The internet is flooded with thousands of companies offering to host your website. You may think it’s the last thing you should worry about and that any old host will do. You couldn’t be more wrong. In the crazy competitive legal SEO world, a top-of-the-line web host is critical to your success.
Qualities to Look for in a Web Host
- History. How long have they been in business? I dare say starting a web hosting company is the easiest business to start on the internet. They come and go so fast. It’s so easy for someone to purchase a VPS (virtual private server), dedicated server, or reseller share hosting. With no experience, anyone can sell web hosting. Don’t get swindled by some kid (full disclosure: I sold web hosting when I was 16) who has no idea what they’re doing.
- Reviews. Does the web host have a healthy dose of 4-star and 5-star reviews? Look at not only reviews on the uptime and overall quality of hosting, but the level of technical and customer support. Even the professionals need to contact their hosting support every now and then.
- Speed. How fast is the web host? In today’s SEO landscape, speed is critical. Not only does a slow-loading website present an awful user experience, speed is also a ranking factor. Make sure the web host has blazing fast connections, servers located in your country, and an environment using all best practices and tweaks that are tuned for performance and speed.
- Free SSL Certificates. Does the web host offer its customers free SSL certificates? With amazing projects like Let’s Encrypt there is no reason they shouldn’t. There is no reason whatsoever that a law firm should have to pay crazy fees for an SSL certificate. SSL certificates make your website accessible over the HTTPS protocol, making your visitors’ connections secure. You not only want this, you need this. Using HTTPS to serve your pages is not only a ranking factor, Google Chrome will show website visitors a “not secure” warning if you don’t use it.
- Backups. Backups are mandatory. Your website will break, and you need to have the ability to restore from a backup quickly and efficiently.
- Enterprise-Grade Security. Does the web host offer enterprise-grade security to help protect your website from malicious attacks? Outside of potential security vulnerabilities to your website, there are vulnerabilities to the servers it sits on. Make sure the team behind the web host has a proven track record of keeping them secure.
You get the idea now. While this list doesn’t cover everything, it covers some of the most important points. The thought process you go through and ultimately the decision you make regarding your web host is critical to the success of your website and its SEO.
At Legal InSites, we love WPEngine. It’s by far the best web hosting experience we’ve ever had the pleasure of using. WPEngine only hosts WordPress websites, but chances are your website is running on WordPress. If it’s not, then you should consider making the switch. WordPress is the leading content management system on the internet and is recommended by SEO agencies everywhere.
Seriously, you can’t go wrong with WPEngine. Top notch.