You have an excellent website that you need to host. The best USPs that the service providers will hound you with is unlimited storage space and bandwidth. Fine, but what about the cybercriminals waiting to pounce on your website if they can penetrate your defences. It is in your best interests to undertake an audit of the internal systems of the service provider before you finalize the agreement with them. below in this article, we will cover the 6 Security Factors to Consider When Choosing A Web Host.
While security policies have always taken a backseat, but you can still make changes to your priorities. These days, the progress of technology has also led to the emergence of the dark internet. Unless you safeguard your website, it always has a risk of being hacked. If your website captures sensitive data about the visitors, any data breach could lead to loss of image and government penalties and legal cases. In this article, we will discuss the security factors that you need to consider during the process of choosing a web hosting service provider.
Check availability of SSL
The Secure Sockets Layer (SSL) is the protocol that handles the encryption of the communication between the server and the web browser. Search engines also provide impetus to websites that have an SSL certificate. In 2018, Google came up with an update that depicted whether a site had adequate security measures by having an SSL certificate.
Most browsers will show a padlock in the address bar that depicts that a website is secure. It becomes necessary for you to procure one for your website. You will need to discuss with the web host whether they would allow third party SSL. Based on your requirement, you can purchase an SSL certificate from SSL providers and for low cost SSL, you can purchase SSL certificate from SSL2BUY– a reputed and cheap SSL provider. It has the entire genre of SSL certificates, and you can choose based on your criteria. You can start off with the basic version and make necessary changes later.
Is the infrastructure excellent?
Your web host needs to have a robust infrastructure – together with the best network systems and servers. Else, you will risk your website being down for some time during the day. While it would mean lost visitors, for e-commerce websites, it would mean loss of revenues. In the long run, you could potentially lose SEO ranking as well. While discussing the service level agreement, make sure that the availability levels are ideally above 99.8%. There is a cost involved; so, talk to the service provider for an optimized plan for you.
Ideally, your web host should have a disaster recovery site that could be a replica of the data center. While this could have commercial implications, it will mitigate the risk of the data center is unavailable for long periods. You will need to have an SLA guarantee in your agreement. It will ensure that the service provider deploys adequate systems to ensure that the availability levels are world-class.
Updation of legacy software
The system software, including the operating system, is vital for your web hosting services. The operating system will also affect the security mechanism that you can deploy for your website. It would be best if you discussed with the service provider about various aspects of the system software. Do understand the updation procedures of the system software and request for the resumes of the system administration and request for experienced personnel. You may ask for interviewing them before finalizing the agreement.
If you are using WordPress and plug-ins along with it, you will need to ensure further that they are updated with the latest versions. Doing this will help you to minimize the risk of cyberattacks on your website.
Understand the backup policy
Most of us are not bothered about the backup plan of the hosting service provider. What if your files got corrupt suddenly and you would need to resume services quickly! In such a scenario, it would always help if your service provider had a mutually agreed backup policy. There could be other scenarios where it would help if there were a comprehensive backup policy.
The backup policy needs to be present in your agreement as the server level backup is essential to reduce the downtime of your website for any untoward incident. The other features that you must know are the data retention period and the archiving procedures.
Scalability for future growth
Your hosting service provider must have multiple service plans to cater to your growing business. As your business grows, the visitors to your website may also increase exponentially. There could be a need to opt for increased bandwidth or more server space. You may need to opt for a dedicated server from a shared resource. Your partner should allow you to migrate your files to a dedicated server in such a scenario. Moreover, there could be a requirement to make changes to the backup, and archival policy agreed with the service provider earlier. Unless there is flexibility in the plans or multiple plans available, you could be in a real mess.
Ensuring that your service provider has a professional customer service team is very important. In case of any issues, you would need to contact them at any time during the day. They should be able to help with the initial firefighting activities. Do check if the service provider has an online ticket management system or email/ phone/ chat services. Also agree upon the initial response time and the turnaround time for each ticket.
Understanding the service levels and the available features for the hosting plan is an essential activity from your side. To start with, you will need to discuss with the web host the security features available at their data center. It all starts with procuring an SSL certificate and as discussed above SSL certificate from SSL2BUY will be a cheap deal for you. There are other factors that you need to pay heed to also. While you are discussing the salient security features, you should also request for testimonials and client references. Talking to a live client can help you understand the performance of the web host very well. In short, you must do your research before you may officially finalize the deal with one of the service providers.