Are you concerned that your joint hosting plan is jeopardising the reliability and success of your WordPress site?
We wish we could assure you that your website is safe, but shared hosting comes with a range of security risks.
Though shared hosting may be the most cost-effective option for running your website, it may jeopardise its efficiency and security.
Clients also inquire about the possibility of their website being compromised due to shared hosting. Yes, shared hosting entails certain security problems that might result in a compromised website.
If this occurs, hackers will be able to spam your clients, view inappropriate content, and send your users to unknown websites using your website. If Google discovers that your site has been compromised, they will automatically blacklist it, and your web host will cancel your account.
But don’t worry; there are precautions you should take to protect your website from the dangers of shared hosting. In this post, we’ll go over the risks of shared hosting and how to protect your website.
To comprehend the dangers, you must first comprehend how shared hosting operates.
What Is Shared Hosting?
You’ll need a web server to make your website accessible on the internet, which you can get from companies like GoDaddy, BlueHost, and Kinsta.
This server’s services can be used for any service and process on your website. When a guest comes to your site and requests to see your home page, your server can retrieve the necessary data and show the page. Your website will use some of your server’s resources to complete this operation.
Not every website now necessitates the use of the whole server and its infrastructure. Many websites are limited in number, with just a few pages and blogs, and only a small portion of a server’s resources are required. Investing in a single server is thus not only costly, but also a waste of money.
It’s similar to purchasing a whole apartment complex when you just need one.
As a result, shared hosting was established. Shared hosting is a method of hosting multiple websites on a single server.
The number of websites that can be hosted on a single server is determined by the amount of capacity allotted to each website. Shared networking servers, on the other hand, will host thousands of websites simultaneously.
This allows hosting companies to sell shared hosting plans at such low prices, making it the most cost-effective alternative available.
Top 5 Shared Web Hosting Security And Performance Risks
Returning to the apartment example, imagine you live in a house with tens of thousands of other inhabitants. There are a few open areas in the building, such as the elevator, stairwell, and lobby.
A intruder may now break in and obtain entry to the common areas if one person fails to obey proper safety procedure and lock their windows. This robber is now inside, attempting to gain access to other apartments.
In the same way, if one website on the shared server is compromised, hackers will use their access to target other websites on the same server.
But it’s not all the defence that you need to be concerned about. Also routine maintenance will pose a security risk. For example, if one person has a plumbing leak and fails to repair it for an extended period of time, the leak may spread and affect other apartments nearby.
Other websites on your shared server can also trigger issues with your blog. The top five security and consistency consequences of using a shared hosting service are as follows:
Any WordPress website has its own folder containing WordPress files, text, and other information. On your web server, this folder is included inside a ‘directory.’
There will be one directory containing one website’s files on a dedicated disc. However, for shared hosting, there would be a single directory containing several website directories.
Even if your website has its own domain and content, it is inextricably connected to the other websites on your server by sharing this directory.
This means that once a hacker has access to the main directory, they will be able to attack all pages on the same server. Hackers do this by running programs on all of the pages in the registry to find any bugs. This may be due to an out-of-date plugin on the web. They leverage the flaw after they’ve discovered it in order to gain access to the web.
Slow load time
If another website on the mutual list is compromised, it may affect the success of your own. When a website is hacked, hackers may use it to carry out malicious acts such as storing unauthorized files and directories such as the wp-feed.php file, sending spam emails, and launching attacks on other websites.
In this way, the compromised website consumes more bandwidth than the public server allows. This would have an effect on the website. Your website will be greatly slowed as a result. It’s quite possible that the website would become unresponsive and unavailable to travelers.
If other sites on the same server are experiencing a traffic surge, your website can become sluggish.
When a hacker tries to take down a website, they use thousands of malicious bots and computers to overwhelm it with traffic. This is referred to as a DDoS threat (Distributed Denial of Service).
As a result of the unexpected increase in traffic, the website under attack will begin to use more server energy. This will inevitably result in the website having fewer resources available, which will have a negative effect on its pace and results.
The assault isn’t aimed at your website; it’s all collateral harm.
Shared IP address
An IP address is a one-of-a-kind code that identifies a system connected to the internet, such as a phone or a computer. Servers are internet-connected computers, so each one has its own IP address.
A shared server has a single IP address, which ensures that all of the websites hosting on it use the same IP address.
The IP address of a nearby website that engages in illicit activities or spams its users is blacklisted and labeled as malicious. This will result in a variety of issues with your website:
- Your website would be flagged as malicious by firewalls, preventing people from accessing it.
- Your IP address will be blacklisted by email providers like Gmail, which ensures that any email you send will be routed to your customers’ spam folder.
- Your site would be blacklisted and marked as insecure by search engines like Google.
The identities of the other pages that share a server with you will never be revealed by your web hosting company. So you don’t know who your next-door neighbors are.
A hacker might buy a community hosting contract and become your next-door neighbor. They may set up spam and phishing websites to steal personal information from guests. Not just that, but they may be storing malicious files and directories on the hosting site.
Sharing your server with an untrustworthy neighbor would undoubtedly put your website at risk.
So, is it time to upgrade from shared hosting to a dedicated server? For many people, this is an unaffordable choice. But don’t get too worked up just yet! And if you use a virtual server, you should take precautions to keep your site safe.
How To Protect Your Website From Shared Hosting Security Risks
While the most straightforward solution is to never use shared hosting, the reality is that not everybody can afford a dedicated server and IP address. We’ve put together a list of four things you can do on your website to reduce the risks of shared hosting:
Install a Security Plugin
Regardless of if you use shared hosting or a dedicated server, you must take this precaution on your website.
A decent WordPress protection plugin will protect the website from hackers and other malicious activities. The protection plugin can identify and warn you if a hacker on your public platform tries to gain access to your site or run malicious commands.
MalCare is a WordPress plugin that we suggest you use.
- It will automatically set up a robust firewall to prevent hackers from breaching the website’s confidential files.
- It will search the website every day to ensure that it does not contain any malware. The scanner can detect and alert you if an intruder has installed something malicious on your site. You can quickly clean it up with the instant malware removal option without causing any damage to your website.
- In only a few taps, you can even apply suggested WordPress hardening steps to your website. These interventions would improve the protection of your website.
Review your Shared Host
We recommend comparing various hosting services and seeing what security policies they implement on their servers.
You will read ratings left by previous users. You can also get more information about your host’s security by contacting the customer service team via chat or phone. Most reputable hosts have devised strategies to combat the above challenges.
Be sure they keep the website’s ecosystem apart from others. This means that site1.com’s ecosystem can not be open to site2.com’s environment.
Set File Permissions
Hackers on a public site, as previously said, an attempt to obtain access to your WordPress files. Set the appropriate file permissions to ensure that only you, the web site’s owner, have access to them.
To change file permissions, log into your hosting account’s cPanel.
Block PHP Execution in Unknown Folders
If a flaw on the website is discovered, hackers can use it to generate their own files and directories. This would encourage them to carry out disruptive activity on your websites, such as redirecting users or sending inappropriate content to customers.
Typically, they run code written in the PHP programming language. Although PHP is needed on your website, it is only used in specific directories. By blocking PHP execution in untrusted files, you can discourage hackers from carrying out their operations.
You can either do it manually as described in our guide to disabling PHP execution, or you can use a plugin like MalCare to do it in a few clicks.
We’ve come to the conclusion of our discussion about how to secure your site if you’re using a virtual server. We’re happy that your site is now more stable as a result of these steps.
Shared hosting plans are normally a reasonable choice for new websites or companies that only need a simple online presence. However, as your company expands and your website grows in size, you will need to consider investing in a dedicated server.
It’s always best to use a dedicated hosting service if you can afford it for better security and efficiency.
However, no world is completely safe from cyber threats. Hackers use a variety of methods to gain access to your website. We highly advise that you keep a trustworthy security plugin like MalCare running on your web at all times.
This would mean that the site has a firewall to block unwanted traffic and a malware scanner. If your site is compromised, you can use the instant malware removal option to easily clean it up. You can relax easily knowing that your website is secure. Check out our guide to web host protection for more details.