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Web Hosting and the Its Impacts on SEO

Web Hosting and the Its Impacts on SEO

A good web hosting provider and service can both positively or negatively affect your website’s performance and success.


What is Web Hosting?

The simplified answer to this question is that web hosting is the action of buying or renting storage space on the internet via a physical server in order to house your website data, files, coding, cookies, etc so that others can visit it online. Every website you’ve ever visited is being hosted on a server.


The amount of space your website is given on a server depends on the type of hosting you purchase. There are five main types of hosting services:

Shared Hosting – The most common type of hosting service in which your website shares a server with other websites. All websites on a shared server share memory, space and other resources. It’s therefore an inexpensive and low-maintenance option, but gives you little to no control over server configuration and has the potential to slow down your website speed, especially if your website (or another website you share the server with) gets a surge of visitors. With this kind of hosting, the provider has full control over configuration so it’s easy for set-up and maintenance, but you’re relying on others in regards to security and website reliability.


Dedicated Hosting – Owning your own server in which only your website is hosted, so you don’t have to share resources with others. This gives you complete control over every configuration (therefore highly secure and reliable, when done correctly) and is very fast in regards to website speed, but is the most expensive web hosting option.


VPS (Virtual Private Server) Hosting – A middle-ground between shared hosting and dedicated hosting in which you share a physical server with other websites, but have a section of it set aside for your website data alone.  It can be as reliable, secure, and fast as dedicated hosting, but because you have control over configuration, technical know-how is a must for set-up and maintenance.


Cloud Hosting – The most reliable form of web hosting as your site data is stored on multiple servers simultaneously so that if performance lags on one, your website visitors are automatically re-routed to another server with your duplicated website data. Downtime, therefore, is practically eliminated. Cloud hosting is also widely considered to be more secure than other forms of servers and is as fast as physical servers. Costs, though, fluctuate and are hard to estimate since rental pricing is pay-as-you-go, based on usage.


WordPress Hosting – A particular kind of shared hosting through WordPress site owners. With this kind of hosting, your website is configured specifically for WordPress with a variety of pre-installed plug-ins and features for optimization and customization. Speed times on WordPress hosting is fast and problems are few and far between (due to optimized configuration). It’s also considered a secure hosting service and is easy to use, highly customizable, and low cost, making it an extremely popular web hosting service.

While there are many considerations when choosing what web hosting service to use for your website, when it comes to search engine optimization (SEO), some of the most important aspects to consider are website speed, reliability, and security. But first, what is SEO?


What is SEO?

Search Engine Optimization is the process of improving your rank on search engines so that your company is seen first when people search for key words related to your product, service, or business. Search engines bring visitors to your website more than anything else, so it’s important that you have a strong SEO strategy that it is given plenty of dedicated attention.


How does Web Hosting Affect SEO?

All search engines have built-in algorithms that “read” every website submitted to it. Information contained within the website is a critical element of SEO, but so is its performance and visitor experience.  Three ways search engines evaluate your website for these elements when determining your ranking are your website speed, your website reliability, and your website security.

With a countless number of websites available on any given topic, if a visitor to yours has to wait for information to load, they’re highly likely to move on to another. This is not only bad for business, it’s devastating for your SEO, as search engines track how long visitors spend on websites and reward those with more usage with higher rankings.  For small to medium-sized companies with average website visitor numbers, this isn’t usually an issue on any web hosting service, but bear in mind that on shared servers, visitor numbers to websites that share the server with you can affect your website speed.


Website availability, that is, the ability of your website visitors to access your website online, is the responsibility of a hosting provider. And since websites that are unreliably available to potential visitors are penalized on search engines with lower rankings, choosing a web hosting provider where you can provide reliable access to your site is important when it comes to SEO. Some hosting providers do this for you, in which case make sure they have the experience and dedication to set up and maintain your website correctly, while others give you the ability to do this yourself. If your chosen hosting provider requires you to do this yourself, you’ll need to have the technical know-how to keep this in top performance so that your SEO doesn’t fall.


Website security directly affects your SEO.

If your website is hacked, the most likely result is that it will be infected with malware. If not detected and resolved quickly, search engines will have difficulty reading your site and thus will have little to no information on which to base your site’s ranking. Without this, your SEO ratings will not only drop, your site could be blacklisted. Having a secure website in place to avoid hacking in the first place is an important factor to consider in regards to web hosting. Since all hosting types are generally considered safe, in respect to this aspect of SEO, it’s more important to choose a reliable web hosting providing company than it is which type of hosting you choose

For better or worse, your website’s success is not only about having a fantastically designed website. It’s also directly related to having the appropriate hosting service and provider, based on your company’s needs.  If you’re unsure what’s best for your site, Peppermint has website experts that would be happy to help!  Our web experts can offer advice or even host your website through numerous package to best fit your needs. Don’t forget that we can evaluate your current website for optimization across multiple factors, or maintain it on any hosting service.