Do small business websites get hacked?

I talk to small business people all the time and am still a little surprised at how often I hear some version of, “I’m sure no one would be interested in hacking into my small business website, all I do is….”

I get that you are immersed in your business everyday and how you could easily evolve to that position.

While prior to 2016 small businesses were not typically targeted to experience cyber crime, there was a fundamental change in that year.

If you have a website, you are a target for cyber crime.

You may think the service you offer wouldn’t be of much interest to a hacker, and you might be right, but your information is obviously valuable to you, and they know that.

Ransom attacks on small businesses have been on the increase since 2016.

Simple server “probes” are on the increase and have happened to every client that I host. In that case, we’ve blocked them, so there was no damage done.

Having a security team who stays on top of this for you at the web server level is one big reason to go with a trusted third party website host.

So if you used to think like the opening line in this article, now you know differently. Security for your little website is indeed a big deal.

Get 60% off for an entire year of hosting at SiteGround by clicking here .

Is there really a difference between web hosts?

With prices for web hosting ranging from zero to a whole lot more, depending on your needs, it’s okay to ask if there is really a difference between these hosting providers.

It can be hard to tell when you type your site name into a browser and it pulls up fine. Do you really need to care where your site is hosted? Isn’t that just an invisible commodity? Why would you pay one provider $50/month and another $2/month?

When your site is designed poorly, you can probably tell even if you don’t have a flair for design. It’s hard to navigate, it looks unbalanced, maybe it’s just plain ugly. It’s not very intuitive. It doesn’t have a call to action, etc. etc.

When you are hosted cheaply on an over worked server, you may not notice it, but google will. And many of your site visitors will. And the worst part, many would-be site visitors will never see your site and never have the chance to be engaged by it because of the way you are hosted. It’s that important.

Shared hosting, where your site is one of many on a shared server, is fine as long as it is managed appropriately. Site “uptime” and “load speed” are both critical. Check the stats for those when you are evaluating hosting providers. Read the reviews. Not just the top few but several pages of them.

Accessible customer support is key. Make sure your host has it. Caching technology to increase your sites load speed is key. Make sure your host has that too.

If you want a third party marketing person to host your site for you while providing support for the site as well, click here for my offering in that area.

If you want a host that you can trust and work with directly, click here for 60% off for an entire year of hosting at Site Ground.

 

Middle-Market Business Web Hosting Dilemma

It’s an easy choice for the typical one or two person business to opt to go with a third party website host.

That’s not the case for most middle market businesses, especially those with an IT staff and an investment in some infrastructure. There may be an urge to use the resources at hand to handle hosting your own website and that may work fine for some offices, but it’s usually a mistake with hidden costs.

Lets look at the obvious issue first. A web server is a machine that is attached to an open internet line, all the time, in an effort to make the sites it hosts as available as possible. While there are ways to secure that and separate your other parts of the business from being accessed, hackers sometimes find workarounds- it’s one of the things they tend to be really good at. Web servers are a point of interest for everyone from the curiosity seeker to the seasoned, old-school coder with an agenda.

A good website host puts a great deal of effort into security measures, starting with good fundamentals. If you host a site on your own server, you’ll want a person who is intimately familiar with security issues, preferably on your staff.

The second issue relates to the development team, who is it comprised of, and who gives the final sign offs at various stages? You will need your marketing people and your tech people to be in communication as the site is planned and takes shape.

The hidden cost associated with doing this in house is in lost business when the site doesn’t engage it’s audience in a way that generates revenue.  You may not see the revenue going elsewhere, but someone will be getting it.

The worst part is that the site can appear fine while it is a revenue  sieve.

As you know if you’ve read a few of my posts, I’m a fan of Site Ground Web hosting. I’ve wasted years on bad hosts in the past. Don’t do that.

Just give SiteGround a whirl. They’ll take good care of you.