In most instances, choosing where to host your website is quite straightforward:
For Visitors From Your Own Country
- Use the correct country code domain for your country – widgets.com.au
- On your contact page list your address
- Mention your country on your home page – We Are Australia’s Leading Widget Supplier
- Use an local hosting service. Check with them that their servers are in fact local, and that they aren’t merely reselling a foreign service
For International Visitors
- Use .com, .net or .org for your domain name
- List your true address on your contact page, but don’t reference any country anywhere else on your site
- Use a hosting service in the country where you would like to get the most traffic from – for many people this will be the USA
Google and Bing personalise search results these days, and if they think local services would be the best result for you, that’s what you will receive. This is a good thing and they usually get it right. To achieve this, they look at the clues listed above.
Note: Google is presumed to also look at WHOIS information, however it is a requirement to use your proper contact details there so don’t fiddle with it!
Also, your choice of host and registrar can affect your legal jurisdiction – read this information if you feel you could potentially be sued or charged for being a spammer etc (if you have un-moderated content on your site like comments, for example)