7 Risks and Problems in Failing to Choose the Right Web Host

There’s no doubt that a webhost plays an important role in operating a website that it’s crucial to choose the best option available. Also known as an Internet host, a webhost provides the web space that stores the information being accessed by browsers for web pages to appear when a particular URL is loaded. Basically this web space is the space on a server that is perpetually connected to the cloud a.k.a. the Internet. Without this space, a website will not exist. If this space is not reliably accessible, problems will arise.

How far has hosting gone through the years? Here’s an overview in an infographic:

Evolution of hosting - infographic
via Hostt

The following are the risks and problems to expect if you end up choosing the wrong webhost.

1. Security Risks

One of the most important factors that should be taken into account is the security a webhost can provide. Since a webhost will be responsible for all of the information related to your website, it’s only logical to make sure that the hosting company you choose is able to guarantee the security of your data. Webhosts that don’t have the updated technology and adequate experience cannot guarantee the physical and software-based protection of your important data especially if you are maintaining an e-commerce site.

It’s a major blow getting your customers’ data stolen or compromised. You will not only end up having disrupted operations. It is also likely that you will lose your customers’ trust and end up repelling potential customers as you develop a reputation for being unreliable and unsecure. Of course, security issues can also lead to actual financial losses that will be difficult to mitigate. Your website may not be the entirety of your business but if it gets compromised the consequences will quickly trickle down to most areas of your business.

A cloud hosting service provider should be able to offer secure ftp connections, virus scanning, and regular backups. It should have firewalls and other software protection to prevent instances of hacking and DoS (Denial of Service) or DDoS (Distributed Denial of Service) attacks. It is recommended inquiring about the company’s different solutions to handle attacks. These solutions may include application front end hardware, application level key completion indicators, IPS based prevention, and blackholing and sinkholing strategies. Also, it should have competent personnel overseeing its servers. Not all of these can be conveniently evaluated through on-paper specifications so it’s important to examine a webhost’s track record and to ask for insights and recommendations from those in the know.

2. Backup

The risks of getting your entire database nuked or having an attacker replacing your index.php file always exists. That’s why a web hosting service provider should be able to guarantee a reliable backup system, preferably cloud-based. Otherwise, it will be easy losing all of your vital business information. It’s not enough to simply have a backup system, though. The backups should be conducted frequently and regularly. You also have the responsibility to do your own backups but it’s always better if your hosting company can also automatically do it for you.

3. Downtimes and Intermittent Access

Stability and reliable connection is something only good web hosting service providers can offer. If you choose the wrong webhost, you will end up encountering a lot of downtimes. Internet hosting is a 24/7 business. If a company can’t offer you that kind of connection with at least a 99% uptime guarantee, that company is definitely not worth your money even if it would appear to be the one offering the lowest prices.

This concern about downtimes is also related to the earlier mentioned risk of DoS and DDoS attacks. DoS attacks can lead to a site reporting a 500 error (internal server error) without the proper defense, mitigation, and rectification mechanisms. It’s important to ascertain that the hosting company has the capability to handle such attacks. One fundamental gauge for this capability is their capacity to absorb the attacks. A web server should have enough bandwidth resources to serve as a buffer while the issue is being resolved.

4. Upgrading or Downgrading Difficulties

One of the great features of an ideal webhosting package is scalability. This means that there should be no difficulties upgrading to a higher plan when you need more or downgrading to something lower if your demand for bandwidth is low. Some companies try to tie you up to certain terms that make it costly for you to downgrade or upgrade. Generally, cloud web hosting is considered as the go-to option if you are looking for the most scalable web hosting service.

5. Pricing and Refund Issues

You may not realize it but you may have just committed yourself to a contract after falling for a deceptive pricing scheme. The renewal prices, in particular, can be highly arbitrary that the hosting company simply decides to dramatically increase it with the knowledge that you have no other options or it would be inconvenient to move to another web host. On the other hand, if you sign up for a trial run, you may end up getting obligated to pay some amount or your fee may not be refunded. Similarly, if there are service problems and you have already made prepayments, there’s the risk that you may not get your money back or that you may be stuck with an onerous contract.

6. Suspension Policies and Other Limitations

Some companies may just suspend your account without informing you or without explaining the reasons. Some will just pull your plug off when they see they you are consuming too much CPU power. There are also those who claim that you are violating rules when you have not been informed about such rules in the first place. A good hosting service make sure that you are aware of the terms and conditions of the service. It’s true that you are also obliged to properly get acquainted with these details but some companies try to be vague and noncommittal so you have to be more prudent in evaluating your options.

7. Inadequate Features

Lastly, it’s important to make sure that you are getting your money’s worth, or more. Some webhosts appear competitive but fall short of the features you can make great use of. You might need or find it more convenient having such features Cron, Auto Script Installer, .htaccess, SSI, and FTP access easy file, but your supposedly preferably host doesn’t offer them. Similarly, if you are planning to run an ecommerce site, it greatly helps having ecommerce features or support including shopping cart software, SSL certification, and a dedicated IP.

It always pays being careful when you are deciding on an Internet hosting service provider. Don’t ditch reading webhosting reviews or asking the experts to help you find the best web hosting company that offers the services most suitable for your needs and preferences. 

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