Hosting your website on a safe and trustworthy hosting company is essential. You need a hosting provider that offers excellent reliability, security and support. But who can you trust with your self-hosted WordPress blog?
There’s been a lot of discussion regarding recent hacker attacks and hosting providers. And many people ask what to look for in a hosting company. Here are ten tips to help you make the right choice.
When searching for a safe web host, the important things to look for include:
- 24/7 Technical Telephone Support – In a crisis Saturday evening you don’t want to wait for a response from an email or wait until they open Monday morning to call. Once you get tech support on the phone, make sure they’re friendly, helpful, and explain things in a way you can understand. You want your questions answered, not the run around that they don’t provide that type of support or suggestions that you search the help section on their website.
- Daily (or weekly) Backups – If your database or website gets corrupted, you need a reliable backup in case your backup fails.
- Website Restoration – If your website gets hacked, you want to know that your company has your backup and will restore your site.
- 24/7 Security Monitoring – Make sure the server your site is on is monitored for any attacks or issues.
- Updated Applications – Are they using the latest secure versions of Apache, PHP, MySQL, etc. on the server. Ask for proof.
- Timely Security Updates – A web host needs to keep up with application/software security updates. Ask how often they update. Just like it’s your job (or your webmaster’s job) is to keep your WordPress site updated and your computer safe with Windows updates, virus scans, firewalls, etc.
- SFTP (SSH File Transfer Protocol) and SSH (Secure Shell) – Don’t use a host that won’t let allow you to encrypt file uploads.
- SUPHP Installed – Run the other direction if the company doesn’t have SUPHP installed. Do not any allow server permissions set to CHMOD 0777.
- Positive Customer Reviews – Search the Internet, ask on Twitter and Facebook, and read customer reviews/testimonials to find out what others have said.
- No Hidden Files – When using your file manager in the cPanel or looking at your files through SFTP, you want to be able to see all your files, including.htaccess and php.ini.
One last tip: Call the technical support line and see how long their “hold time” is. When the auto-attendant says, “You are caller #64 and your hold time is 32 minutes,” run the other direction. (Could indicate that they estimate 30 seconds to answer everyone’s question, including yours.)
If you don’t find this information on the company website, call and ask. If they can’t answer the question or tell you they do it differently, look for another hosting company. Following these tips goes a long way in protecting your site, your traffic and all your hard work.