Top 5 Security Features You Want in a Hosting Company
Security is important.
You’ve spent months or years developing a jaw dropping, professional looking website. You have the articles, content and the hyperlinks optimized for search engines so that your customers can find you online. Now comes the dreaded moment when you entrust your hard work to an online hosting company who’s sole purpose is to make your site LIVE. With so much of your private and public information at stake, you’re going to need more than just a handshake and a promise to ensure that your info remains secure.
There are thousands of unethical or morally questionable online companies who’s only purpose is the buying and selling of YOUR INFORMATION. With this, they can spam you with their own ads and make money from questionable click bait articles posted to your site. Other users could upload any number of viruses into your site and even bring it down for days. When it comes to secure hosting, the old adage really does hold true: you get what you pay for.
Five things to consider when looking for a web hosting company
The more ambiguous the claims, the more skeptical one should be. Any startup can post photos of smiling people onto a splash page with claims of ‘security’ and ‘promises’ to keep your information safe, but you need to know specifics in order to make an informed decision. You’ll want to look for the following:
Data should always be backed up. RAID configurations are created from a series of separate or partitioned disk drives that keep redundant backups of your valuable information. Even in the event of catastrophic failure, you’ll be able to recover your website. Different RAID configurations are where costs can grow quickly, so you must find the right balance of security, performance and budget for your application.
We spend so much time thinking about the web and staying online we often forget that the servers hosting your site are held in physical locations throughout the country. You want to choose a company that is prepared to resist natural disasters like hurricanes, earthquakes, tornadoes or whatever act of God comes their way. The best facilities will have backup diesel generators and reinforced data lines to ensure that if a disaster strikes, your website and information can be recovered and rebooted quickly.
Uptime is important for the simple reason that you need your site online and available if customers are to find anything. Many places will try to claim they can provide 100% uptime but the reality is that just isn’t true. Routine system maintenance, power failure, or the occasional natural disaster can cause your hosting company, and your website, to go down. The best companies will have redundancies and protocols in place to minimize downtime and even reimburse you for it, which is good for you.
Many hosting companies offer back up services with variable rates depending on the frequency and data usage required, for example you could have daily, weekly or monthly backups. In case of catastrophe, a “Daily Back Up Plan” is preferred. This allows for a quick relaunch of the most current version of your website.
Keep in mind, usually have a tiered system for backup data usage, (example: 10gb a month for $xx or 20gb a month for $xx). These costs should be made clear by the provider before you decide to accept the service.
If you use a VPS or dedicated hosting service, chances are they offer some kind of online customer portal that you can access to check your server settings remotely. You can diagnose and possibly correct problems with your server without having to call customer service or reboot your rack.
Some Tips for the Road
Security for your website is an important investment in the safety of your client’s information and should be included in the budget as such. Don’t hesitate to shop around for the right hosting company for your business and be sure to read reviews on forums or listing pages; listen to what people have to say about their services and personal experience. Another quick tip is to look at their ‘clients per server’ statistics. The less clients they have on a particular server, the better it is for your website in the long run.