All web hosting serves the purpose of renting your website space on the internet. It’ll get your sites up, and running, and make them available for visitors. But not all web hosting is good for other things… Like SEO.
Shared vs dedicated hosting are vastly different when it comes to boosting SEO performance, so choose carefully. Here’s what you need to know about both types of hosting and their effect on how your website ranks.
What is Shared Hosting?
Shared hosting is the most common type on the internet, but it’s also the cheapest and least reliable in most cases. It places multiple websites on the same server, sharing the resources between them.
That means you’ll have little to no control over your own resources and how to use them. Each shared hosting plan should have a limit on how much of the server’s resources a single website is able to use, but there’s always a risk that if another site gets a traffic spike, it’ll steal resources away from your site to power its traffic.
SEO Impact of Shared Hosting
So what does it mean for your SEO if you’re sharing resources with other websites? Here’s a quick overview of the pros and cons of shared hosting if you’re interested in ranking well.
The biggest pro of shared hosting is that it’s cost-effective. Most website owners who opt for shared hosting do so because they’re on a strict budget, but it works best for local businesses that don’t get a HUGE amount of traffic.
You can find a wide variety of shared hosting plans with hundreds of different web hosting companies. Most of them are easy to upgrade if you need more storage space or bandwidth, so they’re relatively simple and straightforward.
Shared hosting plans also usually include backups and maintenance, which is sorted out by the host. You don’t need to worry about it, making it a fairly low-maintenance type of hosting.
The biggest con of shared hosting, especially when it comes to SEO, is that web page loading time can be SLOW. Google prioritizes websites that load fast, so you might find yourself falling down the rankings.
Another disadvantage is that shared hosting often performs worse when traffic increases due to sharing resources. You also won’t have the option to configure your own resources, so you have less control over your own resources.
There’s also a slight chance that the other websites hosted on the same server could have a negative effect on your site. If you share a server with a site that has a bad IP reputation, Google might assume that your site does too, which can knock you down the rankings.
What Is Dedicated Hosting?
Dedicated hosting places a single website on a single server. No sharing! Your website will have full access to whatever resources the server holds, and you’ll also have the freedom to configure them as you wish.
It’s vastly more reliable than shared hosting. Although it’s more expensive, it’s worth opting for over-shared hosting, whether you’re worried about your SEO or not.
How Dedicated Hosting Affects SEO
If you’re planning on boosting your SEO performance, then dedicated hosting is the better choice. You’ll pay a little more but it’s significantly more stable, reliable, and faster than shared hosting, all of which play a role in SEO. Here’s the pros and cons you need to know.
Dedicated hosting is noticeably faster than shared hosting. Faster loading times = better rankings and happier visitors, so this alone is worth choosing dedicated hosting for.
You’ll also benefit from increased uptime, as your resources remain constant and aren’t fluctuating between your site and others. More downtime is an opportunity for missed sales, but that’s not an issue with dedicated hosting.
Another important factor in SEO performance is website security, and dedicated hosting is much more secure than shared. Google will rank you higher than less secure sites.
For those with more tech know-how, dedicated hosting allows for full customization of your resources. This can be valuable when it comes to SEO optimization strategies, so it’s handy to have that control.
It’s also simple to upgrade (as long as you’re using a reputable web hosting company), so you can bump up a tier whenever your traffic requires it.
Although it costs more than shared hosting, the benefits far outweigh those of shared hosting and have a much higher chance of leading to sales, making up the difference.
It’s hard to pinpoint any specific downsides to dedicated hosting. The higher cost will most likely be the deterrent for most website owners who are on a tight budget, so it might not be a feasible option for some while their site is still small.
Choosing the Right Hosting for Your SEO Needs
Not sure which to choose? Here’s a quick summary of which hosting would be best for what kind of website.
We recommend dedicated hosting for every website, but these kinds of websites should definitely choose dedicated over shared hosting.
- High-traffic websites.
- Sites with a global audience.
- E-commerce websites and stores.
- Image-heavy or video-heavy sites.
- Sites that deal with visitors’ sensitive data.
These kinds of websites can get away with using shared web hosting.
- Low-traffic websites.
- Static information-based websites.
- Personal blogs that don’t make money.
- Local businesses with a small audience.
If SEO is a consideration for you (which it should be), then you’re better off choosing dedicated hosting. Even if SEO performance isn’t something you’re really worried about, choosing dedicated hosting over shared hosting WILL boost your website’s performance and lower your chances of annoying visitors with slow, laggy web pages!
Yes, shared hosting is more affordable. But when your site isn’t performing well, and visitors are bouncing (which is much more common on shared vs dedicated hosting platforms), then you’re likely to end up missing out on sales because of it.
Our recommendation? Choose dedicated hosting. Your SEO will get a leg up, and your stress levels will dive. Plus, you’ll make up the extra money you’re spending because your visitors won’t be chased off by slow-loading web pages. It’s a no-brainer.
About the Author
Paul Wheeler runs a web design agency that helps small businesses optimize their websites for business success. He aims to educate business owners on all things website-related at his website, Reviews for Website Hosting.