Are web hosts notorious for not knowing much about SEO?
So this is come about from a discussion I was having with someone today on a webmaster forum after someone posted about the best way to migrate from one CMS to another. I made the suggestion that if they haven't ever done it before, to search Google to find guides and tutorials on doing it. Because they would be made by people who have done it before and found out things they overlooked and would be able to offer suggestions and tips on how to go about actually doing it and avoid those same pitfalls. Because converting from one CMS to another can leave you with a ton of broken links and you can loose rankings and traffic because of it.
One of the other suggestions I made was to contact their web host about it and ask them about it to see if they could offer any help, support and advice on doing it. And to see whether or not they offered to do it for them. (A great web host would like mine would (if they value their customers)). I suggested that because a good web host might well have experience in doing this. They may have a Knowledge Base on doing it and they may even offer to do it for them. Considering the OP in question has no real web design or development experience and hasn't done this before. And it would also give them a way to feel out what their hosting's support was like also.
But this one guy said that it's bad advice to contact your web host about it. And that most web hosts are notoriously bad for knowing about SEO. But this isn't so much about knowing about SEO as it is knowing about web design standards. And this isn't a really tricky thing either. You have to 301 some URLs (might be a lot of URLs) and the best way to do that is server-side using the .htaccess file. That much is a no brainer for anyone!
But he said that most web hosts are notoriously bad for knowing SEO. But that's not my experience of web hosts. Most web hosts I've been with have surprised me with what they know about SEO and web design and development.
The host I'm with now for instance, they're very SEO wise and probably know much more about SEO and web design than I do. And if this was something I wanted to do, they would probably offer to do it for me. And do it the right way too!
Example wrong way of doing it would be to just redirect all the broken links to the homepage and that's just a big no no and what the 301 rule is for. Most web hosts would know this and not do that and 301 all the old urls to the new ones.
But I digress! This isn't 1990! Any web host that doesn't know about something like this as well as most of the facets around SEO today isn't really what I would call a good web host that you should be with anyway!
But how much truth is there in this? Are webhosts notorious for not knowing SEO?
Have you ever experienced that with your or any webhost?