How Hosting Impacts on SEO

Bad hosting is killing your organic

Most people overlook search engine optimization (SEO) when thinking about web hosting providers. That’s because the metrics web hosts are responsible for often fly under the radar. But hosting impacts on SEO in ways you might not realise. Ever done an SEO scrape of your website? 

Well, run one now! It only takes a few minutes and you’ll see one of the first stats that matter.

page loading time matters

Load Speed

Now, website design has a huge impact on page load times, so you’ll want to make sure there are no rogue plug-ins or oversized images causing havoc. However, if you’ve done that and you’re still seeing poor load times across mobile and desktop, it’s time to talk to your host. Ask about their server load and cache system to see if performance can be improved. Not getting the response you want? Time to shop around!

Already on the market? Well, make sure you know where their servers are located.

server location impacts seo

Server Location

Where the host servers are located really impacts your data transfer speed and – just as importantly – suggested results from search engines. When you type something into Google, ever noticed that your device location is tracked? Don’t believe us? Scroll to the very bottom of the page of results and you’ll see where you’re located. Even if it’s general, it still impacts what page results you see and in what order. Search engines use many factors to determine what to display and one of those is a location match between you and the website that’s suggested.

And it goes without saying that the website has to be online more than it’s not.

uptime versus downtime

Uptime vs Downtime

You want to ensure as close to 100% uptime as possible. That’s because there are more than just visitors trying to reach your website. Search engines are too. They’re crawling your website daily, looking for updates, and checking it’s working. This is another way hosting impacts on SEO, if your web host is down due to technical issues, that’s a black mark against you. And it doesn’t take much for search engines to start de-ranking your page if it starts to look unstable to the web crawlers.

But it can be as stable as ever and still rank poorly if it’s unsecured.

ssl is standard

SSL

Rankings have been impacted by their HTTPS status for years already, so put quite simply… don’t go with a web hosting service that offers anything less. SSL is required by a lot of data protection standards as well, so you’re doing yourself a favour on multiple fronts by starting off with a secure site. We offer free 256-bit SSL certificates as standard, so it’s not an ask for your web host to do the same. Many firewalls will prevent access to unsecured sites automatically, so this is a really critical element of web hosting that we can’t emphasise enough!

As with any list, these factors aren’t exhaustive so it’s best to do your own research before committing to any long-term contracts. If you want to know what our packages include or have a question about one of these metrics, just reach out to one of our knowledgeable team members here.

Cybersecurity for small business websites

All too often the media shares stories of large organisations and companies that have been hacked through their website. Customer data and private information gets stolen all the time. The unfortunate truth, however, is that it’s not just these large-scale companies that are being targeted. Small businesses are just as likely to be targeted. We’re just far less likely to hear about it. That’s why cybersecurity for small business is just as important.

Recovering from a security breach is expensive and can be catastrophic for a small business without the necessary cybersecurity measures in place. Read on for some of our quick cybersecurity for small business tips.

Keep your domain information private

If a hacker has access to your name, your email address or even your mailing address, they can use this information to hack into your website or worse. The more personal information they can collect about you, the easier their job is, and you could find yourself facing a case of stalking or identity theft. Employ domain privacy to shield all your personal details from hackers and identity thieves.

Invest in an SSL certificate

Many internet users now will not trust any website without an SSL certificate in the browser bar, and we know Google relies heavily on SSL certification for a good ranking. However, this isn’t just a good investment for business – it also protects your site from hackers by encrypting all the data stored on it. All of our hosting packages come with free SSL certificates as standard!

Automatic backups

One of the most damaging ways a hacker can destroy your business is to crash your entire website or cause such problems that customers can no longer access your site.

With an automatic backup, you can work safe in the knowledge that should anything happen, you know you have everything you need to get the site up and running again quickly and easily. Ensuring that the automatic backup updates itself on a daily basis is key to being able to restore as recent a version as possible should it become necessary.

Malware scans and removals

It sounds like something out of Doctor Who, but cybercriminals are now a very real threat to small businesses that work online. With access to coding that can steal data and allow access to your site at the click of a few buttons, cybercriminals can attack a site before you even realise it’s happening. That’s why automatic malware scans are so vital.

These malware scans perform regular automated scans on your entire site; identifying and removing any potential threats to your security. By investing in one of these, you can be sure that any vulnerable areas will be identified and fixed before a hacker can exploit them.

Domain renewals

Another thing worth investing in simply because it can be done automatically is domain renewal. After an allotted period of time, your domain will come up for renewal and if you don’t act quickly you can lose control of your business domain name. Not only is this bad for business, but it also leaves you expired domain open for exploitation and unregistered access, whereby any cybercriminal could find out yours and your customer’s personal data and email addresses.

This can be prevented with automatic domain renewal. It’s an easy way to register your domain name so it refreshes annually. This can generally be managed through the billing information on your domain registration account.

Automatic updates

Staying up to date is one of the best ways to ensure foolproof security. It ensures your cybersecurity is working on its newest and most effective version. Many updates that become available have been created to patch up the flaws left open in an old version. So, neglecting to update with them can mean that your site is still open to those flaws. And once a hacker gets in, it’s too late.

Set up WordPress and plugins to update automatically, to offer automatic protection.

Check your passwords

Creating a password is often a toss-up between choosing something easy to remember and hard to guess.  Trust us, the latter is much safer.

It’s important that not only you but anyone with access to your site uses a secure and unique password. Hackers can find a different way into the site even if your own password is super secure.

Login Forms

If customers can log in to their own accounts, you’re at risk of letting in a bot. Bots try thousands of login combos; allowing them into your site. Then they release malware to damage the business from the inside.

By adding protection layers to your login forms, this should be avoidable. Things like reCAPTCHA, are good examples, as automated bots are unable to identify these. It’s also worth enabling a tool that gives customers a set amount of login attempts before they become locked out. This annihilates the potential for trying multiple logins until one works.

These ideas are just some of the basis in cybersecurity, but they will ensure increased safety for both your business and your customers. And we think that’s an investment worth entertaining.