The best practices for web hosting customers to follow, to easily recover from the upcoming disaster which can happen anytime.
Some days ago, I read about a fuss about “ Digital Ocean just killed our company” and I feel I was reminded about the importance of best practice when we had something: either it’s an app, database, data, or anything hosted on our rented web hosting.
Whether it’s on unmanaged or managed to host service, whether it’s a VPS or shared web hosting, or whether it’s a dedicated server, it’s very important to follow such best practices as strictly as possible.
Never underestimate about having a backup. I mean, the latest and completed back up of everything you put on your rented web hosting.
And always have it on physical storage which you had complete control over it. It’s even better if it’s possible to save such backup on your local storage.
If it’s not possible to have such a backup due to the size of data, you should back it up somewhere else.
Yes, literally somewhere else, which means you need to back it up on the server managed by another party.
For example: If your current host is a droplet on DigitalOcean, your backup should be put on another host like AWS or any other VPS which is not managed by the same company.
This way, when anything happened on your current host, you can restore it with your back up on your current host or somewhere else quickly, and minimizing the lost.
Separate domain registrar and web hosting company
It’s a best practice to always separate your domain registrar and your web hosting company.
Now, you can even use Google domain to register a domain and point it to any web hosting you bought.
Take the example of this blog where I can move my domain easily from pointing to Namecheap web hosting, then to Netlify service, and finally on VeeroTech and maybe another web hosting when I needed it.
Automate as many as possible
Always try to automate as many things as possible on your web hosting. For example: back up process, sending alerts when something is wrong, or sending a newsletter to your subscriber, and others.
Even better if possible: auto download the full back up of your data and anything else to your local storage.
If you needed to do something manually, try to delegate it to your beloved virtual assistant. Don’t do everything by yourself except it’s a critical task on your host.
Never share the full administrator access
In case you need to work with a team that needs access to your hosting server, always try to keep your final, master credential or master password, and only give limited access, the only access that your team needed. Never give root access or full administrator access.
Keep updated with your hosting terms and other information
Who knows, there may be an opportunity to save the costs of the hosting. Or there are any important changes in the pricing of your plan or even the terms for your service.
Always put attention to details on these things. Otherwise, you may get your account terminated without any notifications from your hosting company and ruin the business you had built over years in just one night.
Don’t depend on them for the notification.
Keep an eye for an alternative hosting company
If your current hosting company is good, then congratulations. But always be prepared for an alternative good hosting company in case your current hosting company turned out to be bad news.
You may hear that some hosting companies that used to be good like HostGator and BlueHost are now considered as not as good as they used to be. Just look at the Reddit /r/web hosting and you’ll see some folks complaining about those two.
Prepare for the worst
Better safe than sorry. Always be prepared when the shit hits the fans. You know what you mean.
If possible, set up an automatic script to automatically deploy everything to somewhere else in case your current server had a failure and not possible to restore.
That’s just an example, though.
Always do the monitoring, but don’t limit it to only monitor if your site is up or not. But, it’s important to do the monitoring for such things on your host. How is the:
reliability of your server when your traffic hit by huge traffic?
CPU usage when the traffic is at peak
RAM usage when the traffic is at peak
page loading time when the traffic is at peak
and how long to restore everything when something is wrong
Keep up with the news about your hosting
See the fuss about DigitalOcean on Twitter I mentioned at the beginning of this post?
If you’re also on the same hosting company (this case is DO), there’s a possibility that yours may experience the same thing as that company has experienced it.
So, always keep up with the news related to your hosting. About how’s their customer service response, how long for them to restore the things, how’s the owner of that company handle such disaster, how’s that company had prepared for such thing, keep on the other details.
Compared those to your current situation. Imagine if the same disaster hit you too. What would you do?
By imagining the disaster that happened to other customers of your hosting company, you can think ahead and prepare some moves to avoid and handle it in case it really happened on your side.