Website Hosting and SEO

SEO, Hosting and Web Design Decisions?

How does web hosting affect SEO?

Avoid SEO web hosting issues.  See Blend SEO top 3 picks for hosting.

Web Hosting and SEO

Web Hosting and SEO

SEO should be addressed during the planning stages of a website or blog.  A wrong decision on website design, server platform and hosting company can handicap your SEO efforts.  Many SEO hosting web design companies offer turn-key, all-in-one, one-stop-shop, too-good-to-be-true solutions for SEO, hosting and web design.  Many of these companies started out in one area and respond to customer demand in other areas by putting together a package to serve them all.

  • Don’t expect SEO from a hosting company to be a full service, all encompassing SEO solution.
  • Likewise, don’t expect an SEO or web design firm to provide top notch hosting.
  • More likely they are reselling server space from a hosting company or else maintain an on-site local server.

My top 3 choices for web hosting…

Web hosting and web design affect SEO.  Plan to build and design your website on a Linux – Apache server environment.  The most common alternative to this is Windows IIs.  Windows web servers are innately problematic for SEO.

  • They give flexibility in URL capitalization that allows for an infinite duplicate content issues.  These issues must later be addressed with canonicals, redirects or rewrites – depending on how the site is built.
  • Some ASP applications that often run on Widnows IIs servers use forms and generate unnecessarily large web pages.
  • If you are already on a Windows IIs machine, your SEO may be handicapped without you knowing it.

Search engines are evolving to adapt to variations in web server technology.  However, if starting out fresh, its a safe bet to choose a LAMP (Linux-Apache-MySQL-PHP) web hosting environment.

Which Web Hosting Company is Best for SEO?

The main concerns in website hosting for SEO are reliability and speed.  And most importantly, speed.  Google uses webpage load speed as a ranking signal.  A hosting company that cannot serve your website quickly during high traffic hours, generally west coast afternoon to evening, can hamper your search engine rankings.

If your website is served with good speed, but goes down for an hour, half a day or even a day… as long as the search engine comes back the next day and finds everything back to normal, you won’t see any change in rankings.  This of course is relative – if you’re competing in a news space or social space where up to the second updates are critical, you better be sure your hosting does not fail you.  But for the majority of blogs, company websites, product line websites, etc, as long as your hosting company can for the most part keep your website up, you should be fine.

The better hosting companies have become very reliable and very good and keeping things running.  Hosting server maintenance is performed in ways that eliminates down time.  A good way to know if a hosting company is reliable is if you are able to call late at night and get intelligent answers and quick resolution for problems.

Top 3 Web Hosting Companies for SEO

GoDaddy.com

GoDaddy is the biggest player in hosting and domain name management.  Infrastructure behind this large company must lend to its reliability.  I have been using GoDaddy for domain names and hosting since 2002, however they have been doing it since 1997.  I use one deluxe web hosting account to handle a handful of moderate traffic websites.  Around 2009, I migrated my websites to their cloud hosting environment.  Load balancing in the cloud provides more reliable, faster hosting.  The customer login area where you find the control panels can be confusing. However, GoDaddy has always provided surprisingly great phone customer service even in the late, late night hours.  Just call them up, and ask them to walk you through whatever you are trying to do.

Bluehost.com

Bluehost only deals with hosting, and has been around since 1996, a little longer than GoDaddy.  Bluehost provides a C-Panel type of control panel – the preferred, most robust control panel for hosting.  Bluehost provides a cloud environment, appropriate for blogs and medium traffic websites.  Reliability is great – 24-7 phone customer service on par with GoDaddy.

Rackspace.com

Rackspace is another hosting-only company with a little more presence than Bluehost, though has been around since 1998.  The control panel is Plesk, which is very easy to use.  Rackspace also provides a cloud environment and 24-7 phone customer service.

I’ve had bad experiences with newer, smaller hosting companies.  The three hosting companies above have proved themselves over years and have the infrastructure to support reliable, fast up-time.  I confidently affiliate Blend SEO with GoDaddy, Bluehost and Rackspace.

There are 2 comments for this article
  1. Gregory Lee Author at 1:28 pm

    An SEO client asked… Shouldn’t we have a dedicated IP just in case someone else on the same box gets banned or blacklist effecting our search engine rankings?

    My response… Using a shared IP won’t put your blog at risk. IP blocks can be blacklisted for email, but not for search rankings. Here are a couple links from Google support and Matt Cutts (head of Google’s spam team) that verify this.
    http://www.mattcutts.com/blog/myth-busting-virtual-hosts-vs-dedicated-ip-addresses/
    http://www.google.com/support/forum/p/Webmasters/thread?tid=282eeb9a83967286&hl=en

  2. Mark Smiithh at 6:28 am

    Reseller hosting be able to basically be defined as a hosting account wherever one can sell web space on somebody else’s shared server. In other words, reseller hosting is similar to shared hosting with only difference that in reseller hosting you can create number of accounts for your own use or to sell others on a shared server. More info log in here: http://www.deepahosting.com

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