SEO Guide To Choosing A Good Website Host

There are many factors we look at​ when choosing a​ host. There are literally thousands of​ providers in​ the​ World and there are many,​ many considerations to​ take into account. I like to​ take a​ systematic approach and narrow down my field of​ possible hosting provider candidates before I even look at​ prices. I write down a​ list of​ criteria that I must place on​ choosing an​ appropriate website host and these form my requirements base.

1. I look at​ the​ required target audience and their geographic location - where does you​ target market live? And I seek to​ answer the​ question; do I want to​ rank more highly in​ a​ regional index rather than an​ International Index? For example,​ let’s say you​ sell blue widgets and you​ are based in​ Melbourne,​ Australia. Through your website you​ only ship to​ addresses within Australia. in​ this situation you​ would ideally want to​ be listed more prominently in​ the​ Australian regional search indexes - like

Why do we need to​ consider this? the​ reason is​ simple,​ the​ search engines will rank you​ more highly in​ a​ regional index if​ you​ use a​ hosting provider based in​ region or​ country in​ question. So,​ this is​ our first factor

2. Dedicated IP Addresses or​ Shared. When it​ comes to​ search engine optimization this can have an​ impact so I like to​ mention it​ as​ early as​ possible in​ choosing candidates for website hosting provider. Some SEO professionals believe that not having a​ dedicated IP can have a​ detrimental affect in​ Google rankings but from my experience it​ sometimes does and it​ sometimes doesn’t. I have had some sites come in​ with high PR rankings on​ shared IP’s and others when I shifted to​ a​ new IP the​ PR of​ the​ site jumped,​ so this is​ still a​ bit of​ a​ mystery when it​ comes to​ Google rankings. My advice from a​ logical SEO perspective is​ that you​ never know with whom you​ are sharing an​ IP address; they could be running a​ po​rn site or​ a​ warez site,​ so logic says get the​ dedicated IP if​ you​ can.

3. Requirements of​ the​ coding and database for my website. as​ an​ example you​ might be using a​ Joomla website and with this comes certain requirements - we need PHP,​ a​ MySQL database,​ a​ web server (HTTP),​ sendmail (if you​ want to​ get/end email),​ and some kind of​ file transfer access (FTP or​ SFTP). These might seem like fairly common requirements but there are additional items you​ might want to​ consider in​ this segment like the​ operating system of​ the​ host,​ Linux or​ windows or​ what other services they have running on​ the​ server,​ Perl CGI-BIN access,​ SSI,​ .htaccess,​ telnet or​ SSH crontabs. This item covers all dependencies your website has on​ services and software to​ make it​ perform correctly on​ the​ web server.

4. Reliability,​ Speed and Uptime Guarantee. There is​ nothing that can hurt your business more than your website visitors coming to​ your web site only to​ find that it’s inaccessible. you​ lose a​ lot of​ credibility and possibly even sales through your website being down. you​ should consider removing a​ candidate web host if​ they do not provide you​ with at​ least 99.9% uptime. Many web hosts will provide guarantees like this and you​ should seek to​ find them. Many web hosts have redundant back-up systems for Internet access that are used when the​ main connection fails for some reason. Do your research and find out how many redundant connections they have to​ ensure less chance of​ the​ website being unavailable. Website "Redundancy" means if​ any of​ the​ normal Internet connections are interrupted then an​ alternate Internet connection will be used.

5. Customer Support. One of​ the​ most frequent complaints that people make about website hosts is​ the​ lack of​ customer and technical support. From my experience it​ does not matter if​ you​ are an​ expert or​ a​ novice in​ web hosting,​ you​ still need a​ web host with a​ good customer support system. Many web hosts offer email,​ online chat and phone support while others are available only via email. in​ most cases,​ email support is​ adequate,​ but you​ should be cautious if​ a​ potential web host has no phone number available in​ case of​ an​ emergency.

Response times to​ support questions can vary greatly. Some web hosts may take only a​ few minutes to​ get back to​ you​ while others take days or​ even longer. It's important to​ find out what support any web host candidate provides. Searching on​ the​ Internet for references can often be of​ assistance in​ this regard.

6. Data Transfer - Traffic/Bandwidth. This is​ often referred to​ as​ "bandwidth",​ which is​ the​ amount of​ data that can be transferred from or​ to​ your website. Basically look for a​ service which provides a​ good amount of​ traffic when compared to​ other services available. Also when choosing your website host you​ should ensure that the​ plan you​ are on​ can be expanded so that any foreseen increases in​ traffic can be accommodated accordingly.

7. Disk space. Again,​ take into consideration other hosting providers and find a​ service which provides a​ good amount of​ storage space in​ comparison. you​ might want to​ take into account any foreseen increases in​ storage space required also and factor the​ ability to​ be able to​ change the​ plan to​ accommodate these needs.

8. Price. This is​ always a​ huge consideration after all you​ could get a​ dedicated server for about $200 per month but for the​ most part this is​ not required for a​ new business website. the​ normal business website is​ not going to​ have 5000 visitors per day when it​ first starts up. of​ course there are exceptions and if​ you​ are expecting this much traffic then you​ should get the​ dedicated server straight away. if​ however you​ are like most normal businesses and looking to​ gain a​ web presence then I would advise you​ to​ get a​ shared server with a​ dedicated IP. For something like this the​ prices can vary from $5 per month to​ $100 per month. Often you​ get what you​ pay for,​ so you​ should look at​ what services they provide for the​ money and weigh these up against the​ benefits. Often there are extra's that are suitable for your particular needs,​ like Joomla support or​ content input or​ specialized hosting services.

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