Why ping test is not the right hosting review method?

It’s common that people like to do things in their own way. When it comes to web host shopping, some shoppers just like to use their own method to review hosting companies. Now I’m absolutely alright with readers that prefer to go with their own methodology; but it is important for me to inform you that certain review methods are just incorrect.

The Infamous Ping Test

Some so call ‘tech shoppers’ like to act smart and run ping test on hosting provider’s website.

“This will show how fast the web host server is.” – that’s what my friend once told me. The ping test method is so popular that even experienced webmasters will think it actually works.

How to do a ping test?

A ping test is done when a short request is sent to the web server via your local machine. For example if I wish to ping-test Bluehost, I simply open my command prompt and hit ‘ping bluehost.com’. The ping results will come back in a time figures (normally in ‘ms’) to show how long it takes to get reply from the web server.

Why pinging the web host website will not work?

First of all a ping test is NEVER a good method to check on a web host server response rate. This is due to the fact that how well a web server response on a ping request depends on many factors that are not controlled by a web host (for example: distance between your computer and the servers).

Most importantly, you are (most of the time) hitting the wrong horse when you ping the web host’s website. Hosting providers are smart nowadays; they simply do not host their website on the same server as their customers. In fact, some web hosts even operate their websites on a different network system! Now tell me, how can you determine server response rate by pinging the web hosts’ websites?

How to check the speed of a web host?

If you would like to know how fast a web host is, the better way is to find a website that’s hosted on the web host instead of the web host’s website. Download a few files and wandering around the website should reveal what’s the web host response rate.

Another good way to check a server response rate is to run a website speed test online. Website speed test tools (like what you have on Top-Web-Hosting.com and WebsiteGoodies.com) are handy to check and compare web hosts’ speed performance.

Example of test results:
Example of site speed results

A few more words on website load time issue

Who’s responsible for a slow website?

A website’s response rate is dependent on many factors; including the hosting server CPU load, RAM usage, network speeds, and the web program’s efficiency. Do note that not every one of these factors are web host’s responsible.For instance, it’s the web owner’s responsibility to assure that his/her website is coded efficiently to avoid server resources wastage. Sometimes, it can be your ISP that’s responsible for the slow website.

How slow load time will affect your website?

Slow website load time is a problem that you cannot afford to overlook. A few critical consequences with slow website load time, including permanent lost of website traffics and increase of advertising cost are simply destructive.