How DNS Lookups Affect Website Performance

The performance of your website is one of the most important things about your site as a whole. Performance generally applies to things like the speed of your site loading up, the speed of going from page to page and more.

The better your site performs, the happier your users will be and the more likely that you will gain additional new users. As you could imagine, there are many things that can affect the performance of your site. The amount of traffic you have, your site content and your performance could even vary based on network topology.

However, one of the largest indicators of the performance of your site will be the prevalence of DNS lookups. A DNS lookup is essentially someone “looking up” your website, as if the internet was a phone book. When you go to a site, you are essentially performing a DNS lookup as the DNS server must send you back the IP of the site so you can successfully browse it.

But just how do these DNS lookups affect the performance of your website? If that is a question you have been wondering, this is the right article for you. We’re going to look at a few ways that DNS lookups can or will affect the performance of your website.

Will DNS Lookups Affect the Performance of a Website?

While the regular times for a DNS lookup to be completed are short, every millisecond can matter when it comes to loading speeds. Most of the time, a DNS lookup will not have an effect on site performance. However, that isn’t always the case. DNS issues such as inefficient caching or using a subpar provider can happen. This could lead to your site loading slowly or be unresponsive for users.

In order to judge whether DNS lookups are affecting your performance, you need to perform testing. You need to find you time to first byte (TTFB) and see how that compares to what is considered good in your space. Testing DNS lookup time isn’t always easy but it can be important.

Ways to Reduce the Negative Performance Impacts of DNS Lookups

Reduce the Negative Performance Impacts of DNS Lookups

If you have noticed through testing or other means that your DNS lookups are contributing to the negative performance of your site, all hope is not lost. In fact, there are several different things you can go to reduce the negative performance impacts of DNS lookups.

First of all, it is a good idea to ensure you are using a fast DNS provider. Like hosting, there are several providers who can help you with your DNS servers. Unfortunately, they are not all created equally. Hosting or domain name providers often offer subpar DNS services, and you are better off going with a company or branch that focuses on DNS, and you may see your DNS lookup speed increase.

Also, considering using a Content Delivery Network (also known as a CDN) could also have an impact on the speed of your DNS lookups. A CDN is a distributed set of servers that allow for much faster delivery of internet content. A CDN isn’t a host, but they can help improve performance. Simply put, using a CDN will reduce the number of DNS lookups that will need to take place, as many will go to the CDN server, not yours directly.

You may also want to change your time-to-live (TTL) values, in order to help improve performance. TTL values are what can determine how long a DNS cache is. If your TTL values are high, there is a lower chance that another DNS lookup will need to be done. A normal TTL value is around 30 minutes to an hour, but it can be changed to whatever you see fit.

We sincerely hope that this article has been able to help you learn and understand how DNS lookups can affect the performance of a website.