Decided to develop and level up your own online business? Began to explore SEO? Then you should probably learn a lot of new stuff about web hosting and select the most optimal variant of web host. How to understand which web host tools you need and which options will be helpful for effective search optimization?
Probably, most IT business owners have no idea about the importance of web host for both site ranking and customer’s satisfaction. This aspect is crucial. If pages of your site load too slowly, Google is most likely to apply some kind of penalty (in the worst cases – ban a site), making your site tanking lower. Moreover, If it takes more than two-three seconds for your site to load, users will leave it, dissatisfied with its speed and performance and not getting what they want. The more time is required for your site to load, the more is the risk that some scripts or CSS are applied incorrectly. That, in its turn, makes users leave your site without even watching its content or using its services.
Thus, the choice of a new web host is one of the most important steps for site development, because it impacts possible optimization. Which aspects should be studied during selection process? How one can know that online reviews are valid?
Step 1: Decide on the type of host that is required for your exact case
There are lots of hosting types, and most IT business developers and SEO specialtsts choose one out of three main kinds: the dedicated servers, the virtual private servers and the shared web hosting.
A dedicated server is the most technologically advanced and efficient solutions. You have en entire server under your control that is not shared with anyone else. If needed, it can be assisted by your hosting company. All hardware and software is installed and set up the way you need to: you can choose an operating system, bandwidth limits, etc. But this option has one considerable drawback: it is quite expensive. Some large companies can afford buying a dedicated server for their hosting, while smaller businesses, blog keepers and other web-masters either lease it, or just realize they don’t need such a robust solution for their projects.
Virtual private servers (also abbreviated as VPSs) are located on one server hardware that runs several virtual machines simultaneously. So you can lease one of such machines to reside your web-site. The most part of software and data security is under your control, though, such aspects as operating system and configurations cannot be changed by users, because it affects server hardware security. This variant is less robust than dedicated servers, but it is cheaper. However, note that since you share hardware with other users, their sites use its resources and have the same connection and similar IP addresses. So if you share a server with spam sites, you may face SEO problems arising because of your neighbors’ reputation.
The most limited type is shared hosting. Having low cost, it is ideal for small businesses and bloggers. The principle of working is the same as for VPS, but in this environment no virtual operating system is used. The only meaning it has for you is that software and possible configurations are limited, and the same IP problems as described before may arise. Thus, if your budget is more than moderate, this variant will work well for you. The only thing you need to do is make sure that such a web host provides all you need.
Step 2: Pay attention to the terms
Before making the final choice, you should examine some certain aspects of any host option. Different businesses need to take into account different characteristics. This is what matters most for most IT businesses regardless of their size and SEO:
• Bandwidth is the volume of data that a user may download from a server at a certain time period. Ideally, it should be high or unlimited. If cap is low, your site may go down because of traffic spikes, or the cost of the traffic exceeding the limits will be too high.
• Operating systems used in most cases are Linux or Windows. If you are going to run Microsoft or some other Windows-only applications on your site, Windows is thee evident solution. In all other cases Linux will be preferable, because it has more configuration options and lower price. As for server software, it has practically no meaning for SEO, so select what will comply with your own demands.
• IP address. If you don’t purchase a dedicated server, you will have to share with other sites. So you better analyze your neighbors before making a decision, because “spamming” users’ sites may spoil your site’s reputation, as well. Although Google defines site quality regardless of its host, there may be some issues arising with initial startup.
• Geographical location of a server. If your site servers the auditory from some certain area, select the server located as close to your users as possible. This is crucial to provide necessary speed of delivery content and site loading, together with a certain amount of geotargeting.
• Server uptime. When user’s cannot open a site and get what they want, your site becomes less relevant in Google ranking, losing its positions. When Google analyzes your site from the point of load speed, it may either raise its ranking or ban it in the worst cases. The majority of providers guarantee almost 100% uptime, but you should better read people’s reviews to evaluate the reality and make a decision.
• Search visibility. When it is offered as a feature, and, furthermore, as a paid feature, it’s no good. All sites open for public are automatically visible to search, while they are visible for search engines. Thus, search visibility is an empty word, used by providers to pull money out of clients.
• Site builder included. Serious SEO developers and site designers do not use free site builders provided by host. They prefer spending money for high-quality exterior and content. If a builder is included, it may be quite useless.
Step 3: Skip through reviews
As soon as you fine several optimal web hosts, it may be time to get familiar with their reviews. Don’t look at the lists like “Top 100” – either they are expensive, or they don’t do what is promised. Instead, read real customers’ reviews and feedbacks from third party social media, forums, etc.
• Search not by company’s name only. You may experiment, adding some negative keywords like “disgusting”, “disappointing”, “failed”, “sucks”, etc. No negative social media is sponsored by a company, so this way you get a clear picture of what is happening in the company.
• Discussion forums is a controversial method of information googling, because it brings positive and negative experiences. Thus, forums still sty the best resource of the information about sites.
Step 4: Pick some Host
Of course, every web host has a couple or two of disappointed customers – that’s inevitable. But you have to sort negative reviews by their severity. If people complain about user errors or about not knowing how to apply the software, that’s not dramatic. While the reviews about database loss, hackings and downtime are far more important.
Now, when you got the idea of companies’ performance and decent reputation, you are ready to make the choice. Choose one host, and it will be a strong foundation for your efficient and successful site.
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