Every website needs hosting. However, shared hosting environments can create a harmful “noisy neighbor” effect.
The low cost of shared hosting is appealing. I completely get it. The problem is the risk is much higher.
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Cheap web hosts often flaunt unlimited bandwidth, visits, etc. Unfortunately, none of that matters if the hosting environment isn’t reliable.
A VPS or managed WordPress host sets reasonable limits. Realistic resource limits help ensure reliability. At the end of the day, we want reliability more than anything.
…cheap shared hosting options can in fact have a detrimental effect on the organic performance and rankings of the websites…Oliver Sissons of Reboot Online
The weaker resources will also affect the speed of your WordPress website, which in turn hurts your search engine rankings. It really comes down to user experience. Users don’t like waiting and Google knows it so they penalize slow websites.
Security is often an afterthought for webmasters. If you haven’t had to deal with a hack, it is easy to overlook. However, you’ll want to be very vigilant if your website is on a shared host. A shared host likely won’t set up brute force protection, help with security updates, or take remote backups of your site.
Even worse, if a hacker gains access to the server as a whole, your site can be even more vulnerable. Some people will even buy hosting just to try and hack the server.
Very few sites set up on a shared hosting environment are vetted. The problem is some of these sites have bad intentions; like sending out thousands of spam emails. These types of practices will get the whole server IP blacklisted.
Once an IP is blacklisted, this will spell problems for your contact form emails and search engine optimization. Emails coming from that server will be marked as spam and you’ll potentially miss leads for your business.
In regards to search engines, they want to protect their users. Most will remove sites that are blacklisted completely from search results. Or if they detect a hack, they’ll warn potential visitors.
Does shared hosting negatively affect SEO?
Shared hosting can be perfectly fine for SEO as long as there are no security or resource issues. The problem is these problems tend to occur more often in these shared environments.
Is “noisy neighbor” hosting worth it?
Is the additional risk of shared hosting worth saving a few bucks? For a personal or fun site, it could be fine. For a business, it is definitely worth investing in a more reliable host.
Most managed hosts give you additional benefits beyond just reliability and security. You often get built-in caching (helps with speed), backups, staging environments, and more.
To get the same with a shared hosting environment you likely end up investing the same amount of money anyway. Skip the “noisy neighbor” hosting plan and get a managed WordPress host.
If you are unsure about your hosting setup, try running a reverse IP lookup. Ideally, you don’t want to share a space with any more than 50 other sites. You’re definitely starting to get into “noisy neighbor” territory if there are more than 100 other sites.