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7 Questions to Ask to Make Sure You’re Selecting a Reliable Web Hosting Provider

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7 Questions to Ask to Make Sure You’re Selecting a Reliable Web Hosting Provider

Web hosting is the engine of your online presence. Unreliable web hosting can cripple your business. You have one chance to impress a potential customer, and if your site is offline, chances are you won’t win them back. Before you work with any web hosting provider, you should ask these key questions.

1. What About the Pricing Plans?

It’s important to get this out of the way now. The fact is that pricing is important for a lot of companies. They need to know they’re getting a good deal, but it should never come at the expense of your online presence. It’s always best to pay more for a reliable web hosting provider.

As CEO Tony Messer from PickaWeb states, “Nowadays you are spoiled with choices, and hosting costs have become almost inconsequential for most businesses.”

This reveals an important lesson. Are a few dollars saved really going to make more of a difference to your business than a website that’s up and running all the time?

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2. What Is Your Uptime Rate?

Uptime is how often a web hosting’s services are up and running. It’s the most basic performance indicator for reliability. This is why you’ll commonly see web hosting providers bragging about their uptime rates. You should accept no less than a 99.9% uptime rate. Anything less than this is an issue waiting to happen.

3. When Do Updates Happen?

Many web hosts will perform updates in the middle of the night to limit disruption when sites do have to come offline. But these days, only a catastrophe warrants this. The vast majority of updates can be performed behind the scenes without the need for any downtime.

Any updates that do happen should either happen in the background, or at the least disruptive time. The majority of web hosts have public policies on this, so their customer service teams should be able to answer this question.

4. What is the Setup of the Web Host’s Physical Infrastructure?

It’s easy to forget that web hosting is entirely reliant on physical hardware. Like with anything, physical hardware is always under threats from tampering, power cuts, and natural disasters. Ask your web host how they handle potential issues like this, and don’t accept a nonsense answer like “that would never happen”.

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The perfect setup for a web host is to have multiple data centers over a wide geographic area. Some global web hosts even have data centers across different nations. Should one data center be put out of action for any reason, another system kicks in and there’s no downtime.

5. Do They Own the Infrastructure?

This is crucial. Sometimes you’re dealing with a web hosting provider that doesn’t have anything to do with the web hosting itself. They’re merely salespeople working on behalf of another company acting behind the scenes. Stay away from any company that isn’t responsible for its own infrastructure.

There’s no accountability should anything go wrong if you’re not dealing with the organization that runs the infrastructure.

6. How Do They Deal with Cyber Security?

The most common reason for downtime is getting hacked. A single hacker can destroy months, even years of hard work in a matter of minutes. You have a responsibility to make sure that this doesn’t happen. Your web hosting provider also has an obligation to ensure no cyber attackers get into your website via cPanel.

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Ask the web hosting provider what they do to deter cyber attackers. One sign that a web hosting provider isn’t taking cyber security seriously is their website still has ‘http’ in front of it instead of ‘https.’ You should also ask how often they perform security updates, and how they impact the uptime of your website.

It’s unlikely you’re going to find out anything; however, you want to hear directly from the hosting provider. Do some digging and look at the reviews for a specific web hosting provider. If they have issues with cyber security, it won’t take long for this to become apparent.

7. Do They React Fast in a Crisis?

In a crisis your main contact point will be the customer support department. You should be able to contact this customer support department 24/7, and they should be competent at what they do. Before you choose a web hosting provider, you should contact the customer support team and ask them a few questions to ascertain how competent and responsive they are.

Customer support is a big part of navigating potential reliability issues.

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Conclusion – Choosing the Right Web Hosting Provider

Choosing the right web hosting provider should be a priority. It’s the foundation of your online presence ,and getting it wrong can be crushing for your business. Ask these seven questions every time and you’ll find a web hosting provider that does their best by you.

Featured photo credit: Pexels / Startup Stock Photos via pexels.com

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Last Updated on November 25, 2021

How to Make Private Browsing on Safari Truly Private

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How to Make Private Browsing on Safari Truly Private

There comes a time when we may be searching online and don’t want the browser to remember our footsteps. The reasons don’t always have to be what we obviously think of as the main reason; for example, sometimes, you may not want Safari to remember your passwords or prompt you to enter your password when surfing the web.

Whatever the reason, we may think that we are totally in the clear with Private Browsing on Safari and the other browsers on a Mac. However, a quick Terminal command can bring up every website you’ve visited. How do you do this? Also, how do you clear your tracks for good? We will provide both answers and more today.

    What Does Private Browsing Do?

    When activated, Private Browsing on Safari prevents your browsing history from being kept in the history tab of the application. Along with this, it doesn’t autofill information that you have saved in the browser. In this mode, you essentially become incognito and any references of previous use is essentially hidden when you are in private mode.

    For example: if you are on Facebook or filling out a form and some information or your login is already filled in in the spaces provided, this is called autofill. It’s activated by simply clicking Safari next to the Apple symbol in the menubar and selecting Private Browsing, then clicking “OK” to the prompt.

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    The reasons behind private mode differ for each individual. While we won’t go into all of those reasons, one thing that is  important to remember is that private browsing doesn’t forget the websites you visit. As we will see later on, Macs keep a second copy of the websites you visit in either mode. If you are in frantic mode looking for a solution to this, look no further.

    The Terminal Archive

    While Safari does a good job of keeping your search history out of prying eyes in the history tab, there is a less-than-obvious way to view a full list of visited websites on Mac. This is done in Terminal; the command-line emulator that allows you to make changes to your Mac.

    Terminal is located in the Utilities folder on your Mac. Once activated, simply add the command:

    dscacheutil -cachedump -entries Host

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    Once you hit “enter”, a list of the visited sites appear. Showing only the domains, the sites appear in a format of:

    Key: h_name :(website domain)ipv4 :1

    However, there’s no need to fear—there is a way you can clear this information from Terminal with a command that’s just as simple.

    Clearing Your Tracks

    Just as simply as you were able to enter the command to view the websites, you can clear the cache that Terminal showed you with the comamnd:

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    dscacheutil -flushcache

    As the command denotes, this literally “flushes” the domains from Terminal. This does not prevent the record from continuing to be recorded for future sites, however, so if that’s an issue for you, repeat this process regularly.

    Other Browsers and Private Browsing

    Other browsers have this form of privacy mode for their service. They promise many of the same things as Safari, but they do not have the same Terminal issue due to how this command only presents websites visited on Safari (the browser Macs come shipped with).

    If you use Firefox, you’ll notice that its private mode is also known as Private Browsing. Chrome calls private mode Incognito, while Internet Explorer refers to it as InPrivate Browsing. Opera is the newest to the scene, denoting it as Private Tab. Safari is the oldest well-known browser with this feature.

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    As you can see, despite Private Browsing not being 100% private, Terminal allows for your browser to be. In what ways has Terminal helped your life or allowed you to become more productive? Let us know in the comments below.

    Featured photo credit: Benjamin Dada via unsplash.com

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