What is web hosting?
Web hosting is a service that provides physical storage for the website on the special computer called server. The server can be accessed via World Wide Web so that people can visit your website.
Web hosting provider rents the space on the server and takes care of the technical maintenance related to it.
If you’re still not sure what web hosting is, imagine you want to build a house. The first thing you need is a piece of land where it will stand. The same applies if you want to have your own website or blog. You need some space where it will be stored so that people can access it.
Web hosting is a service that allows you to rent a “piece of land” where your website will be placed. You simply upload the website on the server and the web hosting service will take care of the rest.
The only flaw in this metaphor is that unlike the house, you can actually move your website to another web hosting provider anytime 🙂
Different types of web hosting
There are many types of web hosting, but in general, hosting services can be divided into two basic groups:
1. Shared hosting
The most commonly used type of web hosting service is the shared hosting. It simply means that the server space is shared among many other websites.
This type of hosting is a perfect solution for beginners as it often includes other tools that will make the whole process of setting up a website easier. Shared hosting is usually an ideal solution for small businesses and bloggers, especially due to the affordable prices.
2. Dedicated server
If you have higher requirements, you can purchase a dedicated server hosting. This means that you won’t share your server space with anyone else and you will have a much greater control over it.
There are many factors that need to be considered when choosing the right hosting for you. It mostly depends on your needs and budget.
If you plan to create a small website or hobby blog, the general rule of thumb is to start with a quality shared hosting that can be upgraded in case it is necessary in the future.
Web hosting and SEO
The quality of the web hosting has a significant impact on the performance of your website and therefore, on its rankings (whether direct or indirect).
Server performance and location
One of the confirmed Google ranking factors is the page speed. It is influenced by many factors (including the on-page settings and size of the website), but the performance and the location of the server plays an important role too.
Another crucial factor that influences the website performance is the hosting uptime. Uptime refers to the percentage of the time the server is working properly and your website is available.
When the visitors are not able to access your website, it has a negative impact on the overall experience which may indirectly influence your rankings in the long run.
Other services and options
When selecting an SEO-friendly web hosting, you should also consider added options it provides.
A great example is a free SSL certificate (https is a ranking signal) or a CDN service included in the hosting package (Content Delivery Networks improve page speed significantly).
Keep that in mind when choosing the web hosting and don’t make the decision based only on the price.