There are plenty of secure web hosting options, ranging from reliable budget options with few features, to expensive choices that may not be worth considering. Choosing highly secure web hosting is a good idea, especially if you work with sensitive payments or personal information.
But not all hosts are transparent about their security practices, which can make your selection process difficult. To help you, we’ve created a short step-by-step guide to help you choose the best secure hosting provider for your needs.
How to Choose Secure Web Hosting: Preparation
There are a few important things to consider before you start researching different hosting providers.
First, think about the type of accommodation you want. Most smaller websites use shared hosting, but it’s usually the worst performer when it comes to security. Virtual Private Server (VPS) and cloud hosting solutions offer more advanced security options, but they generally require a decent level of experience to use them to their full potential.
High-end dedicated servers are used by large websites and online stores. Learn more about different types of web hosting (opens in a new tab) to find out which one best suits your needs.
Next, set a budget. This will help you narrow down your choices once you have selected a few secure web hosting options. It will also help ensure that you are not spending more than you can afford.
You should also keep your technical experience and skill level in mind. Most shared web hosts are quite beginner-friendly and easy to use, but some high-end solutions require a lot more knowledge from the user.
Step 1: Check each provider’s basic security features
To get started, you need to understand the basic security features that all web hosts (should) offer. Malware scanning is crucial, for example, as are proactive server monitoring and an integrated firewall. Many hosts offer proactive monitoring designed to identify issues or anomalies with your server, such as the presence of a hacker or malicious third party.
Let’s take Host (opens in a new tab), one of the most secure hosts, for example. Hostinger offers budget hosting solutions, but each plan comes with excellent protection. This includes a free SSL/TLS certificate to encrypt data transmissions, as well as automatic updates, proactive server monitoring, and a powerful proprietary firewall.
Distributed Denial of Service (DDoS) attacks are common and can harm your website if you don’t have the proper protection. Hackers or other malicious third parties flood your server with bots in an attempt to overwhelm it and make it unavailable for normal users.
Any reputable host should implement DDoS attack prevention measures. Most DDoS attacks can be blocked with a powerful Web Access Firewall, although some hackers can still get through them.
At a minimum, you should select a web host that uses the Cloudy (opens in a new tab) content delivery network (CDN) and its included DDoS prevention tools.
Step 3: Make sure reliable backup options are available
Another crucial feature to protect your website is automatic backup. This feature lets you schedule regular backups of your website, take snapshots of your files and data, and store them in a secure, separate location.
Having restore points is also useful, so you always have a clean backup if needed. So, if you are hit by malware, ransomware or another type of attack that breaks your website or makes it inaccessible, you can restore a recent backup. This feature is also useful if you make a mistake while editing your site, as it allows you to fix major errors quickly and easily.
It is not enough to offer automatic backups. Make sure you can schedule them to run at least once a day and pay attention to how long backups are kept. At least 30 days of retention is a good starting point.
Step 4: Create a shortlist and make your choice
Now that you have the knowledge to select the right secure web hosting provider for your next website, we suggest researching the best hosting providers that offer the type of hosting you need:
Make a shortlist of vendors that offer an appropriate level of security and use it to guide your decision-making process.
There are a few other things to consider that may impact your selection. For example, you should check what freebies are offered, as many hosts offer a free domain or an SSL/TLS certificate. Make sure you have enough bandwidth and storage, and check which third-party apps are available for one-click install.
Bonus step: check online reviews
If you are still unsure and cannot install on a secure host, check the online reviews. Reliable review sites such as Trustpilot and the BBB are great resources, but beware of fake reviews, as they can artificially inflate a hosting provider’s rating.
Selecting the most suitable web hosting for your project is difficult at the best of times, and it can be overwhelming when security considerations come into play. Here, we’ve outlined a clear process to help you select the best one. secure web hosting for your needs.
To begin with, pay attention to the general security features offered by the provider. Make sure it offers DDoS protection, a strong firewall, and malware scanning, and look for reliable backup tools. Pay attention to past customer experiences and make sure to keep other tools and features in mind as well.
Our guide to best web hosting of 2022 (opens in a new tab) is a great place to start your search.