Web hosting is a complicated issue for all financial sites. Nowhere is that more true than for highly specialized types of financial services, including in the retirement business, which recently experienced some learning pains… For example, some things to consider are:
How Reliable Is Your Current Web Host? Have you heard of an uptime guarantee? That’s critical when providing financial services of any type whatsoever. The very moment you fail to provide your customers with access to their information, you will instantly and maybe irrevocably lose their trust and maybe their business as well. How much money is a single client worth to you? In the financial industry, many individual clients have a lifetime value in the millions of dollars, so there’s simply no choice: You must have an uptime Guarantee with your selected host, and it must be legally enforceable. Reliability of your website software is of utmost concern as well.
How Secure Is Your Current Web Host? Reliability is just the starting point. Without reliability, nothing else matters, that’s why it’s where we begin. But a close second is security. Security is all about one thing: Making sure that your customers – and ONLY your customers – get access to their data. This is a big issue. Even if your web host is sufficiently reliable, if your web site can not be sufficiently secure, then not only are you out of business, but you will likely face severe legal ramifications. And do not think it can not happen to you. None other than former secretary of state Hillary Clinton has learned the hard way that she was vulnerable to attack, despite her virtually limitless resources. But it wasn’t just Mrs. Clinton. Her party – the Democrat Party – was also successfully hacked at around the same time. Again, with nearly limitless resources, these people were hacked. You see, they did not take the threat seriously. Obviously, they should have. So should you.
How Fast Is Your Current Web Host? Reliability is the starting point. Security is close behind. But even the most reliable, most well-secured website is totally worthless in the highly competitive and sensitive world of finance if a website isn’t also fast. Whether your website is fast is a function of many factors, like the type of computer – including processor, hard drive and ram – being used to host your website. But it’s also related to the kind of connection that unites that computer (called a “server”) to the internet. And there’s a difference between “fast” and “sufficient”. The speed of your website is a big factor in determining how much search engine traffic your website gets, according the most authoritative source, Google.
How Supportive Is Your Current Web Host? There will be technical challenges with your website. You can count on it. One financial custodian recently discovered this the hard way, when their website went down. They were convinced the problem was with their web host… but it turns out that they were infected internally with a horrible virus which further infected their websites and rendered them powerless. Thankfully, their web host was very supportive and helped them to diagnose the problem. This is what you need in a web host: A partner, not just a service provider. Someone who understands, just as you do, that your website is the lifeblood of your financial business infrastructure.
So always focus on: Reliability, security, speed and support. That will give you great results.