What is latency, what is its importance and impacts on the site – WAU

Latency is a factor that is present on any website. The delivery time of an information from one point to another, however, can be longer according to the distance from the user to the server. Working to reduce this is the big challenge for those who manage pages.

The web breaks down geographical barriers that would hinder any more dynamic communication, but there are still impacts of this distance on the response time of online activities.

Latency is a consequence of this exchange of information between two points, having even more relevance from the moment when borders are crossed in these activities.

When thinking about website performance, it is essential to know how it will behave when accessed by people from all over the world. This ensures that it meets basic SEO standards, in addition to providing a positive browsing experience.

The better the impact of latency is understood, the easier it becomes to deal with this factor, which is inevitable.

In this post we will cover the topics:

Continue reading and delve into the topic!

What is website latency and what is it for?

Latency can be defined as the time involved in sending certain information from one point to another on a network.

Latency uses milliseconds as a metric, that is, for each activity performed, there is a specific latency, mainly influenced by the distance that separates these two points.

As much as the resources used today are extremely modern, geographical distance still makes a difference in transmission time of a request, message or sending a file.

The point is that it is always an extremely short time, but it still impacts the loading of a page.

In practice, latency is present in any activity on the web, however, it becomes relevant when the distance between the two points is greater.

A simple example is when we access, from London, a foreign website and, although this is not always noticeable, the response time increases.

These activities can be loading a page or sending a simple form.

Any action of this type configures an exchange of data packets within the network, in which case the points are the user’s access and the region where the site is hosted.

How important is it to understand and track latency on your website?

As much as we are talking about something that is little perceived by most, latency makes all the difference to a website’s performance, especially when using a CMS like WordPress.

Next, better understand which questions are related to this response time.

Page load time

A page is composed of several objects, from images to simple icons. Each of these elements generates an action from the site to the server, that is, there is an activity on which latency acts.

Thus, the more objects the site has, the greater the number of interactions it makes with the server. So, if latency is high, the tendency is to negatively impact the page load time.

A fundamental issue related to this time is precisely the SEO standards that need to be respected.

A site that has a slow load can be penalized by Google, losing positions on the results page.

Browsing experience

In cases of very high latency, there will be an impact on user browsing experience, especially on more complex sites.

Here, everything revolves around the distance from the server where the website is hosted and from where the user performs the access.

A website that has its point of origin in a distant location, such as Japan, will never be able to deliver the best possible performance to someone in London. As a result, latency is high and navigation will suffer.

In this scenario, there is a risk of having dissatisfied users, which impairs engagement. If that site is an e-commerce, the experience can be even worse and generate greater dissatisfaction to the public.

How to reduce latency time

Just as important to keep in mind the relevance of latency is to know how this time can be reduced.

Serving users with quality is important, but it is also essential to ensure that the site is suited to what Google’s algorithms require.

Next, learn how to optimize that response time!


Using a CDN can be a great way to achieve better reach in each region, reducing the distance to each access point.

The CDN is a kind of replication point of the data center that the hosting uses, that is, it is as if different servers are placed in different geographical points.

So, if the company has its website hosted in the USA, but has a CDN in Chile, whoever accesses the page in London will connect directly with this nearest point, which is positioned in South America.

Large companies with worldwide operations have adopted this practice to reduce latency, like Google.

Server location

One way to achieve this performance improvement and reduced latency is with hosting on a server closer to the user base of the website in question.

This ensures a shorter response time in a natural way, so it is always important to check this detail when choosing a provider to host your blog, e-commerce or institutional website.

For a long time, London websites faced this problem because they could not count on hosting services that had a data center closer to London.

Today that has changed and even foreign companies offer closer servers. Cloud hosting, especially, is the best choice to avoid latency.

Ensuring a website with good and well-ranked performance is a long job, but it goes directly through reducing latency. The shorter this time, the better the site will be evaluated and the better it will respond to common requests for navigation.

And do you understand the concept of cloud hosting well? Do you know the best options? So be sure to check out our post on the subject!