototype.
- 5.51x faster image handling: instant uploads, on-the-fly image manipulations, automated content adaptation to users’ devices.
- Smart compression technology automatically identifies what’s in a picture and customizes the compression ratio for each image to achieve the perfect balance between data footprint and quality and accelerate page load.
- Automatic image lazy loading speeds up initial page load and improves both user experience and SEO rankings.
- Image CDN delivers content across 288K servers in 136+ countries and nearly 1,500 networks.
- CDN helps you cut down on bandwidth costs: less traffic, shorter delivery time, cheaper hosting.
- Developer-centered product: great documentation, easy to implement and maintain APIs.
- A 14-day free trial is available. Limited image CDN and uploading features are available forever.
- Plans start at 45$/month, which is nice for small projects. But if you want to have a full package of tools, you need a professional plan that starts at 385$/month, which eventually pays off but still can seem like a great deal of money.
- A lot of features under one roof can be tricky to navigate at first.
- Only written documentation, no video tutorials.
#3 In-Memory Data Storage Systems for Rapid Response
If you’ve taken our advice to start using cloud hosting, you can skip this part, as most hostings have built-in caching. Anyway, this technology is worth mentioning, as proper page caching is what helps lower server load by up to 80%.
An in-memory data storage system is a system for caching data in a computer’s random access memory (RAM) or main memory, as opposed to databases that store data on hard disks or solid-state drives (SSDs). The key benefit of this technology is that it eliminates the time needed to query data from a disk and helps achieve faster response times.
This technology is best suited for applications that manage a lot of data and require rapid response times: eCommerce, real-time banking, online gaming, machine learning apps, transport management apps, GIS processing, and so on.
There are two major players that are up for the task: Redis Vs Memcached.
Memcached may be preferable when caching relatively small and static data. In other cases, Redis is a better choice, as it’s more up-to-date, versatile, and feature-rich. Let’s dig into its pros and cons.
- A vast variety of data structures to meet your application needs: strings, lists, sets, hashes, bitmaps, etc.
- With Redis, you’ll need less code to store, access, and use data in your app.
- With a primary-replica architecture in a single node primary, you can build highly available solutions with consistent performance and reliability.
- Replication is asynchronous, so you might lose some data when a primary cluster fails over to a replica.
- Redis does not support any form of data encryption, so it must be done on the client side.
- Redis does not guarantee that all data will be saved in the event of a catastrophic failure, but you can lose only a few seconds worth of data at worst.
- You can’t run multiple modules (Bloom, JSON, Search, etc.).
#4 Form Endpoints for a More Lightweight Website
A typical website contains a lot of forms: contact, sign up, subscribe, order, registration, lead generation, and so on. You need to collect and store all that data from checkboxes, customer info (data, email, numbers) and message texts on your backend. Of course, all that weighs down your website and harms website performance.
To get around this issue, you can allocate all those responsibilities to a cloud form endpoint service. This will reduce time on backend development and maintenance, and help you speed up your website.
One of the most flexible and feature-rich systems for handling forms is FormKeep.
To capture your form data in the cloud, you need to build your form using any technology, then replace the action tag of this form with your URL to FormKeep. After that, you’ll be able to forward it to other platforms for additional processing.
- An easy-to-use form endpoint to develop your own forms.
- Intelligent spam filtering and reCAPTCHA support that keeps your website safe.
- Besides user data from your forms, it can store resumes, PDFs, photos, or other documents.
- Over hundreds of integration options, including Slack, Trello, Salesforce Sales Cloud, Zapier, and Google Sheets.
- You can export your data to CSV.
- 5-day free trial.
- No form builder.
- No comprehensive documentation or live training, so it can be difficult to set up.
#5 Cloud Messaging Service for Seamless and Fast Support
Most websites need to communicate with customers via chats and instant messaging to maintain engaging customer service. Building rich and reliable messaging for mobile and web apps might be time-consuming and unnecessary for most businesses.
Integrating a messaging SDK and chat API is what allows you to focus on features that are vital to your business, rather than developing generic messaging tools.
Among ready-made options, a cloud messaging service is the fastest and the most lightweight solution to choose. Even lots of concurrent chat connections won’t harm website performance, as everything is handled in the cloud.
Sendbird is a great example of such a service. It’s a customizable chat and messaging platform with a managed infrastructure for mobile and web applications. It provides software development kits (SDKs) and APIs, frontend and backend technology to help businesses implement in-app messaging quickly and efficiently.
They have solutions for marketplaces, live streaming, digital health, social media, gaming, and on-demand businesses.
- Allows providing support with in-app chat, voice, and video to ensure personalized customer service.
- It can handle over 1 million chat connections at the same time and 500 million messages per day per app.
- Intuitive interface to easily manage the queue and support tickets, view customer context, and monitor responses.
- A lot of chat moderation and spam protection options.
- High level of security and compliance with TLS/SSL encryption, IP whitelisting, file encryption, and GDPR API.
- Plans start at $399/month, which can be costly for small businesses.
- Documentation isn’t comprehensive.
- Doesn’t support presence (online/offline) statuses.
With multiple data centers, powerful computing software, CDNs and lots of other advanced technologies, cloud services can noticeably improve website load time and performance. Great website performance, in turn, leads to better user experience, conversions, and business outcomes.
We’ve listed five services that can help you maintain maximum website speed, but there’s a lot more of them: you can find a cloud service for pretty much any function you might need. So start by evaluating your needs and then grab the solutions that are best for your business.