As the title suggests there are 3 golden rules to stick by when choosing a web hosting package to complement your SEO efforts. We know that your content in general will play the largest part with search engines and that is definitely something you should be concentrating on over anything else, however there are other factors to SEO, more specifically your web hosting package and how it can help or hinder your your SEO. So take a look at these 3 golden rules and ask yourself… Is my current hosting plan good enough?
Golden Rule Number 1: Speed
The speed of your site is an important part of ranking with search engines. Having a fast site means having a site that is coded well, optimised and set up on a fast hosting package. You can gain insight into making your website faster by using website speed test tools such as the Google PageSpeed tool and my personal favourite, webpagetest.org
It’s worth utilising these tools and they can be a handy resource to keep bookmarked in your browser. To get the most accurate reading with these tools, give yourself the best hosting package to start with. I would always recommend a hosting plan with the following features:
- Hosting on an SSD based server
- Containerised VPS hosting over shared
- Managed hosting set up for you with an optimised cache configuration, such as Redis, Memcached or Varnish.
Golden Rule Number 2: Uptime
Website downtime is an important factor when it comes to SEO. This is why I always recommend that clients don’t choose a web hosting plan based purely on price, but rather base that choice on quality. If you opt for a cheaper hosting plan it will probably be based on shared hosting. Because shared hosting shares the resources of a server it doesn’t usually come with a Service Level Agreement or SLA, so choose a plan that does offer such an agreement. Learn more about shared hosting here. You’ll find with 34SP.com specifically that our plans with this feature are based on containers, such as the plans mentioned above.
But how does Uptime affect search engine rankings?
We cannot say for sure that your rankings will badly be affected by downtime but there is a strong possibility that when your services are down, your ranking will be affected. If a site is unavailable when indexed (or ‘crawled’) by Google, your indexed pages may be retained but in other cases the crawling process will have to be restarted to recognise how the individual pages should rank. The frequency with which Google will recrawl your site depends on how busy the page is and how often it’s updated.
To some extent we try to recognize a kind of failure when we see it happening and keep those pages in our index anyway, just because we think maybe this is temporary and the website will be back soon, so some of that might have actually worked here but some of it might be that we actually recrawl those pages a bunch of times and they dropped out and we don’t have them for ranking anymore.
Golden Rule Number 3: Web Hosting Locality
If one of your goals is to attract visitors from a certain location then the hosting locality of your website is something you should think about. Search engines will attempt to find out where you are by looking at information such as your IP address. If you are a 34SP.com customer then you’ll be hosted on one of our UK based IP addresses. Your website’s IP address will reveal the location of the server hosting it and with 34SP.com your server is based in Manchester, UK, close to our headquarters.
If you are aiming to attract website traffic from the UK then congratulations! You’ve made it much easier on yourself to do this. Your keywords/phrases should rank higher than those on a similar level but hosted in another country.
My goal in writing this blog post is to make it easier for you to understand how to choose a hosting plan based on what is important to you. There are many factors to think about and whether you’re thinking about it now, or later on when you’re ready, there are ways to make those choices easier.