Web Host Security: When a WordPress site is hacked, some people are quick to blame their web host. That’s not entirely fair because while web hosts affect website security, outdated themes and plugin are mostly responsible for hacked sites.
Typically, web hosting providers take care of many security measures but the severity of the measures are often dependant on the plan you select. Even the cheapest hosting plans have some sort of security measure in place. That said, it’s true that web hosts can have a negative impact on a WordPress website. Let’s explore how!
What Are the Different Kinds of Hosting Providers?
Two most popular hostings are shared hosting and managed hosting. As the name suggests, shared hosting has multiple websites hosted together. They share resources like storage, disk space, database, bandwidth, etc on one server. And in managed hosting professionals manage your site. Individual care is the focus of managed hosting. Shared hosting also takes care of your web server but that’s done far less proactively. Also, they don’t manage WordPress which you’ll have to maintain by yourself.
What’s the Security Like?
Managed hosting is expensive and attentive to your individual security needs. Shared hosting providers do not focus on individual websites and thus the security they offer is much more lenient and a matter of great concern. Let’s take a deep look at web host security:
How Shared Hosting Affect Your Website Security?
They offer very basic security service which is not equipped to handle big or complex threats.
Basic Security Sweeps
The hosting does only basic security checks which look for existing malware. They search for patterns and signatures of known existing malware which renders them incapable of finding new and complex malware on a WordPress site.
Easy Security Breach
In shared hosting, multiple websites are hosted on the same server which reduces the cost of hosting. This may look very promising for people who can’t afford expensive hosting, but it has a major drawback. When one website on the server is compromised, other websites on the same server risk infection. Therefore, sharing of the server magnifies the possibility of a security breach. It’s frustrating when your site gets compromised because somebody else’s site was. Because now you’ll have to clean your site and perhaps migrate to a different hosting. Both of these require you to spend extra time and money due to no fault of yours.
Log records make it easy for you to see the traffic to your website. When a malicious visitor comes snooping in, the records help identify the visitor and take appropriate measure. It acts like a surveillance camera. If you don’t invest in a good surveillance camera, it may stop working at times when you most need it making your security measure useless. Shared hosting is a lot like a cheap surveillance camera that is incapable of recording efficiently. Failure to keep a record of all visitors plague shared hosting providers. Sometimes log records are not properly maintained which means, at times when you need it, it gives you incomplete or corrupted information.
Since the risk of malware infection is high in shared hosting, web hosts suspend websites that are hacked. Their security concern is legitimate. Hackers may be using the compromised site to send spam emails which can cause mailing providers to blacklist a hosting server. Hackers may find their way inside the server which may lead to bigger damages. It may destroy a web hosting company’s good reputation and not-to-mention the number of clients they’ll lose overnight. This prompts hosting providers to suspend a website stripping the site from any kind of security until the site is clean. For those interested, check out this post explaining why do web hosts suspend a WordPress site.
Backups are one of the core security measures that all WordPress websites should take. Hosting services provide backups to ensure your site is able to quickly get up on its feet when disaster strikes. But shared hosting is not ideal for backups. They are often known to provide poor backup like they may have website size limit or backups are not made frequently, or accessing the backups are hard among other things.
Some web hosts may offer cleanup but for an extra fee. This is neither a cost-efficient nor a fast process. After you are hacked, the only thing you’d want is your site to be cleaned as soon as possible. But with web hosts, there may be a waiting period or 24 hours or more. Delay in clean up can cause adwords account suspension or your site to be blacklisted by Google.
How Managed Hosting Affect Your Website Security?
Managed hosting is much expensive than shared hosting and for good reason. They take security to a whole new level and generally offer standard security practices to keep hackers, bots and the rest, at bay.
The firewall keeps a website fortified and protected. Managed hosting providers typically offer network-level firewall protection. Whenever a visitor sends a request to the browser, the firewall intercepts the request and investigates it to see if the request is valid or malicious. This makes sure that a malicious request is thwarted before it hits your site server.
Part of managed web host security constitutes scanning for malware regularly. But the scanner differs from web hosts to the web host. Not all websites are capable of looking up new and complex malware. Security solutions like MalCare go beyond just looking for existing malware and are able to find malware variants and even new malware.
Restricts Access to Core Files
Some web hosts like FlyWheel locks the WordPress core. It’s a preventive measure. So that any unauthorized malicious user cannot fiddle with your site. This also means that the admin too cannot edit the core files. If you absolutely have to, you’d need to get in touch with the hosting providers. Other web hosts like Pantheon will not let you write to any folder apart from Uploads, and WP Engine restricts modification of PHP files. These are just some of the ways, managed hosting providers keep a WordPress site secure.
Over to You
We hope that now you have a better understanding of security measures of web hosts. If you are planning to migrate to a new hosting provider or planning on building a new site and security is one of your primary concern, we’d recommend you do good research before settling on one. WordPress hosting is secured hosting and has dedicated server. Top hosts offer security feature of money back guarantee and website backups. Reach out to the providers and ask questions concerning security. That said, if anything is unclear in this post, let us know.
Besides that, you can run a website security audit to learn what kind of security protection does your website need. Also, consider having a WordPress security plugin installed on your website to protect your website from hackers and bots.