What To Look For When Choosing A Web Hosting Company.
One of the services we offer at AJG Interactive is website hosting. Hosting is a critical piece of the puzzle, as it gives your website a place to live on the internet. What I find that many clients don’t know is just how much of a role the hosting environment plays in the performance and search engine optimization (SEO) of a website, or how one hosting provider may differ from another.
A top-tier hosting provider will provide a secure and fast environment for your website to live on. The reasons for security are obvious: no one wants potential customers to open their website and see malicious advertisements. However, the speed aspect is often overlooked. When you think of speed in terms of a website, you often think of the impact it has on a user, and you’d be correct; however, speed also has a substantial impact on SEO. Google announced in 2016 that it would start ranking websites with faster loading times ahead of those with slower ones, so speed has now become critical!
Because of this, I’ve decided that I’m going to give you four quick tips that you can refer to when you are discussing web hosting. Two tips will be what to avoid, and on the other end of the spectrum, two that you want to make sure you have.
What to avoid
A popular platform in the industry that you should make sure you avoid is what’s called shared hosting. Shared hosting is where the provider puts multiple clients, often hundreds, on the same server in order to share resources. These are typically your $5/month and under hosting plans, as it’s the only way to turn a profit at that price point. However, the low pricing comes with many issues of both speed and security. Because none of these sites are isolated from one another, any one of them can have a security or performance issue that will affect all the sites on that server. Avoid shared hosting at all costs.
Another industry term to steer clear of is overselling, which anyone who has flown on a major airline should be familiar with. An example would be where the provider says everyone has 10GB/month of bandwidth, knowing that the average is only 2GB/month, so they allot that bandwidth to more websites than they should. One day when your site needs to use the 10GB/month that you’ve paid for, it won’t be available. The same practice is true for hard drive space as well.
What you should have
The number-one must-have for WordPress web hosting is a Linux environment. All of the major web hosts offer you a choice of either a Windows or a Linux environment, and many business owners like you choose Windows because of brand recognition. However, for hosting a website, especially one using WordPress, Linux is the correct choice.
The second must-have for hosting your website is what’s called a Virtual Private Server, or VPS. A VPS takes the shared-hosting model and segregates your website(s) from the other websites that all share that server. This means that, of the pies that make up bandwidth and resources, your site will have its own slices every time. Because these resources are isolated, VPS servers are not only faster, but security is hardened as well.
BONUS: I know I said I was going to give you only two must-haves, but I felt obligated to throw in a bonus. It is absolutely a must for your SEO that your hosting environment has the Google module installed. This is something that gets configured on the server side, not the WordPress side, and it is necessary if you want to score an A+ on Google PageSpeed Insights.
If you are still unsure where you should host your website, we offer top-tier hosting at AJG Interactive, with all of these features and many more (click here to learn more). But there’s a catch: we won’t host just any website. Web hosting is exclusive to AJG Interactive customers. It’s just one more way we go above and beyond to keep our clients’ websites online and secure.
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