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Hiring a web host

Hiring a web host

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As a small business, establishing or upgrading your online presence is crucial. If you lack the technical expertise, choosing the right web host provider is essential. With a plethora of web-hosting services available, prioritizing security is key. 

Key Elements to Look For:

Transport Layer Security (TLS):
  • Ensures your website's URL starts with https://, indicating security.
  • Encrypts data sent to your site, crucial for sensitive information like credit card details.
Email Authentication Tools:
  • Protects your business email, ideally tied to your domain (e.g.,
  • Seek a provider offering SPF, DKIM, and DMARC for robust email security.
Software Updates and Maintenance:
  • Ensure access to the latest software versions with security patches.
  • Clarify whether updates are your responsibility or managed by the host.
Website Management Options:
  • Determine whether you or the web host will manage the site post-setup.
  • Check if you have the option for self-management and the security measures in place.

Detailed Checklist for Selecting a Web Host Provider:

Security Features:
  • Is TLS included, or an additional cost? Who sets it up?
  • Are SPF, DKIM, and DMARC available for email authentication?
Software Management:
  • Are the latest software versions provided?
  • Who is responsible for software updates and security patches?
Website Administration:
  • Post-setup, who manages the website? What level of access do you have?
  • Is there an option for multi-factor authentication when logging in for changes?
Data Backup and Recovery:
  • Ask about their data backup policies and recovery procedures in case of breaches.
Customer Support and Response Time:
  • Evaluate the provider's customer support efficiency and response times in emergencies.
Compliance and Regulations:
  • Ensure the web host complies with relevant data protection and privacy laws.
Performance and Scalability:
  • Assess the host’s uptime guarantees and scalability options as your business grows.
User Reviews and Reputation:
  • Check reviews and testimonials for insights into the provider’s reliability and customer service.

Additional Considerations:

  • Cost vs. Value Analysis: Evaluate the cost of hosting plans against the security and features offered.
  • Long-term Contracts: Be cautious of long-term contracts without flexible scaling or exit options.
  • Customization: If you need specific functionalities, ensure the host can support them.

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