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using a .com website name slows your page loading time from Australia

slow dns

I just worked out another reason to use .com.au for aussie websites, instead of .com (I see that question now and again).

The .com site has another 0.3-0.6 seconds DNS lookup time, before the web page even starts to load.

I have a few customer’s sites I am accelerating, but still suffering slow DNS times. So I plunged into some network observing.

If you want the technical why … the .com DNS servers are mostly in the US, 1 of the 12 or so .com DNS servers are picked randomly, and asked where blahblah.com is. Even if the WordPress website is hosted in Aussie, the first DNS lookup has to go to the US and back in order to find where your DNS server is.

If you’re DNS server is in the US, there is another bunch of time for the next DNS query.

There is a few DNS queries, not just 1:

  • where is .com DNS servers ? ┬áthis one is always cached, so does not count
  • where is yourdomain.com DNS servers ? this query goes to the server from the answer above. this is rarely cached. This is where you get taxed the Aussie <-> US time again, which averages 300ms (0.3 seconds).
  • where is www.yourdomain.com – if your DNS or failover DNS is in the US , this might be double the pain to 600ms total (0.6 seconds).
  • Then if your hosting is in the US, then your customer has to wait even more time. 900ms (nearly 1 full second) before the webserver even knows you want a page.

So even if you have your hosting here in Australia, and your DNS server is here in Australia, and your failover DNS server is here in Australia, but you have a .com domain name, you’re getting taxed 300ms (0.3 seconds) on the initial page load.

By on May 5th, 2016

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