A reliable web host keeps your site up and running (accessible to customers) consistently with minimal downtime. A bad web host, on the other hand, can hurt your success by crashing traffic, not to mention your SEO rankings.
As a smart business owner, you should be aware that even the best hosting providers can turn into bad hosts (or at worst one – burnt out and “disappeared”) one day.
For those running an online business, there is a need to put some level of defense in place and protect yourself from your own web host.
Here are my ideas on how to do it.
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1. Register your domain with another party
Many hosting companies now offer free domain registration with the purchase of a hosting package. However, it may be a good idea to spend an extra $10-15 and register your primary domain with another registrar.
I normally use the free domain for my secondary sites, which I use for host testing or SEO experiments. So if the domain is tied to this hosting company and I want to switch, I haven’t wasted countless hours of work on a website I’ve been building traffic for.
I use NameCheap to buy all my new domains today – Prices are cheap and their platform is easy to use. Also NameCheap is a trusted brand on domain registration.
It’s much easier to switch to a new hosting company when you register your domain with another party. Otherwise, you will have to wait for your host to release your domain. This can be tricky because they also lose your hosting business.
If you’ve already registered your domain with your hosting company, don’t panic. You can always easily transfer it to a third-party registrar.
There are many registrar services you can use in the same way. NameCheap is just an example that I use in this article.
2. Be careful with your payment method
While it’s handy to set up an automated payment plan with your hosting company, it can also cause a nightmare when you want to cancel.
Unscrupulous companies may continue to charge a debit or credit card long after your account is deleted.
Payment methods: PayPal vs credit card vs debit card
There are three popular payment options when creating a web hosting account. Each type of payment has its own advantages and disadvantages.
In the past, I had to cancel my credit card because a hosting company refused to charge my card. It was a horrible experience – I have them in my top 10 list of web hosts.
PayPal allows you to pay the merchant without them ever having access to your payment card information.
Additionally, PayPal has built-in measures to protect you as a customer and merchant against fraud, theft, etc.
It is easy to cancel the subscription yourself from the PayPal user account panel.
Know More about PayPal
2- credit card
Although getting a new credit card account number is more difficult, many card companies offer built-in consumer protection against unauthorized charges.
However, carefully review your credit card company’s policies before providing any information to a web host. In extreme circumstances, you may need to cancel your account to stop charges.
Know More about credit card
3- Debit card
An unethical company may continue to charge your account (like I did 6-10 years ago) or you may have to pay a fee to try to stop payment. If you pay with a debit card, it’s easier to replace it if something goes wrong; you will not be charged (just withdraw all the money from your debit account) if the hosting company charges you later after your account is terminated.
Know More about debit card
3. Stay in touch with a hosting provider with a long trial period
Warranties are a sign that you can trust this company more than a company that does not provide service. A long trial period shows that the hosting company is confident in the quality of service it has to offer.
Web hosting providers should offer at least one month, but some offer an even longer trial period.
Some of the best hosts I’ve tried in the past offer the longest full refund period.
InMotion Hosting – 90 days Hostgator – 45 days SiteGround – 30 days
Some companies offer the “Anytime Money Back Guarantee”. This means that you can cancel your hosting account and request a refund at any time during your subscription. Suppose you pay for a year of service, but after 90 days you are really unhappy with the quality of the hosting company. With an anytime money back guarantee, you can request a refund and cancel the rest of the time in your account.
4. Avoid companies with blacklisted IPs
There are many reasons to avoid blacklisted IPs, including the reputation of the hosting company and, more importantly, to ensure that your emails sent from your domain are not blocked by other providers due to the IP address. A blacklisted host means that your email can also be blacklisted.
Here’s how to check blacklist IP address in two easy steps:
Before signing up, ask for your host’s IP address. Perform a quick check using the Spam Haus Lookup Tool .
5. Compare prices and features before buying
As a business owner, you want to get the best deal possible. You should compare hosting features and prices, but also check online reviews and even contact a few people hosting these companies.
Take your time to do your research and choose wisely .
Two questions to ask:
Is there a better option compared to the selected web host? Is the web host too expensive or too cheap?
As a general rule, when you receive bids for any type of work, you exclude the lowest and highest bids. Since a web host is basically betting on your company’s offerings, with what they have to offer and the price of that package, you should also cut out the lowest and highest hosts if it makes sense. eliminate these options. Remember:
When a hosting deal is too good to be true, it probably is. In for money. If you choose a hosting company that costs $0.99/mo, you will likely end up on an overloaded server. Avoid hosting companies that charge a higher price unless there is a good reason.
For example, Kinsta charges $35 per month for managed WordPress hosting, but their plans come with expert WP support and tons of innovative features.
6. Back up your site regularly
In all honesty, backing up your site regularly is essential to the well-being of your site, regardless of your location.
This ensures that you have a recent version of your site’s files and assets in case something goes wrong, whether it’s a hacker, cybercriminal, or abandoned hosting. Backups are surprisingly easy to do – especially if you’re using the Cron job.
Suppose you are working in a cPanel environment, login to your host’s control panel, then enter the following command in the Cron command field:
mysqldump –opt -Q -u dbusername –password=dbpassword dbname | gzip > /path-to-store-the-backup-file/db_backup.sql.gz
Replace the variable fields with your database and user information, then email yourself to free up some storage space to save the file to your system. Extract the zip file, then edit the database details before saving the file and uploading it to your server.
The last step is to enter “php -q /path-to-the-php-script-folder/backup.php” in the Cron Job section of the cPanel.
7. Track Your Host’s Uptime
What is availability?
Availability is the length of time your website is operational and available to visitors and potential customers.
Anything unavailable is downtime.
Downtime means people can’t access your site, which can be frustrating for potential visitors while costing you traffic and revenue. Also, if people fail to access your site for the first time, they may not try again.
In short, the higher your uptime score, the better.
A good web host will offer uptime guarantees (eg, 99.9%). This means that the company will make sure your website is online and managing that percentage of the total hours of the day.
BUT – we never know for sure if the hosting company keeps its promises.
That’s why we need to track our site’s uptime and seek compensation (or switch web hosts if the problem persists) whenever our website’s uptime falls below 99.9%.
To track a site’s uptime, we use web tools that monitor our site every five minutes and record downtime (if any). If a site is frequently down –
I use Uptime Robot and Pingdom to track site availability. And here is my detailed guide on how to effectively track your host’s uptime.
8. Update your password regularly
Hackers are getting smarter and smarter, so it’s not enough to just put in place strong security.
One scenario could be if someone working for a hosting company leaves the terms wrong and takes customer data. That person now has the password for your site. He can sell it or use it himself.
Three things you can do to protect yourself in this case:
Use a strong password that is not easy to guess. Use a combination of letters, numbers, upper and lower case letters and special symbols. Change your passwords frequently for the reason mentioned above about stolen or hacked password.
Keep good anti-virus software on your computer and make sure it’s up to date. This will prevent hackers from accessing your computer and stealing your keystrokes/passwords.
9. Always keep your options open
You don’t have to stay with the same web host forever. Sometimes a hosting company starts out on a high note, but then goes downhill. Sometimes a hosting company grows too fast for the servers it operates, and its performance and customer service suffer.
Keep in mind that:
It really isn’t difficult to change web hosts. Some companies will even migrate the site for free upon request. Changing web hosts rarely affects Google rankings. Just be sure to minimize your site downtime during the switchover.
10. Understand your website needs
Types of different web hosting services.
Knowing what your real needs are will help you clear the smokescreens (smooth marketing) and get you to the heart of the hosting companies’ quality and value offering.
For example, if you need shared hosting right now but will probably need a VPS later; then you should avoid the hosting company that only offers shared hosting.
Conclusion: Why is a good web host important?
Think your web host is the least important part of your online success?
Well think again.
Before I end this article, I’d like to talk a bit more about why a good web host matters.
The host you choose for your website makes a difference in revenue ( potential customers can’t reach you when your site is down), site speed , and Google Ranking .
It is extremely important to host your business with a trusted company with solid hosting performance.