How to choose a secure web hosting company for a WordPress website

Just a few words about WordPress, Security and how to choose a security conscious web host.  

If you are using WordPress there are some great plugins which may help reduce the likelihood that hacks can be committed against your website. I discuss some of my WordPress security recommendations here: http://hackrepair.com/blog/hackrepair-com-security-tips-and-hack-notes

Your best overall strategy in reducing the impact of malware is to host your website with a host who includes free daily malware scanning with their hosting service. That way you will likely be notified the day or moment your site is hacked, and can take action before the situation gets out of control. For analogy sake, let’s say you are helping your daughter start a coffee stand business. Two locations are available, one across the street from a police station and the other in a nice neighborhood but with a reputation for having virtually no police presence, which would you choose?

Without proactive malware scanning you are greatly increasing the risk of damaging your reputation in both the Google and Bing search engines.

Sadly, the majority of people who call me for help in resolving their, “This site may be compromised” message in Google have been hacked for months. It rarely surprises me now to see malware or hacker scripts installed within a client’s website dated well over a year old. Hosting your website with a hosting company who provides malware scanning may save you hundreds, even thousands of dollars in lost revenue if your website is hacked.

Another free service which monitors changes to your website and will alert you same day is Google  Alerts.

While proactive malware monitoring is essential in increasing the security of your website, backups are equally important. The first question you should ask your web host is, “how often do you save website backups and can I access them without additional cost anytime I wish?” Choosing a web host who maintains free easily accessible daily and weekly backups is key. If your website is hacked while you are taking a few days AFK (away from your keyboard) you’ll wish you had asked your host this simple question, “do you maintain weekly backups?”

In summary:

+ Only host your site with a web host who does daily monitoring of websites for malware.
If a host does not do daily monitoring that host likely has poor security focus (zero interest in protecting their customers).
In a crime ridden neighborhood would you rather park your car in a monitored parking lot, or on a poorly lit street corner…

+ If your web host provides zero security monitoring then consider a website file monitoring service like Google Alerts or other paid service.

+ Choose a web host who provides free no cost backup recovery, easily accessible backups, as well as daily and weekly backups.

 

Be forewarned. Web hosts who charge for backups include:

  • Godaddy, $150 backup recovery
  • Hostgator, $15 for weekly backup recovery
  • Others web hosts who charge for backups or corrections to the above list?
    Email jim at this domain and I’ll update my list.

Written by Jim Walker, HackRepair.com

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Jim Walker has been a website security expert and website hosting services provider for over 16 years. Living in San Diego, California, his current passion is everything WordPress. He manages HackRepair.com, a malware cleanup and website security services company, and HackGuard.com, a WordPress security and WordPress management service.

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