With so many tasks to go through when it comes to making an online business successful, including choosing one of the best website builders, web hosting security, and choosing the best web host can often seem like a chore. lower priority, especially if you think all hosts are very important. Similary.
However, the reality is that they are not, and if you take shortcuts when choosing a web host, you can leave your website vulnerable to hacking, security risks, and suspensions, which could permanently affect your brand and business.
We explain here how the security of your web host is key to the security of your website and why it is critical to ensure that the security features of your web host are state of the art.
With shared hosting, security is a shared concern
When starting online, many small businesses choose shared hosting because it is the cheapest option. Shared hosting means that your website files are stored on a server that is shared with hundreds or even thousands of other websites. This keeps costs low, but presents a host of security concerns.
With shared hosting, even if your own website is highly secure, a hacker can take advantage of security flaws on other websites hosted on the same infrastructure as you. You have no control over the software that other people install on the shared web server, and when a hacker can exploit a weakness on other sites, they can often access all of your files as well.
Even if you diligently update your software and fix potential security holes, if other people on your shared hosting don’t do this, there is the possibility of an attack. This is especially likely if the file and directory permissions on the shared host are weak, making it easy for a hacker to gain access to all the websites on the server once they have breached one.
An exploited site could mean a prolonged suspension
In the event that your hosting provider discovers a potential exploit on your website, the host can suspend your site until it has rectified the problem. Responsible shared hosting providers suspend compromised sites as quickly as possible before they affect other server users.
This can spell disaster for your brand’s prestige and your SEO efforts. It will take time for you to repair the web hosting security hole, inform the host that it is patched, wait for them to verify that your site is secure again, and finally reactivate your website. During this time, your clients go elsewhere with their business.
Unless you are a website security professional, you may find yourself at a standstill if your site is suspended in this way. Your web host will tell you that there is a problem you need to fix before your site can get back up and running, but you need to find a professional to fix it.
Precious time will be wasted trying to fix the security breach, especially since the professional may not be familiar with your particular website. The obvious alternative to this potentially tricky situation is to choose managed private server hosting over shared hosting.
Not only are your files hosted on a private server that is not shared with anyone else, but the hosting provider also handles all the security of the servers. If a web hosting security breach occurs, it is up to the hosting provider to quickly fix the problem as part of their contract with them.
Is managing your website security the best use of your time?
The web hosting and the type of hosting plan you choose make a huge difference in the amount of time and effort you need to put into securing your website.
In general, if you choose the cheapest shared hosting, you will be struggling with security issues all the time, while choosing a reliable private shared hosting provider will free you up to take care of the main interests of your business.
Find the hosting provider that meets your needs
It would be easy to say that you should simply choose the strongest private web host available, as it is the most secure, but it is also the most expensive, and businesses need to consider its bottom line as well.
Finding the right type of web host and the best web host for your needs requires you to assess the skills of your IT staff and the importance of security to your business. If your brand would suffer greatly from prolonged website downtime, paying more for managed private hosting makes sense.
Shared, private, and managed server hosting has its pros and cons. If you go for shared hosting, you should have a good idea of how the provider handles security.
Check the web host’s website or email their support staff. Will staff help you protect your website before it goes live? How does the web host respond to vulnerabilities? Does it offer an uptime guarantee and protection against DOS (Denial Of Service) attacks? How often are backups done and how long does it take to restore backups?
The answers to these questions will help you decide which hosting providers offer the best web hosting security and support for your business at a reasonable price.
More information on web hosting
For more information, read our article asking what is web hosting, which will tell you everything you need to know about choosing your web host and the types of hosting. Learn more about SEO and hosting in our articles by asking if web hosting affects SEO and outlining nine tips that can improve a website’s ranking.