Is your website getting less than 1000 visitors a month?
Subscribe to my newsletter to learn step by step how you can drive visitors to your new website.
Founder of Website Simplified
Hey, my name is Oskar. I’ve created Website Simplified to help people create and grow their first website. I’ve been building websites online for over 7 years now and this blog is my way of giving back to the internet and helping beginners to create their own site. It’s easy and after reading this guide you will know how your hosting may affect your SEO efforts.
Let me start by congratulating you for asking the question, “does hosting affect SEO?”.
When building a website, so many people often overlook the importance of selecting a quality host, thinking the cheaper the better.
Sure, cost comes into it. But there are some real quality web hosting companies around that provide a fantastic service at a more than reasonable cost.
Shopping around is highly recommended, as I did when I first started building websites. I found that siteground.com were the perfect match for my hosting requirements, and haven’t looked back since putting my trust in them.
What’s more, the SiteGround team offer free SSL certificate instillation. It couldn’t be easier to activate and is an easy cost saver given that many providers charge for it. Take a read of my ‘5 SSL Benefits to Take Advantage of’ post to learn why that is such a plus point.
Alternatively, kinsta.com is the perfect choice of hosting provider for those who demand that their hosting performance and value remains top of the class. Their packages start from $30 per month. The basic package provides one WordPress install, allows for 25,000 visits and can accommodate up to 10gb of disk space.
All of the above is doubled with their $60 per month pro package. More demanding users can increase their package in a variety of ways, with four business packages and four enterprise alternative, ranging from $100 per month to $1,500 per month.
Don’t be alarmed by the price tag on the latter. That package allows for up to 150 WordPress installs and 3 million website visits. If you are reaching those numbers, on that many websites, a premium hosting service will be an absolute must.
So back to the original question – “does hosting affect SEO?”. It does, massively. Allow me to elaborate on exactly how.
If there is one thing that today’s generation just doesn’t have, it’s patience. In life, and on the internet. In the defence of internet users, why should they? With super fast broadband speeds now available, the thought of waiting more than three seconds to load up a web page is just unthinkable.
In fact, the bounce rate of users on websites increases from 11% for a three-second wait to a huge 38% for a five-second wait. Five seconds may not seem like much, but in the days of fibre-optic, it may as well be five hours!
As well as providing a less than satisfactory performance for users, a slow website speed will without question be penalised by Google. In doing this, your ranking well definitely drop.
The best website hosting platforms won’t host too many websites on the same server, allowing for quick loading times.
There are one or two things that you can do to improve your site speed. Compress your image size, remove redundant scripts and strip out third-party widgets.
The definition of downtime is simple. It equates to the amount of time that your website is inaccessible due to issues with the server in which it is hosted on.
The Google bot will try and visit a website on numerous occasions each day. If it visits your site during periods of downtime, scheduled or not, it records that the page is inaccessible and will moves on.
Now, all websites require downtime from time to time, for maintenance and important updates. However, if this happens frequently, then the Google bot will flag your site as unreliable.
This is more than just a slap on the wrist from the master of all search engines. It will impact your SEO greatly as websites deemed as unreliable do not rank well on Google.
Consider this, a 99% uptime over the course of an entire year may sound like a high percentage. But when you break it down, that 1% of downtime equates to almost 88 hours.
You don’t hear of the likes of Twitter, eBay and Amazon being down for 88 hours in a year. So why should you accept it?
Maintenance and downtime is inevitable, but not too much. As far as I’m concerned, it isn’t at all unreasonable to demand 99.9% uptime for your site.
If you’re not receiving that service, it may be time to look elsewhere.
If you are targeting a UK audience, be sure to go with a UK-based server. The closer you can connect your server and your audience the better. It goes without saying that a UK based website will not benefit from a server based in Azerbaijan.
Google will also assess the location of a website when deciding to place it in their rankings. They use the IP address assigned to the server, not the website. So while you may not think that the location of your choice of serve makes a huge difference, it absolutely does.
If you are targeting an international reach, I would strongly suggest opting for kinsta.com. Their servers are based on a Google Cloud platform, which has server locations around the globe.
Actually, server location does have a small impact on the loading time of a page. If the location is close to the audience, it will be able to fetch necessary data quickly.
I understand the temptation. Shared hosting seems a cost effective way of managing multiple websites on the one server.
Do you know the reason why this is even a possibility? It’s because you will be making compromises on the quality of hosting. That to me is a big no from the very start.
Google also prefers websites that are hosted on singular servers, and we don’t want to upset the big G, do we?
My closing advice would be to avoid opting for the cheapest option on the market. In reality, hosting isn’t the most expensive area of building a website, far from it. So if there is an area where you can afford to push the boat out and opt for the best-in-class, it is in selecting a website host.
Don’t compromise on site speed or down time, and keep location at the forefront of your thinking. Siteground or Kinsta are good choices to go with.