A lot of the discussions about implementing SEO focus on content and link building.
Not many small business owners think about how a basic choice like what hosting company they choose for their website can affect their SEO in the long run. And, while choosing a better website hosting company won’t guarantee your organic position will be favorable, opting for the wrong one will definitely have a negative effect.
In this post, we’ll go through the main web hosting options and learn more about how they work. Then, we’ll explain in detail how your hosting choice can affect your SEO.
Shared Hosting Vs. VPS Hosting
Typically chosen by users for their personal blogs or first websites, shared hosting services offer a single server’s space and resources for use by multiple websites.
When the server that’s hosting your website is used by hundreds or thousands of other websites, the performance of your site will probably suffer. However, website performance in any environment also depends on the quantity and type of content you add to it, the number of visitors you will get, and so on.
The main advantage and reason why so many blooming businesses are choosing shared hosting services is the price.
Shared website hosting services are highly affordable, which is a great advantage. This option is ideal when testing the waters or when you first start building your online presence. However, if you intend to send traffic via paid ads or if you are investing time and money in SEO, then it might be best to consider VPS hosting solutions.
VPS hosting is short for “Virtual Private Server” hosting – while you might still share the hosting server with other customers, you get to reserve the memory and space you pay for.
This means that you will probably only experience poor performance of the website if you underrate the needs of your website, or your traffic increases significantly. If you do notice an increase in your website’s needs, you can always change the specifications of your VPS hosting package to accommodate the increase.
If you started with a shared website hosting service like HostGator or WordPress, we can confidently say that you should switch to a superior form of website hosting the moment you decide that you are going to pursue monetizing your website.
VPS Hosting Vs. Dedicated Server Vs. Cloud Server
If you’ve decided to switch from shared hosting to a private one, then you should know that there are a lot of options that cater to all business sizes and needs.
Here’s what differentiates them from one another and what you should know to make this decision easier.
As presented before, VPS hosting means you get to decide how big your share of the server will be. When you purchase VPS hosting, you choose a certain configuration of RAM, bandwidth, processing power, etc., and you have the guarantee that no one else will overlap on these resources.
There is certain flexibility when it comes to VPS hosting, but it doesn’t exceed the scalability of cloud hosting. If you are a medium business or website with predictable traffic patterns, then VPS is affordable and reliable. Through the use of a hypervisor (a virtual machine manager), it’s possible to allocate resources from other hosted websites if your website is in need of an immediate boost.
Dedicated Server Hosting
A dedicated server, as its name implies, is dedicated exclusively to one client. The client receives access to a physical server with the agreed specifications. You can consider dedicated hosting as a natural upgrade from VPS, but it’s not the only option for businesses that want to step up their game.
A dedicated server’s advantages are pretty clear: you have your own server, you are relaxed in terms of resources in case your website needs more, you are like a mansion-owner in the online world.
But, besides being relatively pricey, dedicated web hosting also requires technical knowledge for administering it.
Cloud Server Hosting
Cloud hosting services are taking web hosting a step further by using cloud technology. Instead of your website being hosted by a single server in a datacenter, it spreads the data on different servers that are interconnected.
This way, you get access to a “virtual machine” that offers web hosting by using the computing power of several machines. But even when using a public cloud (which is shared by multiple clients), you will not share disk space or processing power with the other clients. This means better performance and unique features at an affordable price.
Remember that we mentioned how you can always increase the resources directed to your website when choosing a superior form of hosting?
Cloud hosting is the best option for websites with traffic fluctuations, as it is able to adjust the resources in real-time, according to your needs. If, for example, you have a Black Friday sale when you expect lots of customers, your responsive cloud hosting can dedicate more resources to your website as the traffic increases.
How Does Web Hosting Impact Your SEO?
It’s clear that a shared hosting service will not prioritize your website’s needs and will limit your website’s performances. To have your website crash when you least expect it, and respond slowly when someone is trying to access your page is very damaging.
Let’s go through the variables that can be affected by your web hosting service of choice.
Page Loading Speed
It should be obvious that the page loading speed is a factor that influences the user’s experience, which influences SEO.
Google has explicitly stated that page load speed is one of the variables included in its algorithm – it prioritizes websites with fast loading speeds over slower web pages. Although your site’s SEO performance depends on a lot more factors, the loading speed should be monitored closely, as it correlates with the bounce rate.
Make a habit out of measuring your website’s loading speed. Keep this value low, but do it according to your visitors’ needs. For instance, if your visitors use mostly their smartphones to access your website, it’s clear that you will have to optimize your page for mobile devices.
The most important test for a web host is downtime. Downtime means that your website basically crashed and it’s not accessible.
It’s clear that you don’t want that to happen at all, right? While no website is 100% protected from downtime, poor quality web hosting is the main cause of serious problems with the online availability of websites. Your web hosting provider will likely not notify you about any problem, and it’s your job to notice worrisome increases in your downtime.
If the cause of your downtime is the poor performance of your web hosting provider, change it immediately. Even if you just signed up for a long-term plan with a provider, losing a couple of hundred dollars, let’s say, is still less than what you can lose in the long-term because of poor SEO and less credibility of your website due to frequent crashes.
When it comes to downtime, cloud hosting services are more reliable, because they use multiple servers to host your data, backing it up. This dramatically decreases downtime. If one of the servers is hit by lightning, the other machines can take over and keep your website online.
Secure Web Hosting
The security of your web host is very important in general, and it will translate into your SEO results. The prices of different web hosting services will vary with the quality of the service. In other words, even when choosing a VPS, let’s say, if the quality of the hosting service is poor, you won’t have the level of security you need.
Google’s search algorithm is designed to offer online users the best, fastest, most relevant, and most secure search results for their queries. If your website is flagged as not secure, you can bet that your SEO will suffer because of it. Several measures can be taken to prevent that, such as switching to HTTPS and choosing a website hosting service that includes a security plan in their package.
Location of the Server
When it comes to your website’s data location, Google does prioritize the websites that are closest to the person doing the search. If you have a local business, we strongly recommend browsing hosting companies nearby for your website.
The website hosting service you choose can have a great impact on your SEO.
Cloudways hosting services include features that take SEO into account, and they use the latest cloud technology, with its awesome features: increased reliability, scalability, and security.
Browsing several offers with SEO and performance in mind is a great step towards establishing your website as a valuable source for Google and other search engines.