Is Shared Hosting Bad for SEO?
Choosing the right web host is a very important decision in the life of your website. Choose the wrong host or the wrong hosting plan and you’ll make it that much more difficult for your website to succeed.
Now, going with a shared hosting package isn’t necessarily going to be a poor choice for your rankings, but instead depends on a variety of other factors, as you’ll soon learn.
Below we look into how a shared hosting plan can affect your search engine rankings.
How Your Host Can Affect Your Rankings
Your host will influence a few core ranking factors that will either make it easier or more difficult for your site to rank. That doesn’t mean you should choose a host based on SEO factors alone, but it’s important to think about, especially if search engine traffic is going to play a crucial role in the success of your website.
1. Site Speed and Performance
If you want your site to rank it’s going to need to load quickly. Having a slow loading site will negatively impact your user experience, along with have negatively impacting your rankings. Plus, page speed is also a Google ranking factor. If you have a host that ends up slowing down your page loading speed, then you’ll definitely see a drop in your rankings.
2. Data Center Locations
Another element that can affect the speed of your site is the data center location where your site’s files are actually stored. Some hosts will offer multiple data center locations that you can choose from. If you’re given this option you should choose the data center location that’s closest to the physical location of your visitors.
Having a datacenter location that’s very far from your users may negatively impact your performance. However, you can get around this by using a CDN, which is covered in more detail below.
3. Site Downtime
Site downtime is a normal process of hosting a site online. Even the most high-performance servers will have to do routine server maintenance. However, one thing you’ll want to look for is a host that offers very high uptime (99.9% or above), and is backed by a guarantee or historical data.
Having a site that’s down a lot of the time will create a poor user experience. If you have a user who clicks through to your site from the search engines and sees your site is offline there’s a solid chance they won’t come back.
Google continues to shift its ranking algorithm towards sites that value its users, so it’s important you place a focus on creating the best user experience possible.
- HostGator’s reliable 99.9% uptime guarantee earned us multiple Editor’s Choice awards from PC Magazine!
4. Ability to Handle Traffic Surges
Is your host ready for when your site receives a huge amount of traffic, or a post of yours goes viral?
It’s natural for a site to go offline during a huge surge in traffic unless you’re using a very high performing host. But, this issue should be remedied very quickly.
Plus, if this extended volume of traffic becomes normal, then you need a host that can scale up your server resources, or easily upgrade your site to a higher package.
Will a Shared Host Negatively Impact My Rankings?
This is a difficult question to answer with a straight yes or no answer. The impact your host has on your rankings will depend upon the hosting provider you choose and your site.
For example, a site on a high-performance shared host with poor onsite optimization and SEO can still rank poorly. While, a site hosted on a less-than-stellar shared host with great onsite SEO like caching, image optimization, a solid theme, and a CDN can still have decent-enough performance and rankings.
If you are using a shared host, then you can help to offset any negative consequences like slow loading speeds and lack of datacenter selection by using a CDN. Most shared hosts are equipped with their own CDNs or at least integrate with popular providers. However, if this isn’t the case you can always integrate your site with a third-party provider like CloudFlare.
One tried and true method is to begin with a shared host and upgrade your plan if your site’s performance starts to decline.
Regardless of the host you use, it’s important to properly optimize your site both for speed and rankings. Your hosting environment can help a lot, but you should still do everything in your power to improve your site as well.
Rely on Shared Hosting from HostGator
Overall, shared hosting isn’t necessarily going to have a negative effect on your rankings. What’s important is to choose a reputable host, period. A good host will offer a variety of hosting plans, including shared plans, that are built to support differing levels of website traffic.
HostGator offers a variety of hosting plans that are designed to support your unique traffic and site needs. All of our plans come with a 99.9% uptime guarantee and unmetered bandwidth. Plus, we also offer SEO services! Learn more here.