Website Host and SEO

Web hosting is never discussed as part of SEO, but personally I rate this as my top priority when it comes to SEO. There are several factors of SEO that are boosted by selection of good web hosting. Since I am predominantly a WordPress Developer, a good solid WordPress host is top priority.

What is a Website Host?

Web host or web hosting refers to the internet services that provide website hosting services. Website consists of several components such as files, database, images etc and it is the responsibility of the web hosting provider to facilitate the hosting and make the website run smoothly.

For example, I am a WordPress Developer and I host websites with my preferred hosting. As a WordPress website hosting provider, I am looking to host php files, databases, images etc. I am also expecting ssl certificates to be installed on my host by default.

In terms of technicality, website hosts have a collection of powerful computers designed to store and serve website files to website visitors. Each server is assigned the unique IP address, which is used by devices to locate the server and then access the files or in this case website. I hope this explains.

Short intro about domain names

When a user types a domain name for example fantasticseoserivces.com.au it is directed to the ip address of the server which will then show the website to the user.

Domain can be directed either by changing DNS settings or A records. A record is technically the ip address of the server. In case of loading balancing, some servers give multiple A records or ip addresses so that users can be guided to multiple servers when traffic is high.

How does Website Host affect SEO?

Web hosting is never discussed as part of SEO Services, but personally I rate this as my top priority when it comes to SEO. There are several factors of SEO that are boosted by selection of good web hosting. Since I am predominantly a WordPress Developer, a good solid wordpress host is top priority.

So how does a good WordPress host affect SEO? Let’s discuss point by point.

Website Host IP address location

Since I mainly focus on small to medium scale business in Australia, it is really important for me to go with a website host that hosts files locally. So how do we make sure websites are hosted locally in Australia? We do this by making sure that the ip address of the server is located in Australia. I go one level up by making sure that the host ip address is based in Sydney as most of my clients are Sydney based.

It is a well known fact that the geographical location of the server influences search engine rankings, specially for local searches. By choosing the website host based in Sydney, I make sure that this criteria is met for both Sydney and Australia wide searches. The website host I choose times pretty well for the speed from various parts of the world including USA, Europe, Asia. This is a massive boost for my website builds.

Loading Speed or Page Speed

Page Speed and loading speed are part of SEO ranking factors too. So, make sure your website loading speed is good. It doesn’t need to be extremely fast but make sure it loads at decent speed.

What I have found with my years of experience testing a few website hosts, it’s not always that Managed hosts are faster by miles compared to shared hosting. I have found that good shared hosting is as good as Managed host. I somewhat feel that Managed hosts oversell their services and may compromise, but this is my personal opinion.

Security including SSL

To rank and maintain ranking, your site needs to be secured and not compromised. If your website is compromised, search engines penalize as well as warn visitors by showing your site is harmful. Being a safe and secured site is really important.

As part of security, Search engines have added SSL certificates as part of ranking factors. ANd if your website isn’t ssl configured, search engines and even browsers like chrome and mozilla for example warns users before visiting your site.

To be precise, the ssl of your website is part of the ranking factor, and your website must be ssl enabled.

Uptime

Uptime refers to how much of the time the website server functions. Solid websites hosts guaranteed uptime as high as 99.9%. THat is 100% functional.

You have taken into consideration that search engines bots regularly crawl for the website to navigate the latest changes. And if your website's uptime is really bad, it sends a negative signal to the bots. On the other hand, your website is your salesman 24/7 even if your business isn’t operating. With low uptime or more downtime, your business suffers conversion too.

And hence ending up with a bad server can be harmful for both SEO and business.

Conclusion

In conclusion, website hosting is an integral part of your SEO. And in my case as I am specifically targeting local Australian businesses, it is even more important. Wthi good host I can be please consider my websites are:

  1. Safe and secured
  2. Loading at pretty decent speed
  3. SEO optimized via server locations

About Author

Robin Thebe

Digital Strategist based in Sydney.

I am a multi disciplined web developer focusing around WordPress Development, website design and SEO. I am a WordPress Developer by profession, also focus around SEO Services.

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