Your web hosting plays the biggest role in the security of your WordPress website. A reliable web host will be familiar with the most common threats to WordPress websites and will take steps to protect your website from at least these threats.
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Why does web hosting matter?
You can take all the necessary precautions to protect your website. However, if you don’t choose a good web host, all your efforts will be in vain. Your web host is responsible for maintaining the server on which your website is stored. If your WordPress hosting company doesn’t adequately protect their servers, there’s very little you can do to protect your website. In short, it’s best to move to a better web host. So, with that said here are five vital things to know about web hosting.
A good web host will take positive steps to protect your website, including
- monitoring their network for suspicious activity
- preventing DDoS attacks
- having a disaster recovery protocol
- maintaining their servers to ensure optimum performance
Why is WordPress hosting security important?
Security is important for any website, but it’s especially important if you’re a WordPress user. WordPress is one of the most popular Content Management Systems in the world. In fact, this makes it a prime target for large-scale attacks. Even if you don’t have a massive website that attracts lots of traffic, your website could be swept up in a cyberattack that exploits a WordPress vulnerability. This is why you need to have secure WordPress hosting for your website.
How do you know if your WordPress hosting is secure?
7 security essentials for WordPress Hosting
1. SSL compatibility
SSL certificates encrypt data that passes between your website’s server and your visitors’ browsers. This makes it harder for hackers to get their hands on your data, because even if they do manage to intercept it, it’ll be written in code, which makes it almost impossible to decipher. Some companies that offer WordPress hosting will try to reel you in by offering rock-bottom prices on hosting packages that aren’t compatible with SSL certificates. Stay away from these WordPress hosting companies. Having your data written in plain text makes it too easy for unscrupulous people to read your private data.
And if you want to use your WordPress website for eCommerce, failing to install an SSL certificate means you can’t collect your customers’ credit card information. By the time many people realise this, they’ve already invested hours into getting their website up and running. Don’t let this happen to you. Make sure your WordPress hosting package is compatible with SSL certificates. (Bonus points if your hosting company also offers SSL certificates that are mobile friendly!)
It’s ridiculously easy for data to be compromised or lost. Sometimes that’s through the malicious efforts of hackers, but sometimes, webmasters make a simple mistake that results in data loss. In spite of this, most people vastly underestimate the importance of choosing a WordPress hosting company that offers a backup service. Good hosting companies will have no problem letting you know how they carry out their backups and how long they retain your data. They’ll also give you a range of backup intervals to choose from – once a day, once a month, or once a year – to make sure your data is always protected in the event of accidental loss or malicious corruption.
3. DDoS attack prevention
In a DDoS (Distributed Denial of Service) attack, a cybercriminal cuts off server resources from your website by flooding your server with so many requests that there just aren’t enough resources left for your site. This is a common kind of cyberattack, so any web host worth its salt will have systems in place to prevent these attacks from hobbling your website.
4. Malware scanning
Malware is malicious software that hackers use to infect computers, servers and websites. A malware attack can range from slightly inconvenient (a few unimportant pieces of data are lost) to completely catastrophic (the entire website gets wiped out). Before you choose a web hosting company, check if they have a strategy in place for defending against malware. Ideally, your web host should perform daily malware scans and have equipment in place to monitor when malware is being installed or used on your server.
5. High uptime
Uptime is the amount of time, expressed in a percentage, that you can expect your website to be up and running. For instance, if a web hosting company offers 25% uptime, they’re guaranteeing that your website will be up and running only a quarter of the time. (Yikes!) Most good web hosting companies offer at least 97% uptime. We offer 99.9% uptime, but we always aim for 100%. No matter how secure your website and how attractive your layout, if your customers and visitors can’t depend on your website to be running, you’ll lose goodwill and money.
A web hosting company that offers high uptime is also more likely to have secure hosting, because high uptime can be guaranteed only if a company follows stringent server maintenance protocols.
6. Firewall protection
Good hosting companies will offer physical devices that protect your website’s networks from hostile traffic. Also, they must have web application firewalls that monitor and control web traffic. Make sure your WordPress hosting company offers firewall protection for your website.
7. Server maintenance and protection
It’s important to choose a web hosting company that practices 24/7 server monitoring to ensure that your server is physically protected. (All the security software in the world won’t matter if an intruder can simply walk in and damage the servers or if the server is allowed to deteriorate so much that it just can’t function anymore.) A good web host will also be cautious about who it grants root access to your server.
The most important thing to look for when you’re choosing a web hosting company is security. Without this important feature, your WordPress website will be vulnerable to cyberattacks and permanent data loss. Never choose a web hosting company unless you’re sure it satisfies all the criteria on this checklist.
Hungry for more web hosting guides? Check out our guide to choosing resources for your web hosting plan.