A New Dedicated Server For Faster And More Reliable Performance

I purchased a new dedicated server a couple of weeks ago and today I’m moving my blog over to this new box. In fact, if you are reading this post, then you are doing so via my new server. I did a bunch of research before making my decision since it’s not something I want to be changing often. It’s also a big investment for my new company at $220 per month / $2,640 per year. Since I don’t have heavy traffic (yet) I could have gone with shared hosting, but you sacrifice so much with shared hosting including intermittent performance issues and downtime. Since Terran Marketing is an online affiliate marketing company, I think it’s important to have a good backbone in my hosting company. In the end I selected HostGator as my hosting company.

I went with HostGator for several reasons. 1) Their pricing was very competitive. 2) I’ve used them before via a HostGator reseller (SEO Hosting) and their support proved to be quite good. They have 24/7 email, phone, and chat support. I’ve just been using the chat support, which takes an average of less than 3 minutes to connect to. They’ve been able to answer my questions within minutes every single time. Since I’ve been out of the IT game for quite a while this has been invaluable. 3) All their servers come with cPanel, which I’m used to working with at my previous hosting company. Since I don’t know Linux very well this (cPanel) is another nice feature.

I selected HostGator’s “Standard Dedicated Server” package, which is one level above their lowest package. The bottom of the line package is $174 a month vs the $219 that I’m paying. An extra $45 per month is a decent chunk of change, but there were some features I really needed. I really wanted 4 GB of memory, dual hard disk drives (so a drive crash can’t take me down), and the 13 dedicated IP addresses. I plan on running about 10 sites on this box, so the IP addresses were important to me. I already moved one of my projects, WordPress Themes, over to the new server and I couldn’t be happier with everything so far.

Why good web hosting is so important for your website

A good customer experience: All of us have been to a website that loads slow – it’s frustrating. Many customers / readers will just click away when this happens. You know the old saying, you only have one chance to make a first impression. There are so many sites on the Internet that your first chance will most likely be your only chance in most cases. Google has done a study about how speed effects visitors. It’s very interesting. It’s also leads to my next point…

Faster sites = Higher rankings: Back in April 2010, Google admitted that website speed now effects SERPs (Search Engine Results Pages). Google says that “we’re obsessed with speed” which makes me obsessed with speed. There are 100’s of things you can do to make your site load faster, but all of them are useless unless you have a solid web host. I’ll be posting a follow-up article about several things you can do to decrease load times on your site apart from a good web host.


  1. Why is it important to you to have a unique IP address for each site you run on the server. Is it SEO benefits when you interlink the sites?

    • That is correct. It has been speculated for a long time that Google “discounts” interlinking coming from the same IP address. This has spurred on hosting companies that dedicate themselves on providing shared hosting, but with dedicated class C IP addresses. Examples of this are companies like seohosting.com and seowebhosting.net. The dedicated server I purchased at host gator came with 13 dedicated class C IP addresses.

  2. I use HostGator and have been curious if there was any practical difference between different IPs and different c-blocks for some time. I didn’t see any mention of different c-blocks in HostGator’s descriptions of their hosting plans so I opened a support ticket. Their response was:
    The only option we have at this time for you to have IP addresses from different c-blocks would be to go with our SEO hosting. You can get more information about this at seohosting.com. At this time on our VPS and Dedicated when you buy more IP addresses they are completely random and usually are in the same c-block.

    Regarding different IPs vs. different c-blocks the only evidence I know of is from SEOmoz:
    Followed IPs… is our highest correlated (to Google rankings) single link-based metric
    I haven’t paid for access to their API but the description indicates that they distinguish between IPs and c-blocks, among many other things, in their measurements.

    I figure you know a lot more about SEO than me so I was wondering if you have any better information on this issue?

    And of course if Google looks at nameservers, can see IP owners, or can see private WHOIS info (they own a registrar if I remember correctly) all my efforts may be in vain.

    • Self Made,

      It’s funny because I recently contacted HostGator with the exact same question. I was using SEO Hosting which solved the C block issue. However, it didn’t solve my issue with shared hosting. I really wanted to get on a dedicated box. I’m not sure why they can provide different C block addresses with SEO Hosting and not HostGator. The class C addresses I got with my dedicated box are actually sequential, something that is sure not to fool Google.

      I first got wind of Google comparing IP addresses back in 2005. At that point I became obsessed with having all of our sites on different hosts, different name servers, and even different registrars.

      However, I’m now less concerned with this. The reason is I’ve come to the conclusion that content is king. I know it sounds cliché since you hear this all the time, but it really is true. I now spend the vast majority of my time creating high-quality websites with useful / interesting content that people will naturally link to. A great example of this is a site I started in 2008 called Poker News Daily. We never purchased a single link for the site. We never worried about playing games to rank higher with Google. We simply worried about posting the highest quality content and focusing on on-page optimization issues. We also focused on strong interlinking to pages we cared most about. Less than two years later PND now ranks on the first page for just about everything it posts.

      The main reason I’ve adopted this philosophy is because in the end this is what Google wants. This is what Google will always want. I can’t tell you how many times we been affected by some type of Google penalty. I can’t tell you how many sleepless nights I’ve spent worrying about the next Google change in algorithm. The folks at Google are very smart. While they might always be one or two steps behind black hat SEOers, or even gray hat SEOers, they always figure out a way around things. In the end what they are really trying to do is rank the best content for any one search result the highest. So in the end, my best advice is to spend more time worrying about content and less time worrying about how to “trick” Google (I don’t mean trick in a bad way).

      Hopefully this answers your question and give you some insight into my SEO philosophy.


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