Cyber-security attacks can only be avoided with
Enterprise Performance Hosting
When it comes to website hosting, there are many providers offering discount subscriptions on a shared hosting plan. This is great news if you have a personal blog or are just getting started with a small business or side hustle. But to get the most out of your law firm website, you will likely need more. Your law firm website is a valuable marketing asset and should be hosted by a provider offering more than a shared server that is often located offshore with little to no personal customer service. As the above chart presents, enterprise grade performance hosting can provide a viable solution for law firm website hosting.
Why does website hosting matter?
The importance of quality hosting for law firm websites is often underestimated, particularly when budgets are tight, and the real benefits of enhanced services such as enterprise performance hosting are not fully understood.
Most principals and practice managers appreciate the importance of having a good law firm website. Not all however, understand the mechanics behind website hosting and how it plays a critical role in your site’s performance and security, and your firm’s growth plans. When you understand what website hosting actually is, and how that translates into best practice website hosting for law firms you can make informed choices about selecting a service that will deliver optimum website reliability, security and performance.
The levels of hosting
There are various levels of hosting services on the market.
At the lower end of the scale, a shared hosting service is just that – the website is hosted on a single server connected to the internet which is shared by multiple and various website customers. As the server and resources like the CPU, memory and hard drive are shared, websites can experience slow load times and limitations in functionality. The software options are usually basic, restricted to what the host provides. The subscription rates are low but generally, the level of customer service is too. While there is nothing wrong with a shared hosting service, you get what you pay for. These plans are suitable for websites with low levels of traffic, but if you have plans of growing your law firm, and security and customisation are important, you may want to look beyond a shared hosting service.
At the top end of the scale, large corporations may invest in a dedicated, secure hosting platform which is unique to that entity. The service can be optimised specifically to meet the organisation’s needs providing high-level security and tailored hosting solutions. The organisation has complete control over the service, which can be customised and adapted to meet the evolving needs and operations of the business. Although these services have many ‘bells and whistles’, they are very expensive and generally unaffordable for the average business.
What is enterprise performance hosting?
An enterprise performance hosting service enables customers to join a technically advanced hosting service that is dedicated and customised to a specific industry. From a law firm perspective, this provides access to a hosting plan that is tailored to the legal industry rather than generalised, without the high costs associated with a single dedicated hosting platform. The service is fully optimised and managed by your host which means you won’t need to be involved in any of the technical aspects like monitoring and maintaining the server and configuring upgrades to enhance security and performance.
Let’s break down the benefits of an enterprise performance hosting service and how this can help your law firm.
Reliability and speed
It’s no secret that a fast-loading website now plays an integral role in it ranking well with Google. It’s also well known that 40% of your visitors will wait no more than 2 seconds before exiting your site. If you’ve done all the right things to get potential clients onto your website, you simply can’t afford to lose them at this part of their journey by a slow loading site or, even worse, a site that’s down due to overcrowding and overuse.
Website reliability equals uptime. Uptime is the amount of time that your website can be accessed. Enterprise performance hosting can deliver lightning-fast load speeds with 99.99% uptime to ensure that your clients are not disappointed, frustrated or lost when they attempt to land on your home page.
Customisation and scalability
Enterprise performance hosting providers use dedicated servers built exclusively for the industry they support. Increased functionality ensures that each site can be customised for better user experience and optimisation, with infrastructure in place to support scalability and run more sophisticated software as your business and website needs grow.
If your law firm website is built on the WordPress platform, you should look for a quality host that specialises in WordPress. A WordPress hosting platform dedicated for law firms not only provides daily backups, upgrades and on demand support, but customised features suitable for a law firm’s scalability and growth.
Enterprise-grade global edge security
Law firms need to be vigilant when it comes to keeping their websites and any data collected through it secure. Compromised security means a compromised reputation for law firms, not to mention the financial and other losses of a hacked website. The implications of your website being hacked are enormous and must be considered when choosing a website hosting provider.
Best practice website hosting should include enhanced protection against major threats and cyber-security attacks by detecting and blocking malicious behaviour to prevent hacks. A lot goes on behind the scenes of a professionally managed website. Fully managed website hosting includes daily or weekly backups, site rollback and regular upgrades and critical updates and plugins to keep your site secure.
Google recently increased its protection of website visitors by identifying websites that are not encrypted with HTTPS as being not secure, alerting visitors to potential security risks associated with providing personal information when using these websites as this data could be intercepted by hackers.
Google took this action because cyber risk is currently greater than ever as hackers become more sophisticated and more tenacious. Estimates suggest that cybercrime will cost global industries $10.5 trillion annually by 2025.
As a result, finding a hosting package that includes an SSL certificate and that uses local data centres to store website data onshore, rather than internationally, enhances security for your law firm website and gives your website greater chances of ranking on Google.
24/7 support and service
One of the more frustrating aspects of shared hosting can be the lack of personalised local support when things go wrong. Does working through an online list of FAQs that rarely address the technical issues you are trying to resolve sound familiar? Or perhaps the 47-minute wait to speak to an off-shore consultant, only to be told that you’ve dialled through to the wrong section? Most lawyers and practice managers are already time-poor and usually just want somebody to fix the technical issues without going through tedious online Q&As themselves.
Using a local enterprise performance hosting service will generally deliver comprehensive support with 24/7 assistance if things do go wrong.
Enterprise performance website hosting provides a solution for accessing premium hosting services to deliver next-level digital online experiences. We have partnered with the award-winning team at WP Engine to provide enterprise performance hosting and maintenance exclusively for law firm websites, ensuring lightning-fast page speeds, high website uptime, security monitoring and 24/7 support. Pricing is structured to provide exceptional value with optional monthly reporting detailing the plugins and patches we have applied as well as protecting your site from major threats and cyber-security attacks by dynamically detecting and blocking malicious behaviour with our proprietary system, making sure your site doesn’t suffer embarrassing hacks. You can also have peace of mind knowing that we can be contacted if or when support is needed.
To speak to us about our hosting bundles or to move your hosting from your current provider, please call us on 1300 881 811 or email [email protected]
About the author
Peter Heazlewood is a management and marketing consultant, he specialises in helping law firms develop their practices using business planning marketing and performance reporting techniques refined in his own successful law firm. Peter lives in Sydney with his wife and is the father of five adult children.