Protecting your website from an attack has never been more important. Many people underestimate how damaging it can be to have your website be subject to cybercrime. This can result in a loss of business and often a complete loss of valuable resources – like data. Therefore taking measures to ensure that your website is secure by selecting a host that has gone to extra lengths to protect your website is a must in 2019.
Most sites will come under some kind of attack, whether from hackers, bots, malware, DDoS attacks, and security leaks or some other form of intrusion. The good news is, if you sufficiently protect yourself, then you can ward or attacks or easily reinstate your site within minutes.
In this article, we’ll discuss the threats that your site might be subject to as well as what hosting companies go the extra mile to protect your online presence. Surprisingly enough, some of the cheaper hosts are the biggest players who have the best security measures in place.
Keeping Your Website Secure
To ensure your website is kept secure, you’ll need to protect it from the most common types of attacks. As always, prevention is better than a cure, but if you find yourself at the receiving end of hacking, a backup can save your website’s life. So making sure that your host is not only taking all and any measures possible to protect your site is a must, but also taking regular daily backups can save the day in many cases. The most common types of cyberattacks are as follows:
- Birthday attack
- Cross-site scripting (XSS) attack
- Denial-of-service (DoS) and distributed denial-of-service (DDoS) attacks
- Drive-by attack
- Eavesdropping attack
- Malware attack
- Man-in-the-middle (MitM) attack
- Password attack
- Phishing and spear-phishing attacks
- SQL injection attack
Understanding what type of attacks are commonly used on websites, can help you take measures to secure your website.
What to Look for in a Secure Host
As you’ll see, when selecting a secure host we need to look for measures to protect our websites or apps from the above attacks. Above all, we need to look for the following qualities in our hosting provider to ensure that all security measures are covered.
- Availability and Uptime
- Backup & Restore
- DDoS Attack Mitigation
- Firewall Protection
- Malware Scanning
- Software Security
- SSL Certificates
- 24/7/365 Support
What Hosting Security Measures Are You Responsible For?
While choosing a secure host is half the battle. There are also things that the website owner is responsible for in relation to keeping your website secure. According to HostGator (a leading web host), they suggest that you take responsibility for the following if you want to keep your website secure:
- Password security
- Account settings
- Keeping all installed website applications up-to-date
- Keeping your site malware-free
- Using your site in the right way
Now that you’re thoroughly convinced of the importance of securing your website, let’s dive into 7 hosts that have security at the core of their hosting plans.
1. A2 Hosting ($2.96 per month)
BEST FOR – Fast and Secure Hosting utilizing VPN technology
A2 Hosting is well known as a leader in performance-optimized hosting. A2 Hosting is based in Michigan, in the US, and they also have servers in Amsterdam and Singapore. A2Hosting has implemented some nice security features to keep your website protected.
These security features include – free wildcard SSL certificates (and other SSL certificate options). They also offer free DDoS protection. If you want to go the extra mile then I’d suggest you opt one of their OpenVPN hosting packages. A2Host has ensured that their VPNs don’t slow down your website. Which is great as slow websites are bad for SEO and your visitors. OpenVPN is an open-source commercial software that implements a virtual private network (VPN). This creates a virtual tunnel for your data to travel safely through. They also offer a 99.9% uptime guarantee and 24/7 network monitoring.
- 99.9% uptime guarantee
- 24/7 network monitoring
- OpenVPN for added security
- Free wildcard SSL certificates
- Anytime money-back guarantee
- Unlimited storage and bandwidth
- Cloudflare CDN
- Free auto backups
- Server rewind tool
- Server migration is chargeable
- Turbo Plan Only on higher packages
2. iPage ($1.99 per month)
BEST FOR –Secure hosting at low prices – ideal for beginners.
iPage offers some tempting features, like a free domain name and a 30-day money-back guarantee. They also offer unlimited disk space, bandwidth, and emails. They don’t disappoint on the security front either.
iPage has great customer support, they’re available 24/7 via email and phone and offer full technical support in under 2 minutes. iPage offers a 99.98% uptime guarantee and free SSL certificates from Comodo. However, if your domain is not hosted with iPage then they charge for the SSL certificates.
iPage offers a product called “SiteLock” that you can add to your account for just £1.99 per month, for the basic package. This feature scans your website for malware, removes malware automatically and blocks bot attacks. if you’re looking for more protection, then you can go for their SiteLock “Prevent” package that offers full protection against malware. That gets you all of the above features PLUS database scanning, shorter response time, firewall and DDoS protection.
- Affordable shared hosting
- Great for beginners
- SiteLock feature
- Higher renewal fee
3. HostGator ($2.64 per month)
BEST FOR – Unlimited everything and good security protocols
HostGator is among the top hosts in the world. They offer everything you might expect from a great website host, such as – 1-click app installation, unlimited domains, databases, MySQL databases, disk space, and bandwidth. Wow – that is a lot of stuff to offer bundled with hosting plans. They also offer a 45-day money-back guarantee and a 99.9% uptime guarantee. All that is great, but what about security?
HostGator is protected from DDoS attack (UDP flood) as well as a custom firewall and a large mod security rule that protects servers from a wide variety of attacks. HostGator says that they “also employ additional server security methods and precautions that are confidential”. I guess they don’t want to disclose everything because that would present a vulnerability to new attacks. They do disclose their free SSL certificates and 24/7 customer support, which are features that we look for in high-security hosts.
- 45-Day money-back guarantee
- 24/7 Customer support
- Free SSL certificates
- Unlimited everything
- Lots of upsells
4. 1&1 IONOS (£1 per month)
1&1 IONOS is arguably the biggest host on the planet right now. Well, this is certainly true in Europe anyway. The hosting packages start as low as £1 and that even goes for some of their top tier packages. What to watch out for, is that they boost the price in 6-months or a year (depending on your plan). When you sign up with 1&1 IONOS you get a free lifetime domain name. Normally hosts give you this for a year, not a lifetime, so if you stick with them then you might get some great deals and save $100’s in the process.
On the security front, they offer wildcard SSL certificates on all of their plans. They also offer a backup and restore function, which is essential if anything happens to your website, for example, a natural disaster or a cyber attack. Having downloaded backups and also the ability to restore them to a previous instance is priceless. If you choose some of their pro or expert packages you’ll get SiteLock. SiteLock protects your site from malware and is the leading software, used by top hosts.
- Backup and Restore
- DDoS protection
- Wildcard SSL certificates
- Price jumps significantly after the initial period has lapsed.
5. Bluehost ($2.95 per month)
Bluehost is an established website host and is even recommended by WordPress.org. You get a free domain, email accounts, and a one-click app installation. They offer shared hosting, VPS hosting, Dedicated hosting, WordPress hosting and Cloud hosting. But how do they do on the security front?
Firstly, all packages come with “Positive Wildcard SSL”, and 24/7 customer service – which is both essential for security. But that’s just the beginning, they also provide three layers of anti-spam protection – “Spam Experts”, “Spam Hammer”, and “Apache Spam Assassin”.
One nice feature is the ability to blacklist IP addresses, which can be important when under a cyber attack. They also provide secure shell (SSH) access, with which you can access configuration files individually and securely. Bluehost also offers one-click integration with Cloudflare, which secures and speeds up your site. Cloudflare is particularly good for crushing DDOS attacks, so that’s exactly what you’ll need to protect your site and keep it secure.
Bluehost also offers a nice 99.9% uptime guarantee. The business plan, that comes in at $19.99 per month comes with SiteBackup Pro – which is a powerful automatic backup service that allows you to download your own backups. They have gone the extra mile to make sure that hosting with Bluehost can be as secure as possible.
- Unmetered Bandwidth
- Positive Wildcard SSL
- 24/7/365 support
- 99.9% uptime guarantee
- Cheap high-quality host
- You have to pay for a year upfront
6. InMotion ($3.99 per month)
BEST FOR –High-quality secure SSD hosting
InMotion isn’t as cheap as the first two hosting providers on this list, however, they do offer some great features such as free SSD storage that makes your site faster. They also offer a free SSL certificate and 24/7 customer support. Inmotion has created a signature customer support system called “Premier Support™” where new account specialists will help you with setting everything up. If you are looking to port your site over from another server, then you can do this for free too – with no downtime. For security, they also offer free DDoS protection
- 90-day money-back guarantee
- free DDos protection
- SSD storage
- SSL certificate
- Award-winning 24/7 customer support
7. GreenGeeks ($2.95 per month)
BEST FOR – Small businesses or blogger looking for eco-hosting
GreenGeeks is the brainchild of Trey Gardner, who established GreenGeeks in 2008 as an eco-hosting company. Webhosting can have a massive impact on the environment as there are so many computers (servers) drawing a lot of electricity. GreenGeeks uses wind energy and various other protocols to ensure a negative carbon footprint, believe it or not, GreenGeeks is 300% powered by renewable energy – beat that!
GreenGeeks gives the complete beginner everything they need to get their website off the ground. This includes free SEO and marketing tools, a drag and drop editor and unlimited SSD storage.
On the security side of things, GreenGeeks provides Cloudflare CDN, to protect you from DDoS attacks, and nightly backups. They offer 24/7/365 customer support additionally you can get fully protected with their add-on services like Cloudflare, SiteLock, and OneClickSSL.
- Cloudflare CDN
- 24/7/365 customer support SiteLock
- OneClickSSL Certificates
- Domain fees aren’t refundable
All of the hosts on this list have their own USPs (unique selling points). A2 Hosting is great for speed and offering OpenVPN, 1&1 IONOS is great because they give you lots of resources cheaply and GreenGeeks is a brilliant eco-friendly host. Every business or website has its own unique requirements, so it’s a great idea to review what hosts offer and choose a host that aligns with your business.