Founder and CEO of FiveChannels, specializing in creating brand awareness, traffic and lead gen, marketing funnels, social media and more.
Ranking high in SEO is important for any website as it can help users find you easily within the search engine results pages.
However, did you know that shared hosting and a dedicated server to host your website could affect your SEO?
The two hosting choices have their merits, but they have their detriments as well. Since SEO is one of the lifelines of any website, this decision could impact how you do business moving forward, specifically with digital marketing.
What Is Shared Hosting?
Servers aren’t much different than your home computer. They contain a processor, hard drive and memory.
Shared hosting means that multiple users from multiple companies will be on the same server. Typically, shared hosting is done through a third party. They have a server large enough to accommodate more than one company and allow for the separation of companies (or different departments in companies) within the server.
One advantage of shared hosting is that the cost per user is relatively low because you and others are buying into the server and splitting the costs.
The downside is that the resources available will be limited and could even be affected by the actions of others on the same server. For example, if one user on the server gets a virus, it can put everyone else at risk.
What Is A Dedicated Server?
Having a dedicated server is exactly the opposite of shared hosting. It is when an entire server is dedicated to a single website or business.
When using a dedicated server, you can choose to split the server up into segments. You even have the option to share it with others, use the entire server for a single website, or split it between a couple of your own websites.
Dedicated servers can also be split into a number of smaller accounts. Doing this can help users have a web hosting account while being in a collective, making it affordable.
On the flip side, dedicated servers are a much more costly option than shared hosting. Furthermore, if you aren’t familiar with how a server works, you might run into some big trouble when it comes to usability and ensuring the safety of your server.
Does Shared Hosting Affect The SEO Of Your Website?
Many factors can affect the SEO of a website and the ranking Google gives it. This can include the quality of your content, the time it takes your page to load, whether your content is relevant to the user’s search and your website’s reputation in the eyes of Google.
Shared hosting does affect the SEO of your website. Your choice of a web hosting provider will affect the SEO of your site in regards to the Google webmaster quality guidelines. With this in mind, make sure to check the reputation of the shared hosting company you choose to work with, even if it’s more expensive to go with the more reputable option. A lower price could cost you big in the SEO world if they do not follow the guidelines of Google.
It’s important to remember that Google isn’t evil and understands that not everyone has the bandwidth for a dedicated web hosting provider or even a dedicated web hosting plan. This is true for all big-name search engines. Since there can be millions of websites on shared hosting plans, they understand your site may not be one of the spammy ones.
To be safe, I believe that going with a shared hosting website isn’t the best when it comes to your SEO — mostly because you will be sharing a server with sites that could be practicing “black hat” SEO techniques, sending mass email spam, or are associated with adult content. These “bad neighborhoods” could affect your rankings.
How Do Dedicated Servers Affect SEO?
When push comes to shove, I believe that dedicated servers are better for your website than shared ones. Some might disagree, and this is not to say that dedicated servers are perfect, but I believe the good outweighs the bad in this situation.
In truth, having a dedicated IP address, which can only be had with a dedicated server, can greatly enhance your website’s speed. It isn’t the only factor, and you will still need to be on top of other determining factors, but website speed is hugely important to SEO.
Furthermore, a dedicated IP address is more effective in keeping your website safe from viruses and hackers, as it is easier to monitor, and you won’t have to worry about other people’s mistakes.
Which Hosting Has The Most SEO Power?
The truth is, your real SEO strength comes from the time and effort you put into your site to make it rank high.
However, using a shared hosting server with other spammy sites can damage your website’s credibility. Sharing can also lead to slower website speed and even more downtime.
With that being said, I believe dedicated servers will be your best bet to positively impact your SEO rankings. Shared hosting has too many variables you cannot control.
There are benefits to both shared hosting and dedicated servers. While shared hosting is a good way for startups to save money, you will eventually want to make the switch over to a dedicated server.