“Wherever I lay my website, that’s my home” – to paraphrase Paul Young. That’s exactly what a hosting company is for a website; your home, or at least your website’s home. Just like any home, it needs to be safe, secure, supply you with the comforts and amenities that you require and it needs to be cheap to run.
However, all too many web hosting companies fall foul of this, with insufficient servers providing poor bandwidth allocation, inadequate customer service and a tendency to cram too many websites on one server, causing your website to become unresponsive.
While this is inconvenient for you, and your customers, it’s also very bad for SEO. If Google indexes your website and finds it, well, doesn’t find it all, then your site will be earmarked for a return visit. If it’s still unresponsive, what do you think Google will do with it?
It certainly won’t keep offering as a result in its SERPs (search engine results pages). No, your website will find itself, well, you get the idea. Nobody will find it at all.
This means that you need a reliable web hosting company to host your website, or all of your SEO efforts will go to waste. Here is a quick checklist of things that you need to keep in mind when looking at a web hosting company.
- Your web host needs to be located in the UK. Not just their business address, but their call centre and their physical servers. Many hosting companies ‘claim’ to be UK when they are not.
- Your web host needs to reply to support tickets and calls quickly. Read reviews online if you are unsure.
- Your web host needs to offer unlimited bandwidth. Yes, this always comes with a fair use policy, but you don’t want to be hit with a charge when your SEO generates extra traffic for your website.
- Your web host needs to offer access to the server via a control panel so that you can add email addresses, edit DNS records and create sub domains. If it does not, change hosts.
- Your web host needs to allow the use of htaccess files; incredibly some do not, always ask before you sign up.
- Your web host needs to offer multiple IP addresses for when you have more than one website. There is usually a charge with this, but make sure they offer it.
- Your web host needs to be a genuine hosting company. The majority of hosting companies are simply resellers for other hosting companies, which means they are more expensive and they do not have physical access to their servers. Again, online research will tell you this.
If you follow these rules you shouldn’t go far wrong when looking for a web hosting company for your website, one that will not hinder your SEO campaign.