Security Factors to Consider While Choosing A Web Host

By: Jav Zeb Iqbal.
Last Updated: May 18, 2021.

Congrats!! I heard that your website is now ready to be launched on the internet. Excited, aren’t you? But in your excitement, don’t give up on your search for a trustworthy web host for your website.

There are ample web hosts in the market, of which the majority claim to provide ample benefits relating to bandwidth, speed, and disk space.

But in this crazy internet world, there are so many web hosting service providers who aren’t as trustworthy as they promise to be.

Not each one has the resource or infrastructure to fulfill your website’s requirement. I would rather give more weightage to an efficient technical team and robust security provided by the web host, which is more vital than the parameters mentioned above. 

The upsurge in cyber-crime, which estimates damages at $6 trillion in 2021 (globally), is a scary thought. While choosing an ideal web hosting service provider, business owners are more petrified since most of the security facets are in control of web hosts. 

You gain income from your website, and hence it needs a secured place
to reside. Therefore, you need to think twice before choosing a trustworthy
residence (web host) for your website.

I have pinned down a few of the pivotal factors you need to check out before selecting your ideal web host.

Factors to Consider Before Selecting a Web Host:

Software Security:

Each server consists of software that functions with operating systems. Your web host’s operating systems define the security levels that business owners can implement for their website security. This is generally applicable to VPS (Virtual Private Server) and other assigned servers.

In the majority of the cases, web hosts run on any of these types of servers, i.e., Windows-based or Linux-based. Both these servers have their security protocols.

Irrespective of the server used by your host, ensure:

  • How does your web host take care of software updates?
  • What would be the frequency of main software updates?
  • Do they have an auto-update option?
  • How many server administrators are present?
  • How does the web host take care of technical glitches?
  • How experienced is the web hosting service provider in the industry?

Ensure to update your software applications regularly and use the current versions of PHP scripts for security.

Backup & Restore:

Backups and restoration of websites are needed in case of unwanted disasters. An excellent backup plan is directly related to website security. 

Backups are very important, and hence web owners should find out what backup plans the web host offers for securing your website. Do check out the disaster alleviation policies mentioned in the service agreements also.

Server-level backups and user-level restoration services are an ideal choice.

Check:

  • How is the backup process carried out? 
  • What is the frequency of scheduled backups? i.e., daily, fortnightly or monthly
  • Can you download or ingress your backups?
  • Can they give you an instant backup and restoration process?
  • What is the length of the archive cycles?

To ensure restoring the entire site or a major portion of the same, with the least downtime to lessen damages in case of contingency is the sign of a good web hosting service provider.

SSL Availability and Support:

Security of private data and financial transactions is a necessity, and hence apart from other security measures, your web host must deliver SSL certificates. 

Ample web hosting services provide free SSL certificates like the Let’s Encrypt for securing your website.

SSL (Secure Socket Layer) is a digital protocol installed on a website for encryption security. This encrypted communication between the client and the server assures visitors about their data privacy and authenticity.

Google, too, motivates sites to use an SSL certificate for ensuring a secure environment. 

Trust icons like HTTPS (Hyper-Text Transfer Protocol Secure) in the address bar and a green padlock in the URL are visible when an SSL certificate is installed on the website. Popular browsers all welcome SSL sites and display a “Not Secure” warning in the absence of the same. 

SSL installation tools (AutoInstall SSL) are also offered by web hosts, which permit options covering all SSL validations, i.e., DV, OV, and EV. This encryption security support proves the capabilities and resources of a web host. 

BlueHost, HostGator, GreenGeeks, etc., are a few of the best free SSL hosting providers. Relying on a web host for an SSL certificate is fine, but being a website owner, you can also use SSL security to secure your website. 

Purchase an SSL certificate from Cheap SSL Shop, which offers a range of SSL products at discounted rates, which are ideal for your digital business.

DDoS Attack Mitigation:

Distributed Denial of Service (DDoS) cyber-attacks are meant to conquer the web hosts by burdening them with colossal requests. This burden interrupts the functions of the web hosts, who are unable to alleviate the attacks. 

The ideal solution in this situation is to check out for a web host combined with CDN (Content Delivery Networks) like Cloudflare. 

Since this CDN serves work in groups, they can prevent websites from DDoS attacks

Check:

  • Does your host have an association with CDN?
  • What is the level of support offered by the web host in case of a DDoS attack situation?
  • What are their alleviation protocols to secure the site?

Firewall Protection:

A firewall is a web security solution that filters unwanted traffic and protects your network from intruders. Your web host can increase firewall security to prevent malicious traffic from reaching your website. 

Apart from web hosting companies, business owners also use firewalls for safeguarding network traffic. There are web application firewalls too, which secure discreet web applications.

Check:

  • Does your web host have firewall security?
  • How are the firewall policies specified?

Support:

The most assuring factor which a web hosting provider can provide its clients is technical support. Many times, clients face some server queries, which they are unable to resolve by themselves. Here the need of a strong and effective client support team is needed to solve the issue. 

The web hosting service provider should ensure ample communication points from where the clients can reach out to their company for their queries. 

Clients should be able to talk freely at their convenient time to the hosting provider’s concerned representative in case of technical issues.  

An ideal way to resolve client issues is to have a live chat option 24/7 or a telephone.

Check:

  • Is the web host customer support representative capable of identifying technical glitches and fixing the same?
  • Can the technical support team restore the site or pour suggestions on how to troubleshoot the site if needed? 
  • What is the resolution time taken by the web host representative for query resolve?

Many web hosts pass on their issues to lower-level support teams, which takes time to resolve the same. Ensure that the query resolution time is the least while choosing the best one.

You can also surf some social media platforms to check out the hosting provider’s reviews pinned by customers before choosing your web host.

Pricing:

You do business to earn profit. When your business is in the initial stage, you may be hesitant to select an expensive hosting plan. Hence many prefer free hosting services to save some extra bucks. 

But let me warn you that this is not a good idea. Apart from slow site speeds, servers of free hosting companies are overloaded, and hence you may experience less bandwidth. Minimal or no customer support and inadequate securities are a few more negatives.

You can choose shared hosting in case of average traffic, and in case your website is expecting a heavy flow of traffic, think about using dedicated servers.

Do check out your account’s renewal cost, too, and ensure that it does not end up being higher than your first payment.

Final Words:

The search for an ideal web host is long-lasting, but you need to pin down your priorities, check out the company offerings and select the best one which fulfills your needs.

 

Jav Zeb is a young and spirited British author with expertise in tutorial writing and product reviewing. She has completed AAT from the London School of Business and Finance, Birmingham. Interests: Drawing, Painting, Blog Writing, Interior Decor, and Reading. Living in: Erdington, Birmingham, West Midlands, UK. You may reach her at [email protected].

 

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Last Updated By on May 18th, 2021 in Learning

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