Choosing a Web Host – Is Server Security Your Top Priority?

Your web host is critical to your website and online business – are you looking at the right things when considering a hosting service?

General Features & Pricing

Casual users usually focus on pricing and general features when searching for a web host. Some common questions they ask include:

  • Is this the cheapest web host in market?
  • How much does it cost if I upgrade later?
  • Does it allow unlimited email accounts?
  • How many domain names can I add to the same account?
  • How many data base can I have in one account?
  • How much storage do I get in the plan?
  • Can I install a forum apps in a few clicks?
  • Does it come with live chat support?

Hosting Performance

As Google and various marketing experts stressing over page load speed, advanced website owners tend to be asking a little more than these generic questions.

  • Is this hosting service reliable?
  • What is your uptime record for the past 12 – 18 months?
  • How fast is the server response?
  • What is the uptime guarantees?
  • Do I get to ask for a refund if the host goes down frequently?
“WPX is the fastest WordPress host…” according to Matthew’s test.

It’s no surprise that more and more companies are teaming up with key opinion leaders and use data to “sell” their products. WPX Hosting, for instance, work with high profile bloggers Matthew Woodward and SEO guru Matt Diggity, to run tests and brand themselves as the “best WordPress host” in market.

Marketers develop testing tools to help users measure hosting speed. Data from host monitoring systems and tool makers like Hrank, FreshPing, Pingdom, Hostscore, and WebpageTest is used in various “unbiased” hosting reviews to convince end users.

Then Comes Server Security …

Server security, sadly, comes down to an ignoble last place in the list.

Digital Ocean erased customer’s data and literally killed a startup company in May 2019. Hostinger servers were accessed by unknown third party and forced to reset millions of users’ password in August 2019.

We get breaking news on website owners data / privacy being compromised due to hosting provider’s operation loopholes every now and then.

Yet average consumers’ priorities remain unchanged –

  • What’s the cheapest plan in market?
  • Can I host unlimited domain in my account?
  • Can you load my website fast (so I can rank higher at Google)?

It’s scary that many security aspects in a web host are completley out of the website owner’s control. It’s even scarier when you see how little focus was given to server security.

Thing is – your web host security is not one of those “nice-to-have” features. It’s necessity. A host that doesn’t guarantee your website reliability and accessibility is a failed operation.

What is the point of building a website that you are not 100% sure that it’ll still be there tomorrow morning? What’s the point to create topnotch content when some of your users may not be able to access it because of server downtime and malware?

If you care about hosting security, these are the questions you should ask:

  • Is Let’s Encrypt SSL auto setup for my websites?
  • Does the web host handle SSL updates?
  • What is your back up policy?
  • How often is backup peformed?
  • How do I restore my website data?
  • Is there any mechanism to mitigate Distributed Denial of Service (DDoS) attack?
  • Do you implement firewall?
  • How often are your firewall rules reviewed and updated?

In the never-ending quest for the best web host, consumers are likely prioritise one thing over another. That’s okay – since we all have different websites have different needs. But the next time when you choose a new web host – it would be wise to also check out their security features.