Recently, one of our clients had a breach on their website. I noticed a few issues with the website after logging into the backend and, after some digging, we realized their website had been compromised. Due to the nature of the web hosting company they were using, neither the host or AttorneySync could determine what information on the website was compromised, or how the breach occurred. This is because there was no security on the web server.
What is web hosting?
People tend to think simply purchasing and registering a domain name is all you need to do in order to have a website online.
This is false.
In order for a website to be active and live on the internet, you need to host it somewhere. Having a domain without a host is like having a car seat without a child. It serves no purpose. A hosting company is what allows your website to be accessed by people on the internet. A websites files and data are stored on a server where your content is made available to others on the web. Think of hosting as your home where you keep all of your belongings. Your home is the host, and your belongings are the website files and data.
Why do I need a good hosting company?
Website speed – Have a fast website is imperative for a good user experience. Studies have shown, 25% of users will leave a website if it takes longer than 3 seconds to load. Websites nowadays need to be fast. People have short attention spans and want information as quickly as possible. In addition, if a website is running slow, users may lose trust in the site. Lastly, Google has repeatedly said site speed is a ranking factor. If Google thinks this much of site speed, you should as well.
Load time – Most small businesses do not need to worry about load time, though it should be on your mind. What if your website sees a surge of traffic for a few days because your business was mentioned in the news or on TV? Can your web host handle the surge of visitors or will the site load slower than normal?
Security – This is the main issue we had with our clients host. The security from the host was lacking. A good web host should handle critical security updates on your CMS (WordPress, Joomla, Squarespace, etc), proactively block any vulnerability’s to prevent your website from being hacked, and also alert you to any issues should they find any.
Support – Hopefully you will not need to contact your web host support team often, but if you do, can they help you with your issue in a timely matter? If you are contacting hosting support, most likely you need answers, and FAST. You don’t want to be waiting on the line for a long period of time, or speaking with staff who don’t have answers. When you need support, you also need fast, responsive support.
Many clients tend to not think about hosting and simply choose the one they saw on TV, the cheapest, or the one their friend uses. The issue is, these may not be the best hosts for what you want to accomplish with your website. Do you want a fast loading time? Do you want to be protected in case of a cyber attack? Do you need a large amount of space because you are running a worldwide e-commerce website? These are all things to take into account.
You will get what you pay for. Hosting usually isn’t a priority for clients until it is.