Most people are quick to jump to the features and price when going for a website hosting space. Sorry to break it to you but, gone are the days when only such few things mattered. In today’s world, there is a lot you should keep in mind when deciding on a secure web host. Security is a requisite aspect of any website hosting. As such, it is important to ensure that the website host you choose guarantees it.
In the case of web hosting, security addressing can be obscure and tricky. Why? Well, because most of the security measures are out of your reach. By this, we mean that the hosting provider manages most of the security elements.
Amidst all these new concepts, you may get confused, especially if you are a beginner. Still and all, do not be worried. Below we look at the key things you should consider to ensure you choose a secure web host.
Backup and Restore
When it comes to web hosting, backups can come in handy in different scenarios. In the event files on your site become corrupted, you may need to do a restoration. Having a backup will allow you to get your files back and go on. Contrary to what most people think, incidents & attacks that can lead to data loss or corruption are not unheard of. Yahoo and Joyent are among the big companies that have been affected by data loss in the recent past.
To prevent this from being the case with your data, you are advised to choose a web host with an all-encompassing backup & restore the system. A web host that gives you an automated or one-click on-demand daily backup option would be a cut above and much better. The advantage of daily backups is that you get to restore the most recent version of data.
Malware Scanning and Protection
Malware refers to software designed to disrupt or damage your system. It can sometimes be extreme, to the point of effacing your data. Servers, just like any other system, are susceptible to these malware attacks.
It is good to be aware of your web host’s measures against malware. This way, you can be confident your site won’t be vulnerable to a malware attack. A secure web host should run malware scans regularly or support account isolation. Besides, it should support file integrity monitoring.
The Operating System on which web host server is based determines the security options available. The typical operating systems for web host servers are Linux and Windows. Of the two, the latter is vulnerable for it is the popular choice for commercial use.
That’s not all, though. Additional plug-ins and software come with unaccounted vulnerabilities. For instance, with CMS such as WordPress, you can install plug-ins. The web applications and plug-ins may compromise your site’s safety. Plug-ins and application updates come with patches that seal security loopholes in prior versions. For this reason, you should check whether your host supports application updates and the release of plug-ins it supports.
Perhaps the frequently asked question when it comes to SSL in relation to web hosting is “are SSL certificates included?” Secure Socket Layer (SSL) is a protocol that allows secure communication between the browser and the server. Today’s browsers will indicate which sites use SSL or not using a green icon or shape. In addition to assuring users, SSL certificates keep your website safe. It is economical and smart to choose a host that includes the SSL certificate in its package for free.
Secure File Transfer Protocol is a useful tool when you need to do a little customization, upload some files, and carry out the site’s maintenance, amongst many other activities. While the File Transfer Protocol works the same way, it is vulnerable.
To make your work activity secure, you will need a web hosting that provides the SFTP option. A secure web host should make the information easily accessible too. Hosts that afford you their own FTP clients are the best choice. Not only does this provision offer convenience, but it is also a solid alternative compared to third-party FTP clients.
DDoS Mitigation Options
It is never a pretty sight when Distributed Denial of Services hits your site. DDoS attacks flood your web host with multiple requests. These requests can overwhelm and bring down the host. DDoS attacks can be so massive that they can’t be overcome using primary security measures. In the past, websites such as GitHub have been overwhelmed by these attacks.
To prevent this from affecting your work, it is best to choose a web host that has adequate mitigation measures against DDoS attacks. Mitigation options include CDNs. Content Delivery Networks such as Cloudflare can be crucial in such cases. CDNs absorb DDoS attacks while allowing the server to handle manageable loads. Before settling on a web host, it is advisable to check whether it makes use of CDNs. While at it, you should also learn about the mitigation protocols available.
Server Reliability & Uptime
Uptime refers to the time your site is online, and visitors can access it. As an advertising scheme, several hosts may claim to offer 100% uptime. However, that is far from true for the majority of the hosts. Apart from cloud hosting, no other host plan can guarantee 100% uptime. Web hosts run on different servers. In the case of an invasion, a weak server will go down. As a result, your site will be offline. Apart from lowering your SEO ranking, this will also deny your platform viewership.
In the case your site is a trading platform e.g., an e-commerce site, the outcome will even worse. You may suffer a significant loss due to the reduction in sales. For this reason, it is prudent to go for a host with a 99.5+% uptime score. The host should also be able to reimburse you for the downtime, although this is only an optional feature. Some attacks can make your site may be offline for long. Consequently, you should also inquire about the protocol in the event of lengthy downtime. At the user level, it is preferable to have a reliable hosting stopgap fix just in case.
Firewalls provide further extra security and safeguard your site. You should make inquiries on whether the host implements firewalls. Also, you should ask about the firewall update & review policy. Errors during the configuration of a firewall can result in hostile traffic to your site. By and large, this may render your site offline or cause data loss. Before arriving at your choice of secure web hosting, you must consider this.
Manual Reboot Option
Manual reboot refers to the service that allows you to restart your server –dedicated or virtual. Although most people generally turn a blind eye to this feature, it can be beneficial. The manual reboot option can be handy when carrying updates. By the same token, it can save you when your server is having problems.
Getting the perfect and secure web host is, no doubt, an uphill task. This explains why most people prefer going with web hosts that meet their top priorities. Although we have covered several aspects, these are not all. Other useful features that you need to consider are customer support and the ability to add domains. We hope that you have the awareness you need when choosing a secure web host. To help, we created the hosting finder tool that you can use to find the best hosting for your particular needs.