How to choose a web hosting company for a more secure WordPress website


About Jim Walker, The Hack Repair Guy

Jim Walker, @tvcnet, is a WordPress security expert. He runs, a clean up hacker code from WordPress blogs and websites service. 


Choosing a web hosting company for a more secure WordPress website can be a challenge. Below are some recommendations for choosing a secure web hosting company.

There are some awesome plugins if you are using WordPress, and these can help you to reduce the possibility of hacking your website. Here are some of my recommendations:

Your best overall strategy in reducing the impact of malware is to host your website with a host who offers free daily malware scanning with their hosting offers. That way you will likely be notified the day or moment your site is hacked, and can take action before the situation gets out of control. For analogy sake, let's imagine that you have a daughter who you are helping start a coffee cart business. There are two possible locations you can choose. One of them is in pleasant neighborhood, however it is also known for not having police anywhere around, while the second possibility is across the street from a police station. Which location would you choose?

The risk of damaging your reputation in Google and Big Search browsers is greatly increasing without proactive malware monitoring.

The majority of people who call me for help in resolving their, "This site may be compromised" message in Google have been hacked for months. Sadly, finding malware within the website of client's dating back over a year is no longer a surprise.

Google  Alerts is another free service which monitors for website changes.

While proactive malware monitoring is essential in increasing the security of your website, backups are equally helpful. It's important to ask your web host about backups, in particular, how often backups are run and whether backups are easily accessible without additional cost. Choosing a web host who maintains free easily accessible daily and weekly backups is key. If your website is hacked while you are taking a few days away from your keyboard you'll wish you had asked your host about backups. If nothing else, I recommend asking your web hosting company this simple question, "do you maintain weekly backups?"

In summary:

+ Only host your site with a web host who does daily monitoring of websites for malware.
If a host does not do daily monitoring that host likely has poor security focus (zero interest in protecting their customers).
In a crime ridden neighborhood would you park you rather park your car in a monitored parking lot, or in the open on a poorly lit street corner...

+ If your web host provides zero security monitoring then consider a website file monitoring services, like Google Alerts or other paid services.

+ Choose a web host who provides free no cost backup recovery, easily accessible backups, as well as daily and weekly backups.

Be forewarned. Web hosts who charge for backups include:
  • Media Temple, $20 snapshot backup
  • Hostgator, $15 for weekly backup recovery
  • Godaddy, $150 backup recovery