If you have a website whose visitors are located in Malaysia, Singapore or any nearby country, here is one smart thing you can do today:
Move your site to a web host in/close to the country of your main audience.
Today we will be discussing how hosting locally is more beneficial over any offshore hosting and what are the best places to host your Malaysian or Singaporean website.
By locally, I mean hosting companies with a data center in the local area (Malaysia / Singapore). It doesn't have to be a Malaysian or Singaporean-owned company – what we need is the web server located close to our audience.
Malaysia and Singapore hosting market is crowded with hundreds of providers and brands – each with different options and deals.
Our aim with this post is to clear the smoke screens and focus on things users actually care about – hosting performance (locally), price, and customer service.
We use affiliate links in this article. WHSR receive referral fees from companies mentioned in this article. Our opinions are based on real experience and actual server data. Please read our review policy page to understand how our host review and rating system works.
Hostinger has one data center in Malaysia and others in the USA and UK. All of them are interconnected by 1000MBPS connection lines for increased performance and stability.
They offer Shared, Business and VPS hosting service.
Hostinger’s cheapest plan – “Single” is priced at RM2.99/mo. At the price less than a cup of Starbucks coffee, you get to host 1 website with 10 GB disk space and 100 GB bandwidth, plus innovative features like advance cron jobs, Curl SSL, MariaDB and InnoDB database, weekly backup – stuffs that you don’t usually get from a budget hosting plan.
If you don't mind paying a little extra – Hostinger Premium and Business plans offer solid hardware and freebies like free domain, free SSL, daily backup service and deluxe live support.
With over 10 years of hosting experience, TMD Hosting has gone from a single data center in Houston, Texas, to multiple operation centres located all over the U.S. and Amsterdam. They also have global hosting locations including United Kingdom, Netherlands, Singapore, Japan, and Australia.
As a performance oriented provider, you can expect to have access to features such as NGINX servers and basic caching on their Starter Plan.
My previous review of TMD Hosting scored high marks due to their extremely fast loading speed and reliable server uptimes. In addition to that, their plans are reasonably priced and they have a great customer support team.
Exabytes is one of the oldest hosting providers in Southeast Asia with headquarter in Penang, Malaysia and external branches in Singapore and Indonesia.
The company made their establishment back in 2001.
Exabytes offer some economically crafted small business hosting plans where the highlights are free domain, free SSL, free backup service and free domain privacy protection.
Those who are looking forward to migrating away from their current web host – Exabytes offers free website transfer along with the facility to top up remaining hosting period from their previous host to the new Exabytes account (up to 12 months).
Remove server backup with 14 days retention period
No live chat or phone call support
Host only 10 domains and 50 databases for mid-level plans (S$5.99/mo)
Hosting migration chargeable – S$150 per task
Technical support chargeable (and expensive) – S$200/task
Shared hosting starts at RM14.99/month or S$3.99/month
Why Host Your Websites Locally?
Advantage #1. Faster Website for Local Audience
Consider it like a flight. When a Malaysian uses a website hosted in the United States, his requests fly from Malaysia – USA – Malaysia to return a result.
If it was hosted in Malaysia, the requests would have flown inside Malaysia only, minimizing the travel time.
The exemplified travel time of the flight has a technical term – ‘latency’.
The higher the latency is, the slower your website loads.
You can minimize this travel time, so is the latency, by choosing to host on a local server.
Latency Test Samples
Here is a real life example to demonstrate how server location affect latency.
Our website, WebHostingSecretRevealed.net, is hosted on a server located at the west coast of United States. Due to its peculiar server location, the website responses within 8ms in the USA (W) and 76ms in Singapore (see image #1 below).
In comparison (image #2), our test site hosted at TMD Hosting Singapore data center has a much better response speed in Singapore (8ms).
Advantage #2. Local Payment Methods
Payments in foreign currencies could be a real pain sometimes. You must have an internationally accepted payment method (with USD currency generally) for making payments.
Where local hosting companies would accept any local bank/credit card, you can see the price in your own currency and there is no currency conversion charge associated.
Advantage #3. Customer Support in Local Language
I bet you are definitely more comfortable talking in your first language than the second one.
All international web hosts use English for communication (assuming that English is not your first language) and you have to maintain their local office time for phone call support.
With a local company, there will be no time complexity. Some companies offer customer support in their local language. Plus, calling to a local phone number is cheaper and easier.
Other considering factors in choosing a web host
Bear in mind that, however, there is never a fixed solution to one’s web hosting needs. Other factors you should consider when choosing a web host include:
Cost of web hosting is a major concern for small and medium-size websites. They cannot just go for any company for the budget constraints.
Local web hosts usually have competitive and affordable pricing to upsell. Their shared plans can start at as low as S$4.00 or RM12.00 a month.
It is better to ask the company in advance how many visitors a package can accommodate and which is recommended for your size of business.
In the case of reliability, hybrid companies (who provide both local and global hosting; i.e.: Hostinger, SiteGround, A2Hosting) are one step ahead. They have a larger workforce and more experience in handling businesses.
3- Add-on services
What so special about the local companies is that they are more generous to offer add-on services at free of cost. For setting up a website, you may need SSL certificate, website builder, domain privacy and more on the list. Therefore, it is recommended to compare hosting plans for those free added services. The more you can get, the better you can save.
Many companies also offer one free domain name, sometimes even for life. So check and you may get one.
Abrar Mohi Shafee is a content writer and affiliate marketer who enjoys writing about how to make your website more popular. He has appeared on ProBlogger, Kissmetrics and several more giant websites. Don't hesitate to ask him for anything he can do to help you.