Web hosting refers to a service provided by the web host to websites to make them available for the users on the internet. It gives you space on its server that allows you to post your website on the internet. Without a web host or web hosting, your site can not be viewed by the users, so after creating a site, you will need a web hosting service.
The web host stores your website or webpages in high-powered computers, which are known as Servers. When Internet users want to view your website, all they need to do is type your website address or domain into their browser. Their computer will then connect to your server, and your webpages will be delivered to them through the browser.
Thus, the server and Hosting is an important on-page optimization factor, and therefore you need to be very careful while choosing a web hosting company. A right hosting company doesn't do anything special to boost your rankings, but it is aware of SEO and will not do anything that can harm the SEO of your site. You are required to have a domain for hosting. If you do not have a domain, the hosting companies will help you purchase one.
A Hosting Provider offers you the following benefits:
Email Accounts: The hosting provider offers you the email account features that allows you to create domain email accounts, e.g., email@example.com
FTP Access: It allows you to upload your files from your local computer to your web server. In a website, which is created by using HTML files, the website owner can transfer the files from your computer to the web server through FTP, which allows your website to be accessed through the internet.
WordPress Support: WordPress is an online tool to create websites. It handles more than 25% of websites on the internet. The hosting provider will inform you if their plans are compatible or not with WordPress before you buy hosting. However, the hosting requirements for a WordPress Website include PHP version 7 or greater; MySQL version 5.6 or greater.
How a hosting provider can affect your SEO
SEO is a set of activities or factors that help your website gain more exposure to search engines. Some of such activities or factors are directly affected by your web hosting company, e.g., Speed, Uptime, Security, and SEO knowledge, and more.
1) Website speed:
It is an important SEO factor that affects on page SEO. If your site loads fast, the users will be more satisfied, and there will be more conversions. A web host with adequate resources and better datacenter infrastructure and hardware can help improve the speed of your site. You just need to have a well-coded site, optimized codes, and images as the coding and configuration of your site can also make it slow to load.
2) Website availability:
It is another factor that affects on page SEO as search engines avoid redirecting users to unavailable sites. They can remove such sites from their index temporarily or permanently. It is the job of a web hosting provider to ensure your website is available all the time. Otherwise, it can harm your online reputation. Apart from this, you are required to renew your domain and hosting regularly as it is also one of the reasons for the non-availability of a site.
3) Server Downtime:
The server downtime affects websites frequently. It indicates a non-reliable web host. It not only affects the performance of a website but also brings down its SERP and SEO. For example, when a site is down, it will not show up on SERPs when Google gets a query of related content of that website. Eventually, it will downgrade the website's ranking and increase the bounce rate that will affect the website's authority. So, to ensure better uptime for your site, you should opt for the best web host for your website.
3) Website security:
You should take every possible measure to secure your site, and the hosting provider should also do the same thing. An unprotected site is more prone to hacking and malware infection, and if any such thing happens, it may result in domain blacklisting and de-indexing. One important way to establish trust on your site is an SSL (secure sockets layer) certificate. It encrypts the exchange of data that occurs between your server and the user's browser. So, if you want to get HTTPs for your site, you can purchase an SSL certification from sites like SSLs.com or check with your web host as most of the hosting companies offer free SSL certification.
4) SEO knowledge:
Your hosting provider must be aware of SEO and its basic rules so that they can identify the tasks that are not good for SEO and can avoid them.
There may be certain unavoidable circumstances like a malicious attack or a natural disaster that may erase a server farm's physical location. In such cases, a complete website or business would come to an end abruptly. So, one has to start again from scratch, which is not an easy task. So, to protect your business or site, it is vital to have backups of your site. They are many hosting providers that offer backup services out of the box. Accordingly, you may choose the right host.
6) Shared Hosting Issues:
Small sites or businesses often take shared hosting to reduce expenses. But, it may cause some serious issues. For example, the other sites on the server may be spammy or of low-quality. The other reason is that Google has limits on indexing sites, and it is based on IP addresses. So, if shared sites' IPs are already taking too much time of Google crawler, your site may not be indexed properly or updated in the search engine result pages.