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TIL: Your DNS has a significant impact on site speed.

shadowfaxrodeo profile image Nathaniel Originally published at endtimes.dev ・2 min read

I've started compiling a list of website performance optimizations. So for every decision made while building a site you can include performance in the decision making process. (I'll eventually make the full list a fun public thing.)

Choosing a domain name and where it's hosted is often one of the first decisions we make when building a website.

So, does the company your domain name is registered with have an impact on site speed? yep.

What are DNS and nameservers?

DNS

DNS is short for Domain Name System. Every web host has a unique ip address, a series of numbers that identify it. (actually they usually have lots of them).

ip addresses are how web browsers communicate with servers.

These numbers are not human friendly, and can change. So instead we use DNS to convert domain names to ip addresses. e.g. example.com93.184.216.34

Nameserver

A nameserver is the service used to find the ip address for a given domain name. By default the nameserver for your domain is the domain name provider your bought it from. e.g. namecheap or godaddy. But it can be changed.

We usually don't have to think about this part of web development, and it's extremely boring. However, it does have an impact on performance.

How to check your nameserver speed?

You can compare the perfomance of different nameservers using dnsperf.com.

Is this worth thinking about?

The difference in nameservers speed is in the milliecond range. Choosing nameservers for speed could save around 50ms on your initial load time.

Once a device has visited your site it will cache the ip address and won't need to query the nameserver again. Not anytime soon anyway.

Is saving 50ms on initial requests to your site worth thinking about? I think so. Twenty similar optimizations and you've shaved off 1 second. That's definitly worth it.

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