Here at Virtual Webmaster Services we deal with different hosting every day and are acutely aware of the difference hosting makes to the reliability, speed and security of a website.
Did you know that it also affects your online visibility and specifically you Google ranking? This is an area that many fail to consider when investing in an online presence.
There multiple aspects of hosting that can impact on your online visibility and your rank in Google. Google are concerned with the user experience, and speed and reliability are now important factors in your online visibility.
Google want you to keep coming back and keep using their service so anything that adversely affects that user experience is a factor in ranking your web site. You know how frustrating it is when you visit a website that is slow to load or respond. Google understand this.
Sites that are slow to load or otherwise unresponsive are penalized in their results in favor of faster sites. The speed of your website is affected by both your hosting and your website design.
The reliability of your website can also affect your ranking. Hosting that goes down can cause your website to be de-indexed by search engines and removed from other online listings.
Speed and reliability are not the only hosting factors that can affect your online visibility.
Another problem with some cheap hosting is that you might share the same server and even the same internet address with other sites that might be engaged in spamming, gambling, pornography and other questionable activities. This can result in your website being blocked or black listed by some content filters simply because it resides in what is termed in the industry as a bad neighborhood.
Internet security is another major factor that you can remain blissfully unaware of until you are hacked or your website is otherwise compromised. As compromised website will not just result in your loosing all your online visibility (search engine rankings) but also being blocked and black listed like a site in a bad neighborhood.
Recovering from a security issues is there for not only expensive in terms of down time and the cost of fixing the site, but also can have a longer term impact on your sites reputation.
For me, the most import considerations in choosing a host is support. As with specifications and features two hosts can seem to offer the same level of support and even the same fast response guarantees.
One may use an outsourced third world call center where the person assisting may be working off scripted questions without any real technical understanding of the problem. When they are unable to resolve your problem it is then escalated to second and even third level support.
The other host may have competent technical support staff, that immediately fix your problem.
Both can claim a fast response but which would you prefer to deal with?
So what should you look for in hosting?
A web host is simply a type of computer connected to the Internet, and is where your website resides. Many of the same factors that affect the speed of the computer you are using are the same that affect the speed of your website. This is why some hosts will provide specifications such as CPU, memory and types of hard drives etc. The infrastructure of the host including the connection the Internet is another major factor.
The problem is that even for those that understand all the technical stuff you can still have two hosts can appear to offer the same specifications and features but perform very differently.
Then you have all the different types of hosting including shared, cloud, VPS, Collocated, dedicated.
How does a business owner decide which hosting is best. My advice would be to consult your website developer and discuss what is best for your needs.
There is an old adage that you get what you pay for.
As a rule of thumb the more expensive the web hosting service – the faster and more reliable it is.
If you are looking for new hosting check out our Secure Cloud Hosting
Here is a video I made for Social Visibility Online about how hosting can affect your online visibility.