Hang on, web hosting? What’s web hosting got to do with SEO I hear you say?
Well, web hosting can often get overlooked as an SEO strategy. Which is crazy considering that web hosting can have a big impact on your site’s page speed and uptime – two aspects that are essential to maintain positive organic SEO performance.
Choosing the right web host will impact the experience you offer all visitors of your website. Choosing a reliable web hosting company will ensure you prevent server errors, page timeouts and stopping users from bouncing back to Google.
You need a web hosting company that is going to support your organic SEO efforts, not impede them.
So what defines a SEO-friendly web hosting company?
We talk a lot about how essential good security protocols are for hosted WordPress websites, such as in our blog posts How to Increase the Security of Your WordPress Website and 5 Ways To Secure Your Website. Your SEO-friendly WordPress web hosting provider should boast a security feature packed service so that you can feel assured that security is a priority to them. Most web hosting companies expect you to take responsibility for the security not just of your website, but for the server space you are renting also.
A good WordPress web hosting company will provide you with a rich set of security features already bundled into your package, such as a firewall, daily malware scanning, account isolation and backups. Unless you’re an experienced System Admin, installing and configuring these elements on your hosting account can be complex and time consuming.
If your site is not secure, you are vulnerable to hackers and malware resulting in a loss of data and downtime. Your visitors expect your website to load without errors – fast! A site that doesn’t load or is broken – bad for SEO!! Make sure to choose a web hosting provider that prioritises the security of your website as part of its’ service offering.
I feel the need, the need, for speed! If you use a low-quality hosting provider your site loading speeds can be compromised. You have a few seconds to make an impression on your visitors. If your site is taking a few seconds just to load, you’re wasting valuable time.
If you’re using a shared hosting plan your website will be using the same server resources as other people’s websites. It’s like your home internet connection, a regular plan might boast high speed internet, but your download speeds will only be as fast as the number of people all using that same internet connection in your neighbourhood. One internet pipe – many users. The same happens with shared hosting plans, one server – many websites.
Choose a web hosting provider that offers account isolation with dedicated resources. That way your website will be able to utilise all of the resources available (such as CPU, Memory, Bandwidth etc.) that are included with your plan.
High Uptime Guarantee
This is probably the most important factor in determining if your web hosting provider is SEO-friendly. Uptime is the percentage of time your website is accessible and online. The better uptime percentage, the less chance there is of your visitors being unable to load your website. This can affect your bounce rate and affect your SEO rankings.
An SEO-friendly web hosting provider will offer uptime guarantee of at least 99.9%. That roughly translates to 1.44 minutes of downtime per day, or 8.8 hours per year.
At the end of the day there will always be some downtime. Minimising this is essential to your overall SEO strategy.
If you’re looking for an SEO-friendly web hosting provider for your WordPress website, choosing one that specialises in WordPress hosting will put you ahead of the game. They will be able to provide you with a hosting plan that caters well to the requirements of WordPress. You’ll need a plan that can support the right number of websites, databases, visitors and hard disk space. Their support team will understand how to respond and fix any WordPress related hosting issues, getting you back online quickly. It’s good to work with a company that knows what you need and can offer you the right advice and support.
Responsive Support Team
Technology is synonymous with support. That’s a given. The important aspect is how good the support is. In the unlikely event that your website does suffer downtime, you will want to be able to fix it immediately.
A good host will offer free responsive support. Check the operating hours of your choice of we host’s support team and review their options for communicating with them. Is there a phone number, email or live chat?
Who doesn’t like options? We do! So why shouldn’t you have them with your web hosting plan?
Hosting companies tend to offer a range of additional services that can boost your hosting plan. The SEO-friendly options will include;
- SSL: This is a biggie, especially now that Google Chrome has issued a final warning on HTTPS. Having an SSL certificate installed has been a ranking factor now for years. Visitors using Chrome will now get a warning if your site is not using SSL. HTTPS is essential for ecommerce websites but will affect your SEO ranking regardless of your website’s purpose. Make sure your web host supports SSL. A good one will include SSL for free with your hosting package.
- Daily backups: No one ever wants to deal with a complete loss of data! It’s the ultimate nightmare! A website backup is an essential redundancy strategy and will minimise downtime. A good web host will provide daily backups as an option.
- Multiple hosting plans: You might start on the simplest hosting plan available, but your requirements might increase as your website grows and your traffic increases. Additional memory, disc space and bandwidth might be needed. Make sure your web host offers options to upgrade or increase these resources. This will prevent you from having to switch hosts which can be expensive, time consuming and result in downtime.
So, how can you be sure you’re choosing an SEO-friendly web host?
A good, reliable hosting provider is one that is secure, fast, responsive, boasts numerous options, has a high percentage uptime and requires minimal engagement from you to keep it running.