Why is paid hosting important for SEO?

People think that building a website with free hosting providers like Weebly, Wix, WordPress.com, Blogger, etc. gives them the ability to focus on content and get rid of all the hassle of hosting. Probably most new webmasters don’t even realize the importance of controlling the hosting server. Free hosting is good for small sites and people don’t want to invest more money in their site.

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hosting important for SEO The root directories of the website are located on the hosting server. You need access to them to control the behavior of your site. When you plan to create a larger site, it becomes impossible to manage the site without root access. In addition, you also need to have full control over content backup and disaster recovery.

Life Cycle of Bloggers

The general cycle for webmasters, especially bloggers, is as follows:

  • Bloggers start their site with free website builders and leave the site without continuing for a period of time.
  • After the first problems with free hosting providers, barely 20% of bloggers are moving their sites to shared hosting plans.
  • Only 5% of bloggers continue long term by finally moving to a dedicated hosting server and properly maintaining their site.

The last category of 5% of bloggers may have lost at least a few years and many sleepless nights before finally realizing the importance of paid hosting. The purpose of this article is to inform readers about the importance of paid hosting before spending several years understanding the real facts.

Free hosting – a curse or a blessing?

Free hosting with free subdomain

Typically, free hosting comes with a free subdomain offered by many companies such as Weebly, Blogger, WordPress.com, etc. For example, a free site built with Weebly will have an address like http://my-site -name. weebly.com. At first glance, creating a website for free may seem very attractive. However, the fact is that free has its limitations.

Think about the following points:

  • Do you remember reading an article on any single site or blog running on a free subdomain for ten years or more? Probably not, or very little. Think about why free sites can’t compete for years and have died out of the web?
  • A free subdomain is an easy way to get popular for service companies and not your own brand. Most companies advertise on their subdomains hosted on free hosting, which deprives readers of trust in your site. Will you ever buy from http://someone-selling-items.weebly.com?
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Free hosting, even for personal blogs, is not good when intrusive ads are shown.

Free hosting with custom domain

This is another option that people think they can save money spent on hosting by hiding free hosting from visitors. Unfortunately, this is not always the case for visitors; as the site owner, you need control over the content. Consider the following scenarios when you still need paid hosting for your site:

  • You want to redirect your own subdomain page to another site or subdomain. Maximum free hosts allow you to set 301 redirects for the same domain in the frontend without access to the .htaccess file. Have you seen the page you are visiting asking you to enter a human verification code? How did people impose such restrictions on their websites or block certain IP addresses from certain countries? You don’t have to be a technical expert to do this. For such restrictions, it is enough to add small codes to the .htaccess file.
  • Have you thought about improving your Sitemap? For example, a Sitemap index file will consist of many Sitemaps from that site, such as posts, pages, images, etc. Free hosts offer hard Sitemaps with minimal features, which may not be enough as your site grows in size.
  • The most important factor is control over the backup. Free hosts may offer email or XML backup, which may not be fully compatible with other hosting platforms. Moving a free hosted site will be a nightmare when you decide to move to a paid hosting platform.

Why choose paid hosting?

Some free hosting providers allow users to modify the original HTML/CSS. This is a hidden trick that encourages users to spend a lot of time decorating their free site. Users should understand that this is not the same as accessing root directories. Below are a few simple reasons why a website owner uses paid hosting services:

  • Restrict access to directories using the robots.txt file.
  • Redirects and other settings via .htaccess file.
  • Installing software such as plugins on your site to take advantage of advanced features.
  • Backup and cleanup of your website content. For example, you can save all images in different subdomains for easy loading.
  • Uploading and downloading content to and from the server using FTP.
  • Easily handle ads on your site by placing ad code in source files or using ad management plugins.
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You can get quality support with paid hosting and install various types of CMS like WordPress, Drupal, Joomla, etc.

Paid hosting cost

As we mentioned earlier, free hosting is enough for those with limited needs. However, if you have a dream of building a larger and more famous facility, get ready to invest money and time. Take the scenario of having a custom domain with free hosting platforms. This can help you take advantage of additional benefits such as displaying AdSense ads for premium plans costing around $8 per month.

The same $8 per month is more than enough to get very good shared hosting services. You can get hosting from leading companies such as Bluehost, DreamHost, GoDaddy or HostGator. Perhaps adding a few more dollars will get you dedicated hosting with SSL, IP, daily backups and site security. Below is Bluehost’s price list for various shared hosting plans. It can provide you with a rough overview of industry-specific rates for paid hosting services:

Bluehost Pricing Plans
Bluehost Pricing Plans

While the rate is for the initial term, you can always move your site to another host that offers a better deal.

SEO and paid hosting

Apart from the above benefits, there are certain SEO benefits of using paid hosting.

  • Site migration and merging require redirection settings. You can easily do this with paid hosting services without losing your existing search rankings.
  • Search engines give more importance to page speed. Paid servers are lightning fast compared to slow free or shared hosting servers.
  • For content of the same type (competitors), search engines prefer sites with a personal domain and paid hosting.
  • You can block bad bots from crawling your site with paid hosting. Otherwise, it may affect the work of search robots and user interaction.
  • With paid hosting, it’s easy to integrate tracking and verification codes for analytics, webmaster tools, and more.
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Conclusion

If you are comfortable with a small site with larger goals, then your own domain with the possibility of free hosting is enough. However, you need to plan this from the beginning in order to run larger websites. Choosing the right hosting company is a crucial deal for many bloggers. Therefore, we highly recommend choosing a regular or dedicated hosting server. Although you don’t need it in the beginning, it will be the only solution later on when your site gets good traffic.

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