When running a website your server can live anywhere in the world with an internet connection. However just because you can do something doesn't mean that you should. There are still several reasons that you might want to website hosting in New Zealand. This is especially true if either your business or primary customers are also NZ based. Of course no matter where you live, these principles may apply to you locally.
The Benefits of Website Hosting in New Zealand
Improved Website Speed
One major consideration for my you would want to host your website in New Zealand is in relation to speed. While it is possible to load some websites in milliseconds worldwide, these sites usually have entire teams dedicated to optimising their site speed. It is also quite likely they will have copies of their site stored on servers around the world.
While we may not often think about it the location of a web server can impact the speed of the connection. We may be talking about seconds and in some cases fractions of a seconds, but lots of these changes can add up. Consumer research shows that websites which take longer than 3 seconds to load can lead to you loosing up to 40% of potential customers.
Therefore if you are specifically targeting New Zealand customers then it makes sense to use servers in New Zealand. Of course if your business is targeting customers around the globe this becomes less relevant. In this case a CDN (content delivery network) allows your site to be hosted in New Zealand with copies of your files are stored around the world so international visitors can download them from a server closer to them.
Compliant with Privacy Regulations
Within New Zealand personal data held by a business is protected by the Privacy Act 1993. This means that every business has obligations to protect the data they hold about their customers and prospects. This may not be the first thing you think about when building a website, but if you have things like contact forms, booking and reservation systems, and even entire customer databases online you are responsible for personal data.
New Zealand based hosting companies must follow the same regulations so there is less risk. Generally speaking as long as you select a trustworthy host, you should be able to trust that they are also keeping your data secure. Additionally New Zealand's privacy regulations are well regarded internationally and are compatible with forthcoming international regulation like Europe's GDPR (General Data Protection Regulation).
Better Support Hours
In an ideal world your web host would offer support 24 hours every day of the year. If your website goes down you want to be able to connect with somebody who can get it fixed. Unfortunately while you may be able to get cheaper hosting overseas, they often follow their local business hours which can be the polar opposite to yours. Or they may only offer email or ticketed support instead of live chat and phone support during business hours.
When you go with website hosting in New Zealand, they will be on the same schedule as you. This means they are much more likely to pick up the phone when you need to speak to someone. A response to your email might arrive within minutes rather than hours. With that said the level of service will always vary between businesses so make sure that you choose a host which meets your expectations.
Cheaper & Easier Accounting
Whether you manage the books of the business yourself or not, adding additional currencies to the mix can increase complexity. And if you use a cloud based accounting platform additional currencies can end up doubling your costs. This shouldn't be a concern if you frequently deal with overseas customers. But if you primarily deal in New Zealand dollars sticking to local currency for your website can be beneficial and even end up saving you money.
Support Your Local Economy
And last but not least, when you choose a New Zealand based web host, you are taking steps to improve the local economy. It could also help to improve investment into local internet infrastructure. It is no secret that much of New Zealand is remote but what you may not realise is just how few physical connections to the internet we have here compared to many parts of the world. The bigger impact that New Zealand tech companies have, the more likely further tech investment is for New Zealanders .
Choosing The Right Website Hosting in New Zealand
So at this stage if you're looking for Website Hosting in New Zealand, it's time to make a choice. Which host should you actually go for? I'm not going to tell you that one specific host is perfect for everything, but I will tell you this. When looking for New Zealand host myself, I came across many different providers and not everything was as it seemed.
Some web hosts have New Zealand based offices but are actually based overseas. Others appeared to be targeting New Zealanders but have no local office or servers and were simply charging in NZD. After a lot of research I narrowed my choices and ultimately decided the best New Zealand website hosting provider for me would be SiteHost.nz
SiteHost: Scalable Hosting from Auckland, New Zealand
SiteHost are based in Auckland, New Zealand with multiple local server centres. And for those targeting an international audience they also offer a CDN. They are trusted by many brands you will likely recognise such as ASB, CarJam, New Zealand Post and Harvey Norman. From the outside they appear to have good technical awareness and lots of different server configurations available.
My experience with the SiteHost platform, on their Cloud Containers, so far has been positive. Once you set up an account it is easy to add and remove subscriptions starting at about $35 per month. You can easily set up containers with WordPress already installed. You can enable things like free Let's Encrypt SSL with a single click. One potential downside is that you need to pay a little extra ($150pm) for a fully managed hosting. This is probably out of reach for smaller businesses or those just starting out. But if you are happy to monitor and manage everything yourself then this isn't problem.
OpenHost: Low-Cost Hosting Based in New Zealand
So if you are looking for something a little lower cost to get started, my second choice would be OpenHost. They offer more traditional shared hosting plans, VPS and reseller hosting. I'm not personally using them yet but I plan to test them out soon with a few other sites. But from initial research they appear to be one of the best low-cost website hosting companies based in New Zealand.
Mixed Media Marketing: NZ Based WordPress Hosting
Yes, talking about this site in third person 😉
If you are one of our WordPress development clients then we do offer hosting based on servers based in Auckland. This is actually based on SiteHost servers however we have built in a website control panel powered by Plesk and as resellers, you would come to us for support.
I hope you've found this information useful. If you've tried the hosts above, I'd love to hear more about your experiences as well. Or if you think I've missed something or someone out then I'd be interested to hear from you too. And if you'd simply like some to help you get a website online then reach out for a quote.