If you’ve come across this guide, I’m betting you are looking to increase your SEO to rank higher on a search engine result. Search Engine Optimisation (SEO) is aimed at increasing your website’s position and visibility on a search engine such as Google.
SEO is important so that people can find your website. You may have the best online store or blog, but without visitors finding it, it won’t mean a thing.
So why are we talking about web hosts?
Well, your web host can have a big impact on your SEO score. For example, if your server speed is slow, you’ll rank lower on a search engine search. Or if your website experiences a lot of downtime, people won’t be able to find it.
Your web host can affect SEO in other ways too:
- Location: If your main target audience is in the U.K., your website will rank higher in U.K. searches. Factors such as your IP address can be tracked to determine your location. If your website is hosted in the U.S., but your mainly getting U.K. visitors, your website will rank lower. The server location can also affect the speed at which your visitors can view your website.
- Speed: In 2010, Google told the world that page speed is a determining factor when assessing your SEO score. Although your web host isn’t solely responsible for your website speed, it does have an impact. There are plenty of resources available to check your loading speed, like Google PageSpeed Insights, GTMetrix, and Pingdom.
- Uptime: Uptime means the amount of time your website is available, online. Search engines crawl your website multiple times a day, so if your website is down often, the search engine will report that your website is inaccessible. If this happens a lot, search engines will flag your website as unreliable, causing your rankings to drop. Many web hosts can’t guarantee 100% uptime, but you’ll want to get as close to this as possible.
We’re going to explore the 7 best web hosts to increase SEO. We’ve signed up for all of the web hosts listed in this article to give you an honest representation of their services. Hold tight and enjoy the ride!
Other useful resources:
Best Web Hosting – A review of the best web hosting providers in 2020
Best Website Builders – An in-depth look at the best website builders
How Much Does Hosting A Website Cost – An overview of the different types of web hosting and how much they cost
Best Web Hosts for SEO
Below is an overview of the 7 best web hosts for SEO. After signing up for each of the providers, I monitored a variety of aspects to ensure they really deserved their place here. These factors included speed, performance, uptime, server location, customer support, and security.
|Hosting Provider||Best For||Price|
|A2 Hosting||Money-back guarantee||£3.03/mo|
#1: SiteGround (Best for Uptime)
|✔ Solid uptime results||✖ More expensive than some web hosts|
|✔ Great customer support||✖ Low storage limits|
|✔ In-house features to increase website speed and performance|
SiteGround offer a 99.9% uptime guarantee. Whilst that’s not the best on the market, I have been a SiteGround customer for years, and my own uptime results show outstanding performance. Over the last month, I’ve been monitoring my SiteGround website to show you what I mean.
Since I started monitoring my SiteGround website with UptimeRobot, I’ve had zero downtime. In the last 24 hours, 7 days, and 30 days, my website has enjoyed 100% uptime. My site hasn’t been down for even a few seconds!
As we’ve already discussed, uptime is incredibly important to increase your SEO. If your website constantly experiences downtime, search engines are going to rank your website lower for SEO. When they crawl your website, if it’s up and online, it will report back that your website is accessible and will rank higher.
#2: BlueHost (Best for WordPress websites)
|✔ Great speeds for WordPress websites||✖ SpamExperts not included in Basic plan|
|✔ Automatic WordPress updates designed to increase security||✖ Domain Privacy not included in Basic or Plus plans|
|✔ Affordable web hosting with WordPress experts available 24/7|
BlueHost is one of my favourite web hosts for WordPress websites. It’s actually recommended by WordPress themselves. However, you may be wondering why this has any relevance to SEO. If you’re hosting a WordPress website with BlueHost, you’ll get fast speeds and performance, as well as WordPress optimised tools.
Designed with you in mind, Bluehost provides everything you need to create and manage a WordPress website. Enjoy powerful website management tools, automatic WordPress installation, and 24/7 expert support all at a price that fits any budget.
Included in BlueHost’s basic plan for just £2.23 per month, you’ll get:
- Unlimited bandwidth
- 24/7 WordPress support
- 1-click WordPress installs
- 30-day money-back guarantee
- Free SSL certificate
A lot of these factors help to increase your website’s SEO. Because of the plugins available for WordPress websites, they are notorious for experiencing slow speeds, if not well-optimised. That’s where BlueHost comes in.
Their WordPress hosting includes automatic updates to ensure your website is always on the latest WordPress version and release. This minimises any security risks. Their hosting also includes a WordPress staging environment to ensure you can make changes to your website, and test them before they go live.
#3: Hostinger (Best for Server Speed)
|✔ Very affordable pricing||✖ Only 1 email account on Single web hosting plan|
|✔ Free SSL certificate included with all hosting plans||✖ Customer support can be hit and miss|
|✔ Great server response times|
Hostinger has been rapidly growing over the years, with over 30 million customers worldwide. They have become a very attractive budget web host, offering plans from just 80p per month! When I first came across Hostinger, I had my suspicions. I wondered if they could really deliver powerful performance at such cheap prices.
According to Littledata, response times less than 302ms would put your website in the best 20% of sites that they benchmark for. Anything under 221ms puts you in the 10% category. Considering I am paying a measly 80p per month, I was extremely delighted that my Hostinger website was nearly in the best 10% of websites for server speed!
Littledata surveyed 3,572 sites in January 2020 and found the average server response time was 553ms.
On top of this great server performance, Hostinger publishes all of their server statuses to see which servers (if any) are experiencing any outages. In the last 90 days, Hostinger’s hosting services have reported 100% uptime.
#4: iPage (Best for Customer Support)
|✔ One hosting plan to suit a variety of web hosting needs||✖ One hosting plan means there’s a lack of scalability|
|✔ Free SSL and domain name included||✖ Mixed reviews about their server performance|
|✔ Excellent and responsive customer support|
Whilst a web host’s customer support won’t directly affect your SEO ranking, it is an important factor for you. If anything goes wrong with your website, or you’re struggling to figure something out, excellent customer support is a must to ensure your website is up and running as soon as possible.
Whenever I’ve dealt with iPage’s support, I’ve received nothing but a positive experience. iPage’s 1st line support is always friendly and helpful. On the rare occasions where they haven’t been able to deal with my query straight away, their 2nd line support has got back to me within 1 day.
iPage has a handy tool called 24/7 monitoring. This monitors each of their customer’s websites to ensure there are no issues. If there are any issues, their monitoring support team will react immediately to deal with the issue.
#5: HostGator (Best for Security)
|✔ Free SSL with all hosting plans||✖ Not as cheap as other web hosts|
|✔ Instant backups available across all plans||✖ Customer support isn’t much to shout about|
|✔ Cheap Positive SSL upgrades and free on Business plan|
HostGator is one of the web hosts that really stands out for me with regards to security. If you’re looking to host an eCommerce site or a website with a lot of traffic, I highly recommend HostGator. But if you’re after an awesome customer support experience or need lots of help as a beginner, they may not be the best host for your needs.
HostGator’s Hatchling plan includes a free SSL, as do all of their plans. If you want to upgrade your SSL to Positive SSL, this is possible from as little as $3.33 (£2.57), which is a lot cheaper than other hosts offer the same for.
As I said, if you’re looking to host a larger website with HostGator, I’d recommend the Business plan. This includes a free SSL, free dedicated IP, and a free Positive SSL upgrade. All of these features are great for security and will help to increase your SEO.
HostGator also provide 24/7/365 support, instant backups (in case anything goes wrong with your site), and a 99.9% uptime guarantee.
#6: GoDaddy (Best for Server Location)
|✔ Unmetered bandwidth on all hosting plans||✖ Expensive compared to other hosts|
|✔ Free Office 365 Email for the 1st year and free domain name||✖ No free SSL on lower plans|
|✔ Choice of server location|
Server location is important. If your chosen web host doesn’t have a server located near your visitors, it may be time to rethink your hosting provider. The further away the server is, the slower your website will load, creating a poor user experience. This, in turn, will negatively affect your SEO.
GoDaddy offers a selection of server locations which include:
- North America
Whilst these server locations are quite broad, they should enable you to choose a location more suitable to your audience. Some web hosts will only have one server location, and in most cases, this is in the U.S.
If server location is a problem for you, you may want to consider cloud hosting. Cloud hosting doesn’t use a single server location, instead, it uses satellites in space, so you may receive a better service this way. Cloud hosting can be more expensive than shared hosting, so it’s worth checking out beforehand.
#7: A2 Hosting (Best for Money-back Guarantee)