There are many tasks to complete when trying to make your online business successful, including choosing one of the best website builders (opens in new tab)web hosting security and choosing the best web hosting (opens in new tab) Services can often feel like a lower priority, especially if you consider all hosts to be very similar.
However, this is not the case, if you cut corners when choosing a web hosting service (opens in new tab)you may be making your website vulnerable to hacking, security risks, and suspensions that can permanently affect your brand and business.
We’re here to explain how your web hosting security can be the key to your website’s security (opens in new tab)and why it’s an integral part of securing your web hosting services (opens in new tab) Safety features are cutting edge.
With shared hosting, security is a common concern
When first starting out online, many small businesses choose shared hosting because it is the cheapest option. Shared hosting means that your website’s files are stored on a server that is shared with hundreds or even thousands of other websites. This reduces costs, but introduces too many security concerns.
With shared hosting, even if your own website is very secure, hackers can exploit the security holes of other websites hosted on the same infrastructure as you. You have no control over the software other people install on a shared web server, and when hackers can exploit weaknesses in other sites, they can often access all of your files as well.
Even if you work diligently to update your software and patch potential security holes, if others on your shared hosting don’t, there is a risk of being attacked. This is especially likely to happen if file and directory permissions on shared hosting are weak, making it easy for hackers to gain access to all websites on the server once they get in.
Exploited sites can mean long pauses
If your hosting provider finds a potential vulnerability on your website, that hosting provider may suspend your website until you fix the problem. Responsible shared hosting providers suspend infected sites as soon as possible so as not to affect other server users.
This could spell disaster for your brand reputation and your SEO (opens in new tab) effort. You need some time to patch the web hosting security hole, notify the host that it’s patched, wait for them to double check your site is secure, and finally reactivate your site. During this time, your customers will be doing business elsewhere.
Unless you’re a website security expert, if your site gets suspended like this, you’re likely to get stuck. The web host will tell you that there is an issue that needs to be fixed before your website can go live again, but you will have to get a professional to fix it for you.
Trying to patch security holes will waste valuable time, especially if professionals may not be familiar with your specific website. The obvious alternative to this potentially confusing situation is to opt for managed private server hosting over shared hosting.
Not only are your files hosted on a private server that you don’t share with anyone else, but the hosting provider also handles all the security of the server. In the event of a web hosting security breach, as part of your contract with them, the hosting provider will quickly resolve the issue.
Is managing the security of your website the best use of your time?
The type of web hosting and hosting plan you choose has a big impact on how much time and effort you need to spend on website security.
Overall, if you choose the cheapest shared hosting, you will be struggling with security issues all the time, and choosing a reliable private shared hosting provider will give you time to take care of your business’s primary interests.
Find a hosting provider that meets your needs
It’s easy to say that you should choose the most powerful private web hosting because it’s the most secure, but it’s also the most expensive, and businesses must also consider their bottom line.
Finding the right type of web hosting and the best web hosting for your needs requires you to assess the skills of your IT staff and how important security is to your business. If your brand is going to suffer hugely from extended website downtime, it makes sense to pay more for managed private hosting.
Shared, private and managed server hosting all have their pros and cons. If you decide to use shared hosting, you need to have a good understanding of how the provider handles security.
Check the web host’s website or email its support staff. Will the staff help you secure your website before it goes live? How do web hosts respond to exploits? Does it provide uptime guarantees and protection from DOS (Denial of Service) attacks? How often do backups take place and how long does it take to restore backups?
The answers to these questions will help you determine which hosting providers offer the best web hosting security and support for your business at an affordable price.
Further reading on web hosting
For more information, read our article asking what is web hosting (opens in new tab)which will tell you all about choosing a web hosting provider (opens in new tab) and hosting type. Learn more about SEO and hosting in our article asking if web hosting affects SEO (opens in new tab)and outlines nine tips that can improve your site’s ranking (opens in new tab).