To anyone that follows us it’s not much of a surprise, but I have a big announcement to make: Lightning Base is bringing its managed WordPress hosting service to Europe.
We’ve been up and running in Frankfurt now for over a month, and have already brought over some existing clients, as well as a few new ones that just couldn’t wait.
The Same Thing, But Across An Ocean
Our European setup is basically identical to the US location, with the same redundant systems, the same WordPress-specific server setup, and of course the same service our current customers receive.
New customers will benefit from the experience we have working with US clients, hosting their WordPress based websites. We’ve made numerous improvements over that time, hitting version 2.0, what could be called 3.0, adding many useful features, and increasing the expertise of our support.
Even better, you can access the remote location from your same account. You’ll need an additional plan, but you can easily create and manage both US and Europe sites right inside our control panel.
Why Europe? Why Frankfurt?
The Internet is all just up in the clouds right? So why bother?
Frankfurt is over 5000 miles from Las Vegas. Or a little under .2 seconds, in terms of Internet distance. I expect sites hosted in Europe will experience a solid .1+ second improvement in response times for European users as compared to our US location. This isn’t a lot, but it counts on every single pageload – and with sites that experience thousands of these, that equals hours saved every month.
More importantly, this .1 second is a perceivable difference, especially on a fast connection. We want your sites to be fast, and there’s no reason to handicap ourselves by using servers that are too far away. Our CDN helps with the static content, but there’s no getting around the distance on that initial response to every single click.
Regarding Frankfurt – within Europe it’s a great location. It is relatively central, has a tremendous number of Internet connections running through it, and is not in a place likely to suffer a major natural disaster. We are also able to partner with the same company for datacenter space as in the US.
The EU has a set of privacy regulations that are different from those in the US. We aren’t lawyers here and I’m not going to try and give legal advice about how to deal with that fact. But I know some companies feel more comfortable if private information (such as phone numbers and email addresses included in form submissions) are kept within the EU, and now we can help them do that.
Which Location is Best for You?
So where should you have your site hosted? First, remember that this is not a critical decision – our hosting often results in performance gains of several seconds over the old hosts’ of transfer sites. So relatively speaking, geography does not matter as much. But if you want that last little bit of speed, proximity counts. Here are some thoughts:
- If almost all your visitors are in the US or Europe, it’s an easy choice. This is typical for small businesses located in either place.
- The US location is faster to North America, South America, Eastern Asia and generally Australia.
- The European location is faster to Europe, Africa, the Middle East, Western Asia, and generally India.
If you have a blend of traffic from many countries, it’s nice to be located near the server yourself, as it will make the dashboard more responsive.
How To Get Setup
Getting your site running at our Frankfurt location is easy. Visit our shopping cart, choose your plan, and you’ll get an option to register a domain. Once you enter your domain, you’ll see this:
That location box is a new addition, which defaults to Las Vegas. But give it a click and you can change it to:
Your account will be automatically provisioned on a server at our Frankfurt location. WordPress will be auto-installed, and if you registered a new domain with us, it should be pointed at the server and ready to go within a few minutes.
Adding a second location to our setup has been a big change. For those of you not located near either of our datacenters, the good news is that adding one will make it easier to add more, and I do expect to bring additional locations online over the coming year. If there’s a city you would prefer, let us know.
We have some other new features on the way as well, including an upcoming email service, and a number of upgrades to our client area. These should roll out in the next few weeks – you’ll see updates on this blog as they happen.
If you have any questions, or need help getting an account setup, don’t hesitate to get in touch.
To see the formal announcement, read the press release below.
Lightning Base Expands: Adds European Location to Managed WordPress Web Hosting Service
Lightning Base LLC announced today the public availability of its managed WordPress web hosting in Europe, providing faster response times and a local regulatory environment for European firms.
Lightning Base has opened to new clients its WordPress hosting service in Frankfurt, Germany, This location uses the same highly available configuration on which Lightning Base’s US location currently runs and offers clients faster connections to Europe, Africa, the Middle East, and Western Asia. Combined with Lightning Base’s global CDN, this will enhance the WordPress host’s ability to serve customers from around the world.
“Lightning Base serves a global client base, and has seen increasing demand for WordPress hosting in Europe. Although our included CDN mitigates some of the disadvantage of a distant server, our Frankfurt system will provide for lightning-fast response times throughout Europe and nearby locations” said Chris Piepho, founder of Lightning Base. “We hope to continue adding locations over the coming year to better serve clients in all parts of the world.”
The Frankfurt location offers response times to European cities that are approximately one tenth of a second faster than those from Lightning Base’s US servers. Businesses will also benefit from their data remaining in the EU, potentially circumventing concerns regarding privacy and data protection in another jurisdiction. European customers will continue to benefit from Lightning Base’s CDN, with edge points throughout the continent, and geographically distributed DNS service, which includes a London node for fast DNS resolution.
Lightning Base is in the midst of a series of enhancements to its WordPress hosting service. Recent updates include:
- A new, redundant and easily-scaled hardware configuration.
- The ability for clients to automatically unblock their IP from Lightning Base firewalls by logging into the client area.
- A system status site offering clients information regarding any issues, and a public uptime page offering prospective customers a view into the service’s reliability.
The company will also be upgrading its client area and releasing a new email service for WordPress hosting clients in the coming weeks.
Existing customers can have their WordPress sites migrated to the new European location by opening a ticket and requesting a transfer. New clients can easily select the location while signing up for service on the Lightning Base website. WordPress sites hosted in Germany will be charged the same competitive rates currently provided to US customers.
About Lightning Base
Lightning Base is a managed WordPress hosting provider founded in 2011 and based in Minneapolis, MN. The company provides fast, reliable, and easy to use WordPress installations at servers based in Las Vegas, NV and Frankfurt Germany, combined with an included CDN for worldwide content distribution. Free managed services include site transfer or installation, caching setup, automatic updates, backups, and experienced WordPress support. For more information visit: lightningbase.com.