Search Engine Optimisation (SEO) forms a crucial aspect of any website’s growth. Most, if not all, forms of marketing are a way for you to go to the customers. However, when your website is shown on a search engine’s results, the customer comes to you. In website and hosting parlance, it’s called organic traffic.
What is SEO and Why is it Important?
SEO is a set of processes that help your website and/or a section of your website contentto rank higher on a search engine’s rankings. To simplify it further, SEO entails taking a website or a part of it and optimising it in a way that search engines like Google rank it higher on their SERP (Search Engine Results Page).
Eventually, it is a measure of how visible and relevant you are to search engines. The better your SEO, the higher your website’s standing in search engine results.
For a website’s SEO to be deemed good, there are several boxes that need to be checked. The website’s content has to be relevant and include all the keywords at the right places, the content itself has to be good and provide answers that your customers are looking for, your website must not be a spam website, and so on. The list is almost endless.
However, there are three aspects to SEO that are directly related to your hosting plan — speed, reliability, and security. This article focuses on these three aspects and also analyzes how a few prominent hosting types fare in this regard.
Hosting Features that Impact SEO
The reliability of a website is measured in terms of uptime. It’s essentially a percentage figure for how long your server has been running before it crashes (cause and duration of the crash are irrelevant).
Search engines actively push down websites that aren’t reliable. Obviously, search engines don’t want to send people to websites that aren’t working.
Most forms of Cloud Hosting services fare well with reliability. The best option here is to use Dedicated Hosting. However, given that it’s quite expensive, the best cost-effective choices here are VPS Hosting and Shared Hosting. But make sure to buy your hosting plan from an established and reliable provider that practices fair usage policies.
The speed of a website is essentially its loading time. The type of hosting that you use has a direct impact on the load time of your website. Search engines prefer fast websites to slow ones. So, if two websites are the same in all aspects apart from speed, the faster website is displayed higher up.
Again, the clear winner here is Dedicated Hosting in which you get all the resources of a server dedicated exclusively to your website. However, as mentioned earlier, Dedicated Server Hosting is rather expensive and it’s also overkill for most websites.
Shared Hosting, on the other hand, offers great performance at a fraction of the price. Of course, performance dips if you have a lot of traffic. But if you’re just starting out and your traffic is quite low, Shared Hosting might be the perfect choice for you. As your traffic and resource requirement goes up, you can upgrade to VPS Hosting/Cloud Hosting and eventually to a Dedicated Hosting plan.
Google, the de facto search engine company, measures the security of a website based on the number of malware injection points that its crawlers can find.
An injection point refers to a piece of vulnerable code that can be exploited by hackers. The number of injections should be as low as possible. If the number is high, not only will Google avoid your website in search engine results, there’s also a chance that it’ll completely blacklist your website.
Additionally, SSL or Secure Sockets Layer certifications are becoming something of a norm. In fact, Google looks at all websites without SSL certificates as ‘not secure’, meaning that your website will take a SEO hit for not having an SSL certificate.
The type of hosting matters here because each type of hosting has its own advantages and disadvantages. While Dedicated Hosting offers great isolation, it does not essentially protect your website any better if you don’t configure it right.
On the other hand, Shared Hosting offers little to no isolation, but with proper configurations, a malware removal and antivirus tool can be quite effective at ensuring that your website stays secure.
Which Hosting Type Should You Choose for Great SEO?
Theoretically speaking, the answer is quite clear — Dedicated Hosting is the best type of hosting. In fact, in an ideal world, all websites would be hosted on Dedicated Servers ensuring great performance, reliability, and security.
However, there are a few other issues with Dedicated Hosting, chief of which is the pricing. Dedicated Hosting is expensive, to the point where only websites with a lot of traffic and resource requirements use it. Using Dedicated Hosting for most websites simply makes no economic sense.
Additionally, Dedicated Hosting is designed to be used by people who have a good deal of knowledge about hosting and servers. It isn’t exactly intuitive, so to say. So, if you’re new, you’ll have troubles.
That leaves you with VPS and Shared Hosting. VPS, again, has the same issue — price. While it’s not as expensive as Dedicated Hosting, it’s still more expensive than Shared Hosting. And, some websites just don’t need the amount of resources and features that VPS Hosting offers.
Shared Hosting is not the fastest or the most isolated hosting platform. However, it’s super easy to learn and more than enough for most, if not all, new websites. You can get Shared Hosting plans that’ll help you create websites, organize and execute marketing plans, and even design your website.
All these factors make Shared Hosting the most popular type of hosting method in the world. It’s not the best, but if you’re new and don’t have a lot of traffic, it’s more than enough. What’s more, some web hosting companies will even offer you an SSL certificate to go with your Shared Hosting plan that boosts your security further, making Shared Hosting a very compelling hosting method if you’re starting a new website.
The hosting type you choose will have a direct impact on your SEO. However, when your website is new and you don’t have a lot of traffic, there’s little point in investing in something like Dedicated Hosting even though it’s the best and the most robust platform for hosting a website.
This is what makes Shared Hosting the most popular hosting type in the world. It strikes the perfect balance between performance and price, especially for beginners and smaller websites. If you’re thinking of getting a Shared Hosting plan, make sure to buy it from a reliable web hosting company that implements fair usage practices and secure hardware and offers dedicated 24×7 support.
You’ll get great security, reliability, and performance. This way, you can concentrate on growing your business rather than worrying about your hosting troubles.