In this article, I will focus on introducing different types of web host and clarifying main web hosting security concerns to examine in a hosting provider.
Whether your site is used for personal purpose or runs as a business, security is of utmost importance. Surely, being attacked and loss of data are the nightmares for every website. Do you know that approximately 41% of WordPress websites were hacked due to security vulnerability on the host? That figure somehow reflects how necessary it is to have a quality host.
Determine a hosting plan that is right for you
Browsing through websites that offer hosting service, you will be overwhelmed by many different plans and don’t know where to start. The tip here is first to be able to understand what they are.
There are three main types of hosting: Shared Hosting, Virtual Private Server (VPS) Hosting, and Dedicated Server Hosting.
Dedicated Server Hosting
An entire physical server is exclusively dedicated to your only website. Just one account on a server, not shared with anyone else. You have complete control over the server, make any wanted changes in the system. With many advantages, this hosting plan is the most expensive one.
Your website is highly protected against web attacks. Since there’s only your account in the server, you are not affected by harmful activities of any other websites. The hosting providers apply many security programs to fight over spammers, hackers and other viruses. It would be very difficult and complicated for hackers to attack websites using dedicated hosting service.
And of course, your page loading time is significantly fast and there’s very rare occasion that your site is inaccessible.
As dedicated hosting is very expensive, it is recommended for websites that attract a huge volume of traffic with over 30,000 visitors per day.
Virtual Private Server (VPS) Hosting
Imagine a physical server used for dedicated hosting is now split into separate virtual machines. Using VPS hosting, you will take full control of a virtual one.
You have your own dedicated server but are more limited to the resources than the dedicated hosting. Still, you have full control over the virtual server and don’t have to share the resources with other websites.
Security level of VPS is high. The independence in the virtual server also makes you unaffected by problems arisen from other sites.
This hosting plan is the common one for websites that get a medium amount of traffic with around 10,000 to 25,000 visitors per day.
Now, continue to imagine that the dedicated server or VPS is separated into small areas occupying many websites. Using this hosting plan, your website have to share with many other sites the same drive, CPU, bandwidth, web server, etc. As a result, you are provided with relatively few resources. Therefore, this hosting is the least expensive and the least powerful.
Security risks of Shared Hosting come from its sharing basis. When one of the websites in the same server as yours is attacked, there’s high probability that your website is affected as well. In this situation, secure methods applied for your site might not protect it against hackers.
Furthermore, Shared Hosting means sharing the same IP address with other sites. You will run into serious problem when any account in the system involves in bad practice, such as sending spam emails, which could cause your site to be blocked.
Besides security issues, a shared hosting service also affects your site overall performance, which in turn leads to unsatisfying customer experience. This is because you have to compete with other sites over the same limited amount of resource. Thus, when there’s high traffic, your site could encounter extremely slow loading speed, or even downtime.
Due to its limitation, Shared Hosting is suitable for small and new websites without specialized needs, having 7,000 to 8,000 visitors per day.
After determining the scale of your website and the required security level, you’ll be able to pick the hosting plan that works for you.
Main web hosting security concerns to look for in a web host
When you’re in search of a hosting provider, there are some important web hosting security concerns that must be taken into account.
- SFTP, FTPS – You use FTP (Files Transfer Protocol) to transfer data between a client and server on a computer network. However, this standard protocol is becoming more vulnerable. Users are moving to SFTP (FTP over SSH) and FTPS (FTP over SSL). These two methods are the same as FTP but they offer higher level of security by applying strong algorithms to encrypt any data transferred over the network. Therefore, it’s a plus if the hosting provider offers these options.
Read more about SSH & SSL.
- Back-up plan – This is another factor to consider when choosing a web host. A regular back-up plan would save your site from unexpected problems. Make a small research on how often the back-ups are, where the files are stored, and how they are processed.
- Server maintenance – In order for a website to run smoothly, server maintenance should not be ignored to figure out and minimize potential risks. With that being said, make sure the host service has clear policy and updated information about server upgrade and maintenance.
Before making up your mind, it’s never a waste of time to read reviews from users who have actually experienced a web host. WebHostingTalk and WhoIsHostingThis are among the sites that you can refer to.
Now you know that it is essential to have a good web host for your website. Especially, a reliable hosting service will save you a lot of time and money in case of serious security holes.
Since the major focus of this article is the important Security issues when looking for a web host, other available hosting types besides three above mentioned plans will be discussed more deeply in articles dedicated to web hosting topic.
This article is a part of the series introducing Basic security tips for WordPress websites.
- Change WordPress admin username
- Secure site with strong password ideas
- Limit login attempts
- Choose a quality host following web hosting security concerns
- Use the latest version of WordPress
- Use WordPress backup plugins
Editor of EngineThemes