Shared vs Dedicated Web Hosting

The next main decision point is likely if you want to have a account on a shared server or dedicated server. Shared means that other customers will have an account on the same server and dedicated means that you are the only customer on the server.

Most of the time, an account on a shared server will mean that you have more security risk. If an attacker broke into someone’s account on the same server you had an account on, your files and website could likely be exposed right away. You have no control over what other customers are on the same server as you, and therefor you don’t have the ability to limit the security posture of your website. This of course assumes that the server is not virtualized and partitioned off for each customer.

A dedicated server limits this risk because you will be the only customer on that server, so if there is a security issue it came from either a lack of support from the provider, from you. I tend to like dedicated servers because of the control and putting the security responsibility on you and the provider you select.

Managed vs Do It Yourself Web Hosting

This is probably the main decision question you have when finding a web hosting company. Do you want to manage the servers yourself or do you want to have a provider support you in those efforts?

My personal opinion is that there are so many aspects to having a secure and reliable web server, that you are better off having a solid reputable company do these tasks for you so that you can focus on your own business. The time involved to learn and implement properly a secure and reliable web server setup would probably take several person years of experience. So unless you have that skill as something you could leverage, why risk the time and uncertainty of proper implementation when you can rely on a trusted third party to do that for you?

All remaining web hosting posts will be from the perspective of finding a reliable web hosting company that manages the servers and your web presence in a secure and reliable manner.