The worms are back. Malicious hackers are rallying their troops with one mission in mind: to ruin your business! Big website hosting companies know it, web marketers know it, programmers know it, and now you can consider yourself in-the-know as well. You will be amazed at the solution the big and cheap website hosting companies using. But, first you have to know some background.
Most HereNextYear clients choose to store their websites on HereNextYear hosting servers. No, we don’t have servers in our basements, but we store servers at higher level data centers where the servers are managed.
I, Marty Dickinson, have “personal” websites on a variety of website hosting companies like HostGator and Dreamhost. I used to use GoDaddy hosting for a couple of websites until I went to all-WordPress websites. GoDaddy is really not a good place to be hosting WordPress websites.
[March 1, 2015 Update: GoDaddy has recently made vast improvements to their Managed WordPress Hosting program. Before you go to GoDaddy, though, checkout our Managed WordPress Hosting options here that kinda sorta involve GoDaddy too!
And, I have some clients that host on BlueHost, Network Solutions, and a few others that come to mind.
I enjoy hosting websites at different locations, mostly because I get to see how their support responds when there is a problem.
For example, one client received this message/notice from their HostGator account:
“We found that your account password had been compromised and malware had been uploaded to the account. Based on our experience, account passwords are compromised through either a virus-infected PC or through using a weak password. We recommend that you run a thorough anti-virus scan, using at least two separate scanning programs, on any computer used to access this account. Please make sure to that you do not re-use this password. We also suggest updating any outdated scripts on this account as soon as possible. If you have any questions, please let us know. It is your responsibility to ensure the security of your account(s). If we receive additional reports regarding malicious content within 6 months of this notification, we will be forced to temporarily restrict access to the account in order to protect our network. We also reserve the right to assess an Account Cleanup fee before restoring access to the account.”
I just about fell off my chair when I read that message. I mean, what giant hosting company could possibly hang their client out to dry like that and force hosting clients to learn programming skills powerful enough to combat a hacker or, worse yet, pay programmers their huge fees to jump in in an emergency and clean the website so it’s free from malicious code??????
Well, the answer is ALL OF THEM!
That’s right. You heard it here first.
This is the new way to support clients at big website hosting companies: Shut them down if something goes wrong.
Big Website Hosting Companies
Lack Quality Support
Big hosting companies used to offer fairly decent support. After I witnessed the absolutely horrible support provided by HostGator through this experience, I had to dig deeper.
It turns out, there is a Utah company called AEG that is buying up big hosting companies right and left. You and I both know what happens when there’s a buyout, right? Less staff doing more work. Layoffs. Change in procedure. Low morale. Yep, it’s all happening at the big cheap web hosting companies we all used to love to brag about that we could just pay $50 a year for hosting and get by.
Well, my friends, if your business is important to you, I’d like to suggest you rethink your web hosting provider. You may have never had a problem with your website, but that day is coming soon. Server-wide breaches are becoming a weekly event. And your website is on the list.
3 Things to Know About Today’s
Cheap Website Hosting
Based on what I’ve learned about website hosting after the past 10 years of offering it to my own clients, I’m going to offer these points:
- Online Chat or Phone Does NOT Mean Instant Fix – Most hosting companies (mine included) take an hour or two or sometimes three to fix a problem. Not too many reasons should keep your website from being operational longer than that. Know that when you call people on the phone for support, they are going to register a support ticket and then you’ll have to wait.
- Set it and Forget it is in the Past – We used to think we could burst out a website and just let it sit for years. This is dangerous ground…especially if you have a WordPress website. Expect your WordPress website hosting to come with a “maintenance and update” add-on service to keep your versions of WordPress and plugins current. Using old versions of web software is one of the top reasons why hackers can get into your website. A full backup of your database and files should be performed before upgrading or updating any WordPress versions or plugins. Do NOT skip the backup step. If you do this on your own, plan for your computer to be tied up for an hour or more. This one reason alone is worth paying your host or helper a bit extra every month to keep everything current.
- The More Traffic You Get, the Bigger Target You Become – Many of my clients are professional speakers and authors who are on their way up. Others are companies trying to expand. In both cases, that higher visibility brings more visitation and interest from hackers. If your website is growing, now is the time to take the precautions so your website is protected.
So, there you have it. I’ve informed you that cheap hosting with giant hosting companies is going to eventually compromise your business if it hasn’t already. I gave you a few things to look for and how to be protected. The only thing I haven’t done yet, is suggest you move your website hosting to HereNextYear servers. But, that should be obvious.