While it may be true that almost every hosting choice out there would be an ok choice at worst, the truth is that some of the options you have to pick from could actually do more harm than good to your website security.
For example, many of the “budget-friendly” hosting providers pack as many sites onto a server as they can in order to make more money. (Hey, I get it, businesses need to profit.) But the problem with that is that your server is only as secure as the weakest site on there.
And since the hosting companies don’t require any sort of security, you’re likely sharing server space with some pretty vulnerable sites. And that means that a hacker isn’t too far from gaining access to all of your site files.
The biggest things that I tell other business owners to compare when choosing a hosting company are customer service, cost (compared to the budget), backups + security.
Since customer service doesn’t have much to do with security, we will focus on the other 3.
What does cost have to do with security? Well, when you factor in that your super cheap hosting isn’t so cheap because they nickel + dime every other important element of hosting, then it starts to matter.
It’s worth noting that tiny blue orange was hosted on a budget shared server for years — one that cost $3/month. Sometimes the cost is the only factor you have to decide on when picking a host. And if that’s the case, make sure you are doing your own backup work.
But if you can weigh the pros + cons, look at your budget for hosting compared to your budget for disaster recovery. If your site gets hacked, it’s a minimum of a few hundred dollars to repair or typically $99 from many budget hosts to “restore a backup.”
Because they won’t help protect you for free, they want to profit off of it. But with other hosting companies that cost a little bit more per month (like us), you get a hack-free guarantee. So if you are ever hacked, which is less likely to begin with, your site will be fixed. For free.
When comparing hosting companies, ask what they charge for site restoring + security. Those might up the cost beyond what you would pay for managed WordPress hosting, which would help you make your choice even faster.
It’s my opinion that hosting companies should be doing backups of your site on a pretty regular basis. Whether it’s daily or weekly, it’s the best line of defense against hackers.
Many managed hosting companies do backups, no questions asked. But the shared hosting companies typically charge for this service.
You can do your own backups, which is awesome to do, but why not have 2 backups to make sure you are safe from losing your entire website?
The nice thing about budget shared hosting is that you can typically do anything you want. But that’s also bad news.
That means that any + all sites you share server space with can do whatever they want — including picking really shitty passwords. Which leaves them vulnerable to hackers, which puts you in the same boat.
Beyond that, many managed WordPress hosting companies (like us) also give a damn about security + keeping our customers safe. With things like brute force attack protection + requiring stronger passwords, you are less likely to be hacked.