Website Hosting for Best Worldwide Response Times

Curious of others experience in measuring / tracking response and load times of websites at various locations around the world.  What tools do you recommend for this?  What best practices have you found to facilitate better response times?  We are currently hosting in the U.S. and my perception is that response time is not great in some remote worldwide locations, but internet speed is not the greatest here regardless.  We've wondered about how much hosting closer to the primary users will help. Would love to hear how others have approached this.

Is this something that cloud hosting would help with?
Paul KonstanskiProject SpecialistAsked:
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David Johnson, CD, MVPRetiredCommented:
use a CDN like Amazon S3 or Azure generally improves things.
Paul KonstanskiProject SpecialistAuthor Commented:
David, do you have any good articles or "best practice" ideas along these lines that I can pass on to those asking the questions?
Zachariah BrowningCommented:
In general I find what makes the biggest impact is having additional servers performance routed closer to your client base, CDNs for distributing commonly requested content as David Suggested, making fewer HTTP requests always helps.Here is a pretty good blog on analyzing and reducing latency to your users. We often thing about reducing latency between our servers and our clients, don't forget to also minimize latency between servers by having them close together, giving direct access between backend servers, and analyzing (but not OVER analyzing) network traffic to find areas that can be improved upon.
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David Johnson, CD, MVPRetiredCommented:
Experts's Exchange, for instance, uses a combination of and Amazon S3. Cloudflare caches content and Amazon Cloudfront does the geo-location and gives the users the nearest server based upon their geo-location.

I know with Azure it is super easy to setup.  Cloudflare also is extremely easy to setup.  Another good thing about Azure/CloudFront is the auto-scaling that can be enabled. For instance, tax preparers need more compute in the tax season but not for the remaining 9 months of the year.  Why pay for extra hardware to satisfy the maximum demand peaks of the year to have it sit idle for off-peak times.

Except for the areas you want East Asia and Australia Squarespace has a pretty good CDN and your site auto=scales (up and down)  so it never goes down i.e. during the DIGG effect, with no increase in price.  With Cloudfront or Azure you will pay for the extra instances to keep your site up during high activity but they will scale back when activity drops.  Cloudflare also gives you free always https

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Maidine FouadEngineerCommented:
BesidesCDN (witch can improve your overall speed by over 20-30%) , you should make sure your website are optimized for performance ,(Gzip compression... , images/video format should be changed to optimise network utilisations... A lot of things to cross check) , that's more important then CDN itself .

You can follow the best practices of Yahoo Web developers , they made a short list of it here, there tool is also decent and gives you an overall summary of what you need to improve/work on ..

Just an example , testing Experts exchange (uses a great Cdn^^) :
Paul KonstanskiProject SpecialistAuthor Commented:
This was very helpful info. Sorry I forgot to come back and grade this earlier.
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